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"Is the bride ready?"

By Captain Jonathan Gainey

Ancient Israel had many customs and practices that would not be allowed in our culture today. One such custom was the engagement process. A young man in his 20s would go with his father to the village where the girl whom he was to marry lived with her parents. While there, the young man and his father would meet the girl, about 14 years old, and her father for the first time.

A Jewish matchmaker called a shadkhan would put the young man and young woman together based on yihus (stock, family background, reputation in the community and personal virtue). Jewish marriages placed an emphasis on love after marriage, as opposed to marrying the one you love.

When the young man arrived at the young woman's house, the two fathers would settle on a "bride-price." Payment by means of money or material items was a way of honoring the family that would be losing the daughter. When the price was settled, the young man's father would pass his son a cup of wine. The young man would drink from the cup and pass the cup to the young woman, signifying that he wanted her to be his wife and that he was giving his life to her. If she drank from the cup, she was in effect saying, "I want to marry you. I accept your life, and I will give you mine."

Then the young man and his father would travel back to their village where the young man would begin building a room onto his parent's home. Generations of sons would build on to the house, creating what is called an insula, a house with many rooms. The young man would work on his house until his dad, the only person who could give a final approval for the new home, would say, "It is ready. Go and receive your bride."

While the young man worked on the new house, the bride-to-be would make wedding clothes and learn to take care of a home. She was expected to always be ready for his return at any moment. During this time of preparation, all of the people in the young woman's village would refer to her as "one who has been bought with a price."

Eventually, the home would be ready, the young man's dad would give his approval and send his son to receive his bride. When the bridegroom entered the village of his bride-to-be, he would blow a shofar and all the village would hear the horn and know that the bridegroom had arrived. A wise bride would be ready when her bridegroom arrived.

Those who have been learning, preparing and have kept themselves ready for the groom will join him when he returns and sends his angels to sound the trumpet.

"Do not let your heart be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am" (John 14:1-3).

Airport ministry

a resource for

troops, travelers

By Major Frank Duracher

Southern Spirit staff

While waiting for paperwork to be processed to allow their return to missionary service in Guatemala, Majors Donald and Jean Wilson hit upon a meaningful appointment that they say they'll never forget.

Assigned as Salvation Army representatives with the Interfaith Airport Chaplaincy at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the Wilsons experienced a broad spectrum of service to travelers, concerned families and particularly to U.S. military personnel leaving for and returning from duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"We've made ourselves available to help in any way: from something simple like praying with a nervous passenger or giving directions to a proper gate or concourse, to much more complex issues like counseling grieving families during the recent plane crash in Lexington (Kentucky)," said Major Jean Wilson.

Airport chaplains also help reunite children who wandered away from parents. Among the most meaningful, the Wilsons agree, is their ministry to military troops.

"We tell them how much we appreciate their service to our country, and assure them of our prayers on their behalf," she said. During the Christmas season, the Wilsons distributed candy to the troops, and Christmas cards with personal messages written by members of the Jonesboro, Ga., Corps.

The Chaplaincy includes members of various denominations and faiths, including a Jewish rabbi and a Muslim imam. The concept for the chaplain service is based on a model in place for over 30 years at London's Heathrow Airport, where several Salvationists are also assigned. About 50,000 passengers use the Atlanta airport daily.

The Atlanta chaplaincy director took note of the London model and wanted Salvationists assigned to Hartsfield-Jackson. The director telephoned Lt. Colonel Donald Faulkner at THQ and requested that officers be assigned.

"The (Salvation Army) uniform is easily recognized and easily leads us to provide pastoral care, counseling, and one-on-one evangelism," said Major Donald Wilson.

While proselytizing is not allowed, chaplains are able to share their faith once the door is opened by the person seeking a chaplain's help. While the chaplaincy service is not as much for evangelism; it is more of "a presence and encouragement" for those in need of helpful and prayerful support, he said.


Director of development

Houston Area Command


The director of development will be responsible for researching, studying, identifying, and cultivating financial support and funding from foundations, corporate contributions and major individual donors; researching and applying for foundation and government grants, including the compilation of statistics and required information to prepare a complete proposal package in compliance with strict timelines; building and maintaining a database of funding resources and donor information; planning and administering an annual development budget; planning and coordinating special events and fund-raisers; performing public speaking to promote awareness and financial support for Salvation Army programs. Requirements: bachelor's degree and a minimum of 10 years in development-related field as well as experience as director of development. Salary is negotiable according to experience.Vehicle provided.


Send resume to:

Major Marshall Gesner

1500 Austin Street

Houston, TX 77002


Director of development

Daytona Beach, Fla.

Plans, implements and monitors an aggressive direct fund-raising program targeting greater Volusia and Flagler counties. Secures funding for Salvation Army programs through a variety of financial development vehicles including individual gifts and individual donor upgrading, corporate gifts and sponsorships, foundation support for specific programs and projects, government grants and major donor special events. Plans and coordinates public relations activities to create greater community awareness of The Salvation Army and its programs. Qualifications: bachelor's degree in business administration, marketing or a related field, and at least two years of experience working in fund raising, marketing or a related field. Salary negotiable. Interested applicants may contact/send resume to:


The Salvation Army

Attention: Major Mark Harwell

1555 LPGA Blvd.

Daytona Beach, FL 32117


Information technology systems specialist

Dallas, Texas


The Salvation Army seeks an experienced professional to serve as a technical resource to the IT manager by working to ensure that the Dallas Metroplex Command business process and systems (computers, printers, copiers, telephones, cameras, etc.) are supported by the appropriate information technology systems and that these systems and processes are fully integrated and aligned in support of daily operations and department needs. Must have W/MS SQL and Crystal Reports Developer experience or familiar with Crystal Reports. Associates degree from an accredited college or university in business, computer science or related field, and three (3) years of varied work responsibilities in an information technology department. Must have a valid Texas driver's license. Submit resume and salary requirement to Randy Coleman: Fax 214.678.0379. E-mail No phone calls please.





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