Passion Produces Action
What issues are important to you?
No one can champion every good cause. You can't throw your full support behind everything you consider worthy. You just don't have that kind of time. I mean, you can't volunteer at the animal shelter and make phone calls for your favorite politician and feed the homeless at the Army shelter every weekend and become a Big Sister to a needy child and lead the Sunbeam troop, etc.-unless you're some kind of superhero. You have to make some choices. As you mature into full adulthood, lots of opportunities will arise. Lots of groups will want your time, and many will want your dollar. And you ‘ll need to know what matters most to you.
To a large extent, The Salvation Army is like one-stop shopping for people who feel passionate about social issues. We fight nearly every evil on earth in some way or another. And when we discover new problems, we find ways to tackle those, too.
If you're a soldier, it's expected that you'll be engaged in our fight against the horrible things that plague and oppress people in this world. The Lord expects all Christians to be engaged in the battle, and the Army is particularly designed for action-taking. But as I said earlier, you can't do everything. So you'll have to take a few steps: 1. Find out where help is needed, and if you're qualified to provide it. Don't sign up for something that requires expertise you don't have and can't quickly learn. 2. Ask yourself what you feel truly passionate about. Are you concerned about pre-schoolers? Do you have a special sensitivity to the needs of the elderly? Most likely, God has placed that feeling in your heart. 3. Pray over it; make sure you are making the move God wants you to make.
It's amazing what people can accomplish when they have set their minds on ministering to the world. 16-year-old Katie Wilkinson started the world's first Red Kettle Club, and many people jumped on board (pp. 14 - 15). The Salvation Army has officially opened in the Solomon Islands, meaning that we now operate in 124 countries of the world. Think of all the brave people who've spread our Army. And what about missionary Jackie Pulinger-a very driven and gutsy young woman who refused to be prevented from spreading the Gospel?
Great things happen when people let their hearts be filled with godly passions. Can you identify the passion God has for you? Are you ready to act?
Each month YS will poses an opinion question on the YS Facebook page. Find out what the current question is and join the conversation!
Q: What opportunities have you had in your life specifically because of your involvement with The Salvation Army?
I have been given the chance to travel to different countries and experience different cultures, giving me a better perspective on the life of privilege we live here in the United States.
—Sam Fowler Seattle, WA
I have been given the opportunity to travel. I have been on mission trips to Haiti and Jamaica and played in the Salvation Army band at the Rose Bowl Parade. I have also been given the opportunity to go to school through Salvation Army scholarships, for which I am very thankful.
—Chelsea Newsome Lynchburg, VA
God called me to full–time service as a Salvation Army Officer.
—Lynn Lopez St Cloud, MN
I have been given more opportunities than I could possibly list. I have been given the opportunity to serve the world through The Salvation Army. I found my calling and have been given the opportunity to live it out every single day. I have been given the opportunity to travel and learn things I never would have learned otherwise and meet people whom I never would have met. I met my husband through The Salvation Army and have met people that I am proud to call family and friends.
—Lt. Loreen Hamilton Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
The slogan “Join the Army and see the world” certainly holds true in The Salvation Army. From going to an International Corps Cadet Camp in Scotland as a 15–year–old to just coming back from a visit to the India Eastern Territory, and being an American officer stationed in Sweden, I have learned the value of being a Christian citizen of the world. God is not limited by national boundaries or politics, nor should we be as we work to further his Kingdom, sharing the gospel and meeting needs.
—Major Cornell Voeller Stockholm, Sweden
I learned how to play an instrument at The Salvation Army. I didn’t have to pay any rental fees for instruments or tuition fees, had amazing instructors to teach me, and then had the opportunity to go to Belize and Costa Rica with the divisional youth band. I also went on a mission trip to Matamoras, Mexico —all of this with little to no cost. Only through The Salvation Army was all of this possible.
—Stacy Adkins Norfolk, VA
The Salvation Army has given me the opportunity to experience music in a way I never had in the past. Since joining The Salvation Army I have not only learned how to play several brass instruments, but through the experience of music conservatory, divisional youth band, musical corps activities, and Territorial Music Institute, I have expanded my guitar, piano, and vocal abilities. Having the privilege of hearing The Salvation Army’s National Capital Band is beyond words. Having the ability to touch people’s hearts with musical ministry—something I love to do, play, and hear—is one of the many blessings of God.
