Thank you for the opportunity of responding.
NLE St. John's Downtown Core Ministries
The whole idea of learning by reflection is very helpful. Actually it was some time after the course was completed that some lights begin to come on and I began to understand some of my present issues in light of my upbringing. This began a time of healing for me.
Just to give you an update re the Man to Man Course which we just finished this week. It was awesome. Far surpassed the Search for Life Course. I believe that had to do more with men being alone than with the content. In this course after 5 weeks we could feel that it was a very safe environment. Because of that men became very transparent by sharing some of the deep issues of their lives. By doing this, some bore witness in the last session that they have had a great transformation in their lives. Long-standing issues have been dealt with. One man went home and his wife immediately knew that something great had taken place. Another man asked his wife if she noticed any change in the ten weeks. She was very quick to say 'yes, indeed."
Those men are not willing to stop at this point. Right now for the next month they are reviewing all the materials covered. ON May 12th we will begin again to have a few sessions on other issues. In the Fall a few of those men will take the facilitator's training and will continue with the Man to Man Course.
This group of men strongly feel that we must offer this ministry to other men. It's greatly needed and they want to help others as they have been helped.
Calvin Fudge, Major
Divisional Secretary for Program
Newfoundland & Labrador East Division
I am thankful to God and The Salvation Army for the privilege and opportunity to go through this process myself, although it was not easy to be vulnerable with my peers. I found it to be a very liberating experience in that I was able to deal with insecurities that I was left with after a depression some years ago. For a number of years I had really built a wall around me and would not allow certain people to come to close and I had actually convinced myself that I was always this way, even though my husband would often remind me that this wasn't the case. Just sitting in the Search for Life group, the teaching and listening to people in our group, helped me to look back over my life and actually see where I got stuck. It was wonderful to be in a safe environment with people who care and to be encouraged from the teaching of the Scriptures as well as the group. I am thankful I have been able to work through these issues and move forward in my own journey with Christ and it has given me tools to enhance and help me in my Ministry to help others in their journey.
The Facilitator Training is a basic tool to help and encourage people who would like to get started in facilitating small groups and will increase confidence in facilitating groups within our Ministry Units not just Careforce Programs. The teaching will give sound Theology for disciplining our people and as in my case just watching other facilitators at work affirmed my own facilitating skills which was a confidence builder as well.
The last 15 months have been an amazing journey. First to go through the process myself and then to be privileged to be part of facilitating two groups with a total of 22 people and to see 20 trained facilitators in our Division. The testimonies from many of these people are similar to my own in that they are excited and see the potential of having this tool to help others in their faith journey. I am looking forward to continuing to bring this process forward in our Division and I believe God is going to do amazing things through this process in peoples lives within our Ministry Units and our Communities. I thank God for the journey together with Him and the support of my friends and I know this will continue to help bring healing and wholeness to my life.
Sandy Langer (Major)
Divisional Volunteer Services Secretary
Divisional Services to Seniors Secretary
Divisional Retired Officers Secretary
Divisional Careforce Lifekeys Coordinator
I wasn’t too far into the sessions when I realized the powerful tool of Careforce Lifekeys. I was hesitant at the beginning, but I soon learned that this was a powerful tool to help hurting people.
As I went into this training, with the attitude of helping hurting people through tough times, it was amazing to see how my past opened up before me. In the small group I was able to talk about issues from my past and how I had either dealt with them or not. It allowed for some positive feedback that was a great help to me.
Now more than ever I can see the benefits of this ministry, both personally and for ministry in my appointment. (Captain Tony Brushett - Corps Officer)
In sharing in the Small Group, my problem was ‘death,’ not only my own death, but the death of others. Since life is surrounded by death, this is probably why I was thinking so much about it. At times, I would even have anxiety about it. The Small Group experience helped me put death behind me. A member of the Group shared, I can’t remember her exact words, but I felt as if I saw right into her soul. It was an amazing experience for me, one I will never forget.
On the last evening we were invited to write something on a card and put into a box.* My word was death! I don’t know how people cope with death if they do not believe in God. (Linda Curtis - Winterberry Heights Church)
*At the end of the season we wanted to have each person perform a physical act symbolic of releasing a former problem in their life. To do so, we had a small wooden box into which each person came forward, in our full group setting, and place their burden, (which they had written on a piece of paper) in the box. When everyone was finished, each person helped nail the lid on the box. A few days later they were all invited to a campfire at which we prayed together and set the box, with their burdens, on fire. This was quite effective for everyone, seeing their burden go up in smoke.