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The amazing chain, or how the Army works

The story began with a group of college students from Germany who came to the U.S. to retrace the path of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. But there was a breakdown in their travel logistics because they found themselves in Washington, D.C. , without an adequate place to stay. One student called a Salvation Army officer he knew in Berlin at 4 a.m. on Sunday. That officer, Captain Friedl, called Major Jim Garrington in Taiwan. Garrington called his cousin in Dresden, Germany, who called her aunt, Major Debbie Sjogren, in Milwaukee. Sjogren called the Harbor Light Center in Washington and caught Major Doug Browning just as he was leaving his office to go into the morning worship service. Browning secured rooms at the Harbor Light Center for the students while they were in D.C. He then called Sjogren in Milwaukee, who called Major Garrington's cousin in Dresden, who called Captain Friedl in Berlin, who called the students, who called Major Browning. By 10 a.m. , arrangements had been made for the Harbor Light to pick up the students to take them to their lodging, only two miles from where they made their first call.


Couple leaving legal careers to ‘fill their cup' in officership

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By Major Frank Duracher

Southern Spirit staff

Their real-life professions seem to jump out of a scene from the popular television series "Law & Order." Brad McCullouch is the assistant district attorney, prosecuting lawbreakers in Greenwood, Miss. Mary Beth works as a court reporter. They fell in love when they met in a courtroom about three years ago.

Despite the investments of time and education into their careers, the McCullouchs are now preparing to walk away from lucrative professions in order to become Salvation Army officers. They hope to enter the Evangeline Booth College with the next session of cadets in August 2007.

"What we do for a living at present is good and necessary for civilized society," Brad said. "But as a Christian, I want more. My ‘cup' wasn't filled, until I met The Salvation Army."

Brad didn't have to go far to meet the Army - a canteen was serving food and supplies to his Greenwood neighbors in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

"My Sunday school class volunteered to help serve in the canteen one afternoon, but I came away from that experience profoundly impressed that these Salvationists weren't there for just a few hours - they were laboring from sunup to sundown, for many weeks...and in 100-plus-degree heat!"

Brad had been longing to enter some type of ministry - he just didn't know where. Reminiscent of William Booth's declaration to Catherine, Brad arrived home that night and told Mary Beth, "I've found what I want to do!"

Mary Beth's initial reaction was not as keen, especially as she learned more of the demands of officership.

"I love Jesus, and I love my husband, so I was willing to follow Brad into this," Mary Beth said. "But I was struggling because I wasn't sensing my own calling for this."

That problem was resolved during the recent Territorial Future Officers Fellowship Retreat, held at the Evangeline Booth College.

Small stones were distributed to the delegates; each stone representing obstacles to one's calling to ministry. At one point delegates were invited to bring their stones forward and leave them at the altar. Mary Beth held her stone tightly.

Later that afternoon, Mary Beth knelt in the Talmadge Prayer Room. Through her tears she begged God to give her a sign of her own calling to ministry as an officer. Just then her eyes went down to the open Bible in front of her. The verse she spotted was Philippians 4:19 - God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

"That was all I needed. The sense of peace was overwhelming, as I let go of my fear and pride. I stopped avoiding and answered my own call," Mary Beth said.

A few minutes later, Mary Beth approached Captain Roni Robbins and quietly slipped the stone into Robbins' hand. Nothing needed to be said. The message was clear.

The McCullouchs are absolutely sure that The Salvation Army is where God wants them to serve. "The Salvation Army is made of heroes," Brad said. "I want to be a part of a ministry that is bigger than anything I've known."

Brad still enjoys watching "Law & Order" - particularly when he loses a tough case. He feels better when his television counterpart, Jack McCoy, wins a case convincingly.

"Preaching is a form of argument for something you sincerely believe. Instead of trying to convict someone of a crime, I'll be urging people to allow Christ to deliver them from the punishment they deserve," he said.

When asked if he thinks he can make an easy transition from being a prosecutor to being an advocate, Brad thought for a second and said, "Sure, I can do that!"


Love is ...

By Major Barry Corbitt

He might just be the most adorable kid around. With big brown eyes and a smile that brings joy to the most desolate heart, Jeremy no doubt will someday be the focus of every girl's dreams. He is blessed with his mother's beauty and his father's intelligent but hammy personality, the perfect genetic combination that will serve him well in the days ahead when he'll need a break or two in a rough-and-tumble world. Jeremy brings light to our little commune and reminds me of my own children long since grown. Don't turn your head for more than a moment - you'll miss the sweetest part of life.

I must be getting softer and less intimidating in my old age, even grandfatherly, much to my surprise. Little children seem to like me more now that my hair is gray and my voice a bit more delicate. It is a kind thing God does, maturing us in subtle fashion as he prepares us for new roles in life. Still, it was a surprise when 3-year-old Jeremy climbed into my lap and drifted off peacefully to sleep. I was visibly moved that such a thing would happen. It's been at least 10 years since my youngest child even considered going to sleep in my embrace. I'm sure the friends around us at the time weren't aware of the emotional warmth I felt at the thought that someone loved me unconditionally enough to feel safe in my presence. It was a rare and cherished moment.

As wonderful as it feels to be loved and have that feeling confirmed, how devastating must it be to know nothing of such affection? We must be aware of the reality of loneliness and sorrow, those thieves of joy that can be vanquished only by the exercise of tangible love - a love that manifests itself in the form of legitimate presence. Sometimes it is not enough to tell the hurting soul they are adored by Jesus. We must be willing to hold their hand in His name and walk through the darkness together. This is the central issue. We leave too much of the loving up to God. Sure, God is love, but God's love in us is stronger still. Besides, are we not compelled to serve as emissaries of His nature as the practitioners of His embrace?

Jesus holds us accountable to the task. He fully expects us to help Him in the process of healing broken hearts. Indeed, there will be times when we will be required to share in the anguish of another, mingling our tears with their own while taking upon ourselves the agony of bitter circumstances. We are called to do no less than Jesus did. Love by touch and presence is the tangible commodity of the child of God. It is the destiny from which flow all other lesser Christian responsibilities.

You know what you should do? Even as you scan this page, you should assume that someone is waiting for love. For goodness sake, go out and find them! Run into the streets if you have to and find the lost soul that is looking specifically for you. They're all around, hurting and desperate, longing for wholeness, searching for purpose. In Christ, you have the gift! Give it away and see it return to you in never-ending fashion. This knowledge of love is my offering to you. I should know - a little child showed me.













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