—Rachel Argot Roanoke, VA
One of my unique opportunities was being able to be a part of television’s “Extreme Makeover Home Edition.” They were doing a build of a home in our town and due to our efficient Emergency Disaster Service team and canteen, we were able to have a canteen manned and on-site 24/7 while the build was happening. We fed and gave coffee, water and Gatorade to the workers as well as the producers and staff of the show. I was able to meet Ty Pennington, as well as help the interior decorators do the last minute touches to the house before the cameras came and the family came home.
—Lori Miles Albert Lea, MN
The Salvation Army led me to the girl of my dreams!!!
—Captain Robyn Bridgeo Tempe, AZ
The Salvation Army has given me the opportunity to travel and to find friends no matter where I go because The Salvation Army is there. But more than that, when I wear my uniform out in public, people ask me questions that provide an opportunity to tell what we're all about: the love of Christ, and the chance to act as his hands and feet. We give a cup of cold water in his name, and those in uniform are recognized as symbols of his compassion.
—Neva Sales Christiansburg, VA
The Salvation Army has given me the opportunity to bring the good news of the Gospel to people and places I never imagined.
—Captain Rob Reardon Alexandria, VA
I got to be on the divisional Traveling Vacation Bible School Team. While I was on my trip, both of my parents were diagnosed with cancer. But I had grown in my faith so much while I was there that I was completely confident and still joyful. It was an amazing experience.
—Sam LeFavi Carson City, NV
The Army gave me the chance to meet lifelong friends and learn a fun and enjoyable instrument. Most importantly, it gave me the opportunity to learn about our Father in heaven and make good life choices.
—Kaitlin Chambless Big Spring, TX
Red Kettle club
When 16-year-old Katie Wilkinson decided to start a Red Kettle Club at her high school in Tempe, Arizona, she couldn't have imagined the way her peers would embrace the concept. Under her leadership and with the support of her classmates and administration at Corona del Sol High School, the club gave outstanding service to The Salvation Army over the Christmas season, and will continue its service.
More than 20 students have joined the club and, on December 3, 2011, multiple clubs on campus supported their bell-
On a cold and rainy Saturday, school Principal Brent Brown and assistant Principal Dan Nero also stood kettles with their students. Tempe School District Superintendent Dr. Ken Baca came by with a jar filled with coins. Katie and several other soloists from the premiere choir at CDS drew groups of passers-by as they caroled around the kettle. A group of band members also entertained shoppers and supporters.
The students raised $1,386! "Katie, with her example and influence, has made service the ‘thing to do'," said Tempe corps officer Captain Robyn Bridgeo. "Their kettle total averaged what we typically might see from up to five volunteer groups combined."
"I love how this club has brought the school and community together to help such a wonderful organization," Katie said. "Not only is the amount of money we raised in ten hours awesome, but also just making the students aware of the many programs that their bell-ringing will benefit was tremendous. Most had no idea of the many meaningful ways The Salvation Army reaches out to help those in need."
Katie was invited to attend the Phoenix Advisory Board's Christmas appreciation luncheon for donors and supporters. Though she arrived with her mother and grandmother, she was surprised to be joined by the rest of her family as well as her school principal. The efforts of the Red Kettle Club were recognized and Katie was presented her own red kettle as founder of the first high school Red Kettle Club in America. Mr. Brown also was surprised when he was called forward to receive a red kettle for display at school.
"It has been very special to watch Katie develop the concept of a Red Kettle Club from an idea into such a successful program within our campus and community," Brown said. "She has given and will continue to give all of us new opportunities to experience the goodness of helping others."
Club members since have sorted and bagged toys at the Tempe Corps. And they are already looking forward to a spring collection day at school to benefit the ARC.
"Never in my 20 years with the Army have I found such a dynamic young lady," Captain Bridgeo said of Katie.
Brown concluded, "She and her fellow officers and club members are a great source of pride to our school and district. This club will, indeed, be one of Katie's legacies at Corona del Sol High School."