Above: New territorial youth secretary
and leadership and development secretary Captains Kelly and Donna Igleheart led
the uprising for delegates to dance upon injustices such as human trafficking
and HIV/AIDS.Dance upon injustice
Dance upon injustice
By Joy Mikles
Opening day brought rain to sunny Florida as delegates arrived in buses
and cars. Camp Keystone was home to the Territorial Youth Institute for the
first time since the 70s. New places always bring new adventure - and TYI 2006
was definitely an adventure.
The journey began with Captain Elvie Carter, an
officer from the Eastern Territory. Each morning he facilitated discussion
among the delegates about the five points of Isaiah 1:17: learning to do right,
seeking justice, encouraging the oppressed, defending the cause of the
fatherless and pleading the case of the widow.
One specific lesson, about the cause of the
fatherless, made the room come alive with discussion. It brought home a topic
which before had seemed to point only to faraway places and strangers. However,
one activity in Captain Carter's lesson revealed clusters of delegates that
contained at least one person who was fatherless. Isaiah 1:17 wasn't an
ancient topic anymore. Because of that morning's discussion, the whole
verse became tangible for the delegation. Widows and orphans were now close.
The oppressed lived next door. They had a face, they had a name, they had a
hope. On that day, many realized that the Creator of the universe defends their
cause and calls others to come alongside them and do the same. That was just
After Captain Carter spoke, Aaron White from the War
College in Vancouver, Canada, delivered a justice presentation. He danced, put
new lyrics to old songs and challenged us to compassion and to be scandalous as
Jesus was scandalous. Jesus didn't do the things that were common among the
religious. In fact, He did just the opposite. He hung out with the unclean and
even touched the dead! He caused scandal. White taught us that we should do the
same but in a way that blesses and pleases God.
White wouldn't allow
delegates to just hear without taking action. On Saturday, he had
representatives for different ministry opportunities stand around the room. The
delegates then chose from among the opportunities which one or two or three
they would promise to do something about - genocide, HIV/AIDS, children at
risk, child sponsorship, the War College and Salvationist Service Corps.
Each afternoon and evening was packed
with electives for the delegates to attend. Justice seminars focused on
genocide, HIV/AIDS, sex trafficking, fair trade and pornography. Delegates
walked away with knowledge and ways to make a difference in their
Late afternoons were
opportunities for the delegates to learn about specific interests, such as
different books of the Bible and performance. Interest electives gave delegates
a chance to show off their skills. Choreodrama, Stomp, and Video were some of
the delegate favorites.
Above left, clockwise: Main
messages for the week were delivered by Captain Elvie Carter; other speakers
included Lt. Colonel David Jeffrey, Lisa Thompson
(national consultant for the Initiative Against
Human Trafficking) and Lt. Colonel Charles White.
Each evening was filled with wildly
diverse programs. On opening night the new territorial youth leaders, Captains
Kelly and Donna Igleheart, danced their hearts out to a choreographed swing
number. Once they showed their fancy footwork and welcomed all the delegates to
TYI, they made room on the dance floor for everyone. Jim Cain, the special
guest for the evening, taught everyone how to do a square dance, the cha-cha
and the limbo. The fun and fellowship continued all week with a game of
"Deal or No Deal" and Talent Night.
Sunday morning culminated with worship led by
Entertaining Angels, the praise band for the week. The theme chorus shook the
foundations of the building:
Open up the
doors and let the music play
Let the streets resound with singing
Songs that bring your hope and
Songs that bring your joy
Dancers who dance upon injustice
It wasn't just a song anymore. Delegates knew
people and places where injustice needed to be danced upon and crushed.
Since returning from TYI, many young
adults are continuing the fight against injustice in their own corps and
neighborhoods. For example, a group called I-58 (an abbreviation for Isaiah
58), which began at TYI, is a group of young adult Salvationists who have
decided to take a topic each month and educate their corps, community, friends
and family about each injustice and hopefully motivate others to take action.
What lies ahead for the teens and young adults who attended TYI is a challenge
from the Lord to truly change their world by "dancing upon
with Captains Kelly and Donna Igleheart: Above center, TYS Award recipients
Jacob Granados and Charity Criss; above left, Territorial Commander's Award
recipients Timothy Israel and Lindsey Fleeman and above, Steven D. Lanier Award
recipient Sarah Raymer.
Giving God our
We did street ministry, open airs,
house visitations, evangelism and led vacation Bible school. But one particular
child, a 12-year-old named Cesar, had a huge impact on our team.
Cesar had just completed the final grade of public
school. For Cesar to continue his education would have been a financial burden
for his family; his father believed that Cesar had enough education.
was saddened because we knew that Cesar had great potential. So we prayed for
financial resources and that his family would allow him to go to school. Less
than a week later, the corps officer in the village had secured a sponsor to
pay for Cesar's schooling, and the same officer convinced Cesar's
parents to let him go back to school.
When our team
left Belize, Cesar recorded a farewell video. With teary eyes, he thanked each
person by name and called each of us the "best" at something.
"You are my best friend because you listen to me. You are the best to have
fun with because you play sports with me." God provided for Cesar. He took
what we thought was the least we had to give - our prayers - and turned it into
the "best." Josh Knapp and Captain Cristina Bell_______________________________________________________________
Nothing is impossible for God
"Mission exists because
worship doesn't." The truth of those words became so evident to me
over the six weeks I spent in Malaysia this summer. We were surrounded by
Buddhist temples, Chinese altars and people who had no desire to hear a word we
had to say. In Malaysia, if Christians tried to witness to a Malay, they would
be seriously prosecuted. The devil tried to use that threat as a way to
discourage me. I thought it was hopeless.
When our team arrived at Kota Kinabalu, we started working at
the daycare center operated by the corps, working with a group of Muslim
children. It had taken the corps so long to form relationships with those
families that our team had to be very careful about what we said and did around
team didn't teach those children a single word from the Bible, but we
showed them with our deeds. We showed them through our smiles, encouraging
words and the love of Christ shining through us.
God showed me that I
don't have to shout to minister to people because sometimes He speaks the
loudest through His silence. Nothing is impossible for God; He is bigger than
The 2006 Salvationist Service Corps
Ben Bridges (Florida), team leader
Annie Hobgood (Florida)
Chauncy Thompson (Texas)
Vicki Hastings (Florida)
Lindsey Fleeman (Florida)
Kelsey Igleheart (NCV)
Lauren Halsey (Georgia)
Josh Powell (NSC)
Carlos Cantu (Georgia), team leader
Josie Showers (KT)
Booth Jewett (NSC)
Tammi Santos (Florida)
Johanna Guadalupe (NSC)
Cherika Gage (NCV)
Hillary Luyk (Georgia)
Tralena Davis (AOK)
Joshua Knapp (Texas), team leader
Captain Cristina Bell (Gulfport,
Valentina Ricardo (Georgia)
Marion Killian (AOK)
Angel Sanders (NCV)
Shannon Rogers (NSC)
Bethany Taylor (Texas)
Alyce Martindale (Texas)
Charlotte, N.C.Led by Rob and Heather
Jaime Reifer (Florida)
God hears our prayers
In Peru, our
team helped start a corps right in the middle of a drug-infested,
prostitute-surrounded, idol-worshiping area. And people came forward to become
members - members who were willing to carry on God's work. We also had the
opportunity to be on the radio. I could not believe we would be on the radio
telling people about God's love and presenting The Salvation Army to the
whole city of Piura.
After starting a corps, feeding the
unfed and clothing the unclothed, I have learned that beauty can exist in
poverty and filth - a beauty that can be seen only in Christ's eyes. I
learned that I take things for granted. I learned to get really close to
God's presence. I learned that the enemy will use all he can to keep you
from doing God's work.
After a couple of weeks in Peru,
I got an email from home saying my mother had been admitted to the hospital and
she was going to need surgery. I was very surprised, but I couldn't believe
how much peace God gave me. I simply put my trust in the Lord and prayed for my
mother's healing. God answered my prayers just a few days later. No surgery
was needed for my mother. I learned that God heals, and He hears my
Love conquers every
Many people will
hear Charlotte and think, "Mission trip? Are you serious?"
Absolutely! One of the largest contributors to injustice here in America is
that we just don't see it.
In Charlotte I didn't have the choice to turn my head away from
the pain and suffering I saw. I had to look at it straight in the eyes, and say
to it, "You don't belong here."
This summer was about learning to stand up and
fight against injustice. Injustices like two little girls being afraid to go
home because their mom and her live-in boyfriend were always fighting, and
usually using knives. Injustices like a 2-year-old wandering around with his
4-year-old sister by themselves at 11:30 p.m.
I learned that I could stand in that
neighborhood and try to figure out where these problems came from and look at
how they're generational, but that wasn't necessary. I realized that it
can be quite simple. A freeze-pop can go a long way where these kids live. Or
just taking a child by the hand and walking him home - that's ministry.
This summer I learned
a lot of things that can be easily transferred to fit any situation. I also
learned that love really does conquer all.