Rachel Knight was commissioned as an officer of The Salvation Army on 4 December. Here, she shares one of her experiences that defined her transforming journey at the School for Officer Training where she trained for two years from 2015 to 2016 as a cadet of the Joyful Intercessors session.
After spending the last two years at the School for Officer Training, I feel like my heart, mind and soul are overflowing. Reflecting on my time at college, I have nothing but gratitude for the staff who plan a varied and holistic training program to train and prepare me for ministry and have remained available to guide me through the process.
Though it is impossible to do justice to all the learning experiences I’ve had, one in particular is etched in my memory.
During the second year of college, we spent a week doing STUMP at Streetlevel, which is a week-long program designed to introduce people to what God is doing among the homeless and disadvantaged population of Surry Hills. I entered the week begrudgingly, knowing I already possessed a social work degree and had experienced all that Streetlevel had to offer in previous employment. I entered the week believing that I knew it all and would learn nothing new. How arrogant of me.
On my first morning, I served coffee in the foyer. Most people asked for at least four spoonfuls of sugar and milo was served with a little milk. I was serenaded by a man with a violin who had spent the previous night busking. I had lunch with a man who had a broken leg that he insisted did not need medical attention. Then had dinner with a woman who looked like a John but presented herself as Janine. And I couldn’t help but join in when spontaneous dancing and the sound of Bon Jovi rang throughout the building. This was just day 1.
The rest of the week was filled with experiences just like this – it felt like being invited into the most real and raw family