‘Set Apart’—2013 Future Officers’ Fellowship Retreat

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Delegates participate in worship during the Future Officers’ Fellowship at Crestmont. Photo by Bob Louangamath

Annual event draws 183 Salvationists considering officership.

By Joanne Louangamath, Captain

Representing every division in the Western Territory, 183 individuals attended the 2013 Future Officer’s Fellowship retreat Feb. 8-10 at the Crestmont College for Officer Training.

Under the leadership of Territorial Candidates’ and Recruitment Secretaries Majors John and Pamilla Brackenbury, the theme “Set Apart” challenged delegates to answer God’s call not only for full-time ministry as officers in The Salvation Army,

but to live a holy life set apart for God.

The keynote session kicked off with a praise team led by Cadet Marcos Roman, and the words: “Refiner’s fire; my heart’s one desire is to be holy, set apart for you, Lord…ready to do your will.” Cadet Arwyn Rodriguera exemplified this desire in her testimony, “I have been set apart by the grace of God…when we are obedient, we are set apart.”

Keynote speaker Chief Secretary Colonel Dave Hudson declared: “The greatest work of God is the work in your life. Some of you may not become officers, but everyone has a calling from God.”

The next morning, delegates crowded in the Crestmont College chapel for a morning session. Prospective Candidate Immanuel Beeson shared how God loved him, saved him from a rebellious life and set him apart. “I am who I am today because of God,” he said.

Lt. Anthony Barnes, Southwest divisional youth secretary, gave the message, recalling uncertainty as a cadet in that chapel. “I assumed I had arrived. Now my calling would go on autopilot and I wouldn’t have to do anything else,” he said. “I was thinking of things in simple terms—not thinking of lifelong ministry, but living for the moment.

“When we put on Christ, we better be here to work!” Barnes said. “If we’re not living that identity, we’re playing games.”

Saturday’s workshops included “How to Study the Bible,” “Preparing for the Pulpit,” “Developing Good Study Habits” and “Developing Research Skills.” Crestmont College staff and cadets gave tours of the campus before a Hawaiian luau with Polynesian dancers and warriors, and shave ice.

Lt. Colonel Shelley Hill led a season of prayer Feb. 10 followed by testimonies from prospective candidates Hector and Yasmin Acosta. Hector Acosta testified: “If you don’t fulfill his purpose, you will not be filled with joy.” He said when they surrendered to God’s will, they found peace in their lives.

Territorial Commander Commissioner James Knaggs spoke on Hebrews 12, “[God] has marked out a race for you. He’s marked out a path for you,” he said. “God has called you to be holy people. What God is calling you to is not necessarily a destination. God’s not necessarily calling you to an occupation or a preoccupation. He’s calling you to live holy lives!”

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord (Heb. 12:14).

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