WINTER ASSIGNMENT | CADET RYAN MacDONALD
Cadet Ryan MacDonald (Disciples of the Cross session) was assigned to Whitehorse, Yukon for his Winter Assignment. He shares his experience with us.
Time really does fly when you’re having fun. I have had an amazing first experience in Whitehorse. My first winter assignment has been such a beneficial learning opportunity, and I can’t explain enough how much I enjoyed my time here in the Yukon. Not only have I made friends to last a lifetime, with Captains Shannon and Jeff Howard, but I now have two more experienced Officers that are just a phone call away if I have any questions concerning future ministry.
To really get involved in the busyness here in the Salvation Army in Whitehorse throughout my winter assignment has been a blessing. From dealing with the different ministry opportunities, and contributing my own personal skills I have seen the calling God has placed on my life flourish. It was not all fun and games as I walked through this assignment. To be able to battle on the front lines of this ministry for what was such a short time has most certainly taught me lessons that I will use to benefit my own ministry in the future.
Here in the northern part of the Alberta & Northern Territories Division I have had the opportunity to see different parts of ministry. The shelter that the Army operates here has been a learning experience for me. I had the chance to shadow the manager of the shelter for a day as I witnessed not only the commitment one must bring to that job every day, but also the passion it takes to serve to the best of one’s ability. I also received an opportunity to go behind closed doors to witness the operations evolved in operating the “ARC” (Adult Resource Centre). This facility is in place to receive men after they are released from prison, and give them a chance to straighten out their lives. These two different ministry functions have left me with a sense of the deeper compassion one must develop to work in these different ministry opportunities. The Thrift store in Whitehorse is quite beneficial to this small town. The Thrift store also has the only Christian book store in town. After visiting these different facilities and programs I can’t help but wonder how I could make a difference if I am ever given the opportunity to serve in similar functions. It also leaves me with a sense of excitement if I am given the chance to serve in this way.
I had the privilege of preaching a sermon about the birth of our Lord and Saviour the first Sunday morning I attended the corps. To lead a devotion at the staff Christmas dinner and share my testimony was also a pleasure, as always. These opportunities within ministry have left me with a more confident level of God’s leadership within my own life. The Officers and staff members were more than encouraging about my efforts, which in return gave me a deeper sense of belonging.
Before embarking on this winter assignment I had not dealt with any of the financial issues that a ministry unit deals with. To deal with the Shelby system and see what this program entails has also been a learning experience for me. I had another learning opportunity when I was asked to complete some stats using the SAMIS program. I enjoyed learning about Shelby and SAMIS as now I will be able to operate these systems on my own when presented the task in the future.
To conclude, my time here in Whitehorse has been absolutely wonderful. The Lord continues to break my heart for what breaks His. As the plan for my life continues to unfold in our God’s eyes I find it truly a privilege to be able to work alongside other Officers in our mission within The Salvation Army. I believe I was sent to Whitehorse for a bigger reason then I might understand. I could not have asked for a better first assignment, and I am anticipating the next assignment already.