The beginning of the end…

The reality of moving appointment is slowly beginning to sink in. Our second appointement as officers in charge of a Salvation Army corps is coming to an end.

I’m not altogether sure I like it, but I know its right. When a place begins to tire you to an extent you don’t feel there is much left you can give, its definitetely time to move on. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to be a fly on the wall for the next stage of the developing ministry and witness of this corps. There are, as always for us, exciting prospects.

Unfortunately, there are the same old strongholds too…some which will not give up their grip very easily. Pill is one of the best corps in the territory, but one which has ‘thorns in the flesh’ that need major uprooting…like many places I suppose.

I’ve always had a policy of choosing my battles carefully. There are somethings, that whilst they may seem urgent and pressing, that are actually not worth exerting any breath about at all. I think I’ve fought some pretty major battles here…won some, lost others. I look back at them, and although some of them have been and are difficult, they have all been worth fighting. There has been suffering involved, but no resurrection ever came about except through the other side of suffering.

I came here determined that I wouldn’t leave the corps as I found it. Now, depending on what each persons view is of my ministry will depend on whether they think that is a good thing or a bad thing! Regardless of any of that, I can say, hand on heart, that we’ve been faithful to God in this corps. We’ve tried to follow him whilst leading others. We’ve heard him calling us to deeper waters that we’ve dreaded to even go near, yet he has been faithful.

Its hard to express just how much I will miss the corps, in spite of the ups and downs, but I will.

My prayer is that our successors will continue to shout ‘Freedom’ very loudly. My prayer is that they will shout ‘Salvation’ very loudly and that they will shout ‘holiness’ even louder. As some wise man once said, ‘holiness is the solution to every problem.’

There is a song by the (im)famous Wurzels of ‘I’ve got a brand new combine harvester’ fame which goes: “Pill, Pill! I love thee still…even though I’m leaving.” True.

3 thoughts on “The beginning of the end…”

  1. This is one of the things that has been most surprising for me as an officer. The #1 piece of advice I have receieved (most often, I mean) is “Love your people.” So, I go and do just that, and then I have to LEAVE THEM. Now, I am all for short appointments (5 years?); I think that when people are someplace too long they get set in their ways too much. BUT — I wonder what the psychological effect is of a lifetime of loving and leaving? And is it any wonder that some older officers stop loving their people (at least to the passionate extent that we tend to do when we’re green!)?

  2. Andrew, I’m not sure what would be more frustrating. To leave and see a place grow or leave and see a place wither?. I have experienced both and both bring out very human emotions. If it’s not to much of a cliche, I guess ‘Let go and let God’ is the key. Kapten Clarks comments are very interesting. Moving around does give us the opportunity of gaining friends from so many places. But please God we never lose our passion for people.

  3. There are many within the corps who will miss your ministry (our family included as you know!) but I continue to feel more and more confident that God’s hand is in all of this transitionary stuff and continue to pray that you and Tracy will be used at Wick to extend His Kingdom as I know you have been (and continue to be) used to do that at Pill! Every blessing :~)) Ann

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