Colonel Bo Brekke Promoted to Glory

Colonel Bo Brekke, Territorial Commander of the Pakistan Territory and former Divisional Leader in the North Scotland Division, was shot and killed yesterday, Thursday 27 September. The incident occurred in the THQ compound shortly after the colonel had presided over the retirement and farewell meeting to the Chief Secretary
and Territorial Secretary for Women’s Ministries. Information to date points to an individual act of criminality. There is nothing to suggest that this is related in any way to terrorism. The incident occurred at about 6.30 p.m. local time while Colonel Brekke was working alone in his office. Our hearts reach out to Colonel Birgitte Brekke and her family at this tragic time.A Norwegian by birth, Bo Brekke was a cadet in the ‘Proclaimers of Salvation’ session, being commissioned as an officer in May 1980 and appointed as corps officer to Brevik, in Norway. The following year he transferred to corps leadership in the Denmark Territory, the home territory of Birgitte. After two years in Denmark Bo and Birgitte returned to Norway and continued in service in corps appointments until their transfer to the Sri Lanka Territory at the beginning of 1987.

In Sri Lanka, a short period as Manager of Hope House preceded an appointment as Acting Property Secretary in July 1987, and then as Property and Special Efforts Secretary from November 1988. As Community Services Secretary from 1991, the then Captain Brekke also undertook management of Hope House once again.

Bo and Birgitte returned to Norway from 1993 to 1995, giving leadership to the Fredrikstad Corps during that time.

Having developed a deep love for South Asia and its people, it was a personal joy for Bo and Birgitte Brekke when, in August 1995 they were appointed as regional leaders to Bangladesh. Under their leadership the work of the Army flourished and in 1997 the Bangladesh Region was granted command status, and Major Bo Brekke was appointed as Officer Commanding, with Birgitte serving alongside him as Command President of Women’s Ministries and Command Youth Officer.

The late summer of 2002 saw a further change of culture and working environment as Bo and Birgitte were appointed as divisional leaders of the North Scotland Division in the United Kingdom Territory, followed by service respectively as Chief Secretary and Secretary for Mission Development in the Eastern Europe Territory. It was from there that, almost exactly one year ago (15 September 2006) Colonel Bo Brekke was appointed as Territorial Commander of the Pakistan Territory, and Colonel Birgitte Brekke as Territorial President of Women’s Ministries.

At the time of her husband’s promotion to Glory Colonel Birgitte Brekke was attending meetings at International Headquarters in London. Arrangements were made immediately for her to fly to Norway to be with her two sons and other family members. She was accompanied by her sister who had come to London to see Birgitte while she was visiting IHQ.

We thank God for the commitment that Bo Brekke demonstrated through 27 years of faithful and effective service as a Salvation Army officer, and I know you will join me in prayer on behalf of Birgitte, her sons Benjamin and Bo Christoffer and other members of the family who, whilst encouraged by the hope that we have in the Risen Christ, nevertheless are understandably devastated by the tragic and untimely promotion to Glory of a loving husband, father and friend.

Just another blessed SonDay…can’t wait ’til Monday

Another great SonDay in Wick. Its a blessing to have people so especially responsive to the word, you can feel it round the hall and God is doing his work. Its a blessing to feel the atmosphere change as God moves around doing his business. I’ve no idea what he is doing the vast majority of the time, but then that is his business!

Today Jesus visited us in the form of a very drunk man who had been in the wars the last couple of days and wasn’t up to his best. He was treated with love and respect which was good, in spite of the fact that to many of our folks he would have been quite intimidating. We affirmed together afterwards that he was just as welcome in our place of worship as we were and we prayed for him as one of my retired Colonels spoke with him in the other room.

Meanwhile, the Lord continues to speak and this time he has given me a very direct practical ‘vision’ of another ministry to approach. Details to follow.

Also, God is still speaking about harvest to me. He corrected some of my thinking in pointing out that its not necessarily the fact that we need more workers, its just that the workers are in the wrong place. That is, they are in the barn expecting the lord to blow the wheat in when actually God wants them in the field. He who has EARS let him here (boom boom!!).

PS Robert Doull, if you’re reading send me your email address to Blessings to you brother.

Red Shield!

So its been a bit of a whirlwind of a week which has included a trip back to Bristol to deal with some unfinished business in the form of a Crown Court case! Glad to have it behind us and just await the verdict for the person were were supporting.

Its also our Red Shied Door-to-door appeal up here in Wick so its been busy. Collecting is very different here…people are genuinely happy to see you and are so kind and generous. After the first week we’re already ahead of schedule with our target. This evening sees the completion of our ‘Caithness’ collecting. Next week we travel the 30-40 miles and back each night to collect areas of Sutherland, also in our corps district.

The old soldier I was collecting with last night had the right idea…in reponse to his donors kindness he then responded with a nice shiny gospel tract in the form of a coin. People gladly received them. Well done David!

Words from the Lord

It is a blessing when the Lord speaks. I’ve had the privelege in recent years to be allowed by the Holy Spirit to develop spiritual ears…you see, I’m convinced the Lord speaks and I want to hear him, so I ask him to speak. His response to that prayer request is always ‘well listen then.’

Last night as I was nodding off to sleep the Lord woke me with an audible voice. Sometimes when he speaks its a long paragraph or something, but last night it was just a sentence.

He said “I’m sending a north wind out of season.”

That might seem strange to you, but to me I know exactly what it means. The north wind, in the days of the Bible, was a symbol of the fact that the harvest had to be harvested. As soon as the farmer felt the north wind, it was the time to reap his crops. The Lord is saying, even although you may not perceive it to be the season for reaping, I’m asking to reap out of season.

You see, the Lord “reaps where he has not sown and takes out where he has not put in” (Luke 19:21-22). He is a soverign Lord and does things at his own will. But then, look at John 4: 35- 37 :-

35Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true.

What is this but a poignant reminder that the reaper must reap in AND out of season because the harvest is ripe. Can you feel the north wind blowing though your spirit? Listen to what God is saying to you today. Be the answer to your prayer to the Lord of the Harvest and ask him to send you out reaping..then the sower and the reaper will rejoice together.

A request…..

Hello people out there in blogland…a little request.

I’m looking for a ‘group’ to come and do a weekend of missioning next summer. Ideally I’d be looking at maybe two or three groups throughout the whole summer.

By missioning I mean a day of open air work with evangelistic ‘festival’ in the evening, leading two Sunday worship meetings with some more open air work in outlying districts in the afternoon. We’re not necessarily looking for ‘fancy’ or ‘very musical.’

By group, I mean any group at all. It might be a brass band, it might be a group of willing evangelists from a corps, a worship group, singing company, it might be a songster brigade…anything at all.

Drop me a line if you fancy the Northern Challenge!

Blogs Update

Just a reminder to check out my other blogs to the right:

There is a new Wick Salvation Army blog, an update on the activities and ministry of the corps.

Salvationism Out Loud blog continues to have updates of ideas for wearing your faith on your sleeve.

Salvationist Men continues to be an offer of accountability for men who are struggling in the area of sexual temptation.