By salvation Category Events

All CFOT cadets are assigned to various Salvation Army corps and service providers throughout the city, as part of their preparation to become officers.  These experiences enrich their understanding of the various life situations that they will encounter in their future ministries.  Cadet Laura Van Schaick shares some of her experiences and thoughts with us in the following article.

God’s people are not immune to suffering.  This is a truth I have seen first-hand during my short time at Heritage Park Temple.  Often people feel that becoming a Christian means getting a free pass through life.  Instead, Jesus affirmed in John 16:33 that in this world we will have struggles! 

Over the past few months I have seen God’s people suffer with health concerns.  I have seen God’s people struggle with unexpected death and with suicide.  I have seen God’s people harbouring emotions of guilt and hate.  I have seen God’s beautiful children reach out for love that they are not receiving at home. I have seen low income families lose the security of having a roof over their heads and a place to call home.

 And I have seen God’s presence through it all.

When we as God’s people suffer, we need not fear.  Jesus says that we should take heart, for He has overcome the world!  When we see our neighbour suffer, we have the privilege of coming alongside them and being Christ’s hands and feet in a hurting world.  Through each of these difficult situations at Heritage Park Temple I have seen officers and congregation members, friends and family, come alongside the hurting in a beautiful expression of how having a faith and hope in Jesus Christ can help one get through a truly difficult situation. 

A young girl whose family is struggling with a housing crisis was doing crafts with me a few weeks ago.  We were making “God’s Eyes” out of string and popsicle sticks, and while the kids were working on their crafts I told them of the time when I was in Turkey a few years ago.  The Turks paint God’s Eyes on much of their pottery, jewelry, wall decorations, and pretty much anything else you can imagine.  I explained that this reminded the Turks that God was always with them, watching them.  This girl then said confidently that she was going to hang her God’s Eye on the door of her new home, when her family found a place to live, because God is always with her.  Knowing the difficult situation her family was facing, it was amazing to me that she had such a positive outlook, and that I, by God’s grace, might have had some part in that. 

While we will encounter suffering in our lives, we find hope that we do not endure it alone.  “God’s eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.”

Cadet Laura Van Schaick (along with her husband Stefan) is a part of the Friends of Christ session.  Laura was a part of the Cuba Mission Trip last spring and is the Missions Committee Director (at CFOT) this year.