I was sleeping on a park bench in Vancouver, homeless, depressed and stressed out on September 21st, 2009. I went on my hands and knees and prayed to God to let me have one night’s sleep and meal in a bed so I could recuperate. I would be forever grateful. (I would not beg or steal food. I only drank water.) God led me to go to Oppenheimer Park. There I met Ben Israel, a Park employee, who guided me to the Beacon Men’s Shelter.
I had an ear infection, severe weight loss. The staff at the Beacon were brilliant. At the Salvation Army Harbour Light Corps they helped me, guided me and placed a Bible in my hands.
I was at the Beacon for 9 months. During this time I attended Celebrate Recovery, the 12 Step Program, A.A., ACOA, SA, OEA and my favourite, Al Anon – and on and on.
I wanted to give back to the Salvation Army 100 times more than they gave me. I wanted to help people, serve people, direct people and follow the Word of the Lord: freedom from pain = comfort and mostly serve God first! I attended Bible Studies – 35 a month, attended 3 corps of The Salvation Army and met and greeted people.
Without a fellowship, without the Bible, without brothers and sisters in Christ, to me, it is like eating on the moon, there’s just no atmosphere.
Although the care I gave to The Salvation Army came back 900% I was overwhelmed in a loving, caring and grateful way.
2. Belkin House
In August of 2010, I was accepted into The Salvation Army Belkin House for residency.
There was structure, people to help me for what I was going through at the time. Peggy, Eva, Les, Simeon, Larry, Carlos, Sara, Collin, Leo, Stephen, Rebecca, Dawn Samson and Captain Jim who gave me his time when there was a situation that I had no clue how to handle. Praise be to God!
All the staff I thank for the services they gave and the extra mile each and everyone of them gave. I thank them for helping me in a caring and safe environment to guide me to a nurturing path of emotional and spiritual growth.
I benefited from taking Living Skills, Life Skills, Anger Management, and volunteering in the Kitchen. When I extend my hand all things progress, and when I accepted a hand, all things progress.
Patience, time to think, freedom to express are some of my Belkin House experiences. I have full gratitude to all of the people here, the residents and the staff of Belkin House.
It is my heart’s desire to become a Salvation Army Soldier.
A soldier expresses their commitment in every area of life and through the ministry and work of a local Salvation Army Corps. They show their action = people need help.
Why a soldier?
I love to help people
I love to follow Jesus
I love to serve God first
I’ve never done this perfectly, I make mistakes; every single day. I pray, I’m prayed for. To me it’s simple – it’s pray back time.
I am now an adherent. It has been over 1 1/2 years of study. It’s gone like a blink. It’s my calling, my duty and personally my desire to worship the Lord.
I would like to share a heartfelt scripture with you.
Ephesians 5:31-32 “Let all bitterness and wrath, and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”
God bless each and every one of you. We are all blessed. I’ve learned to softly accept those blessings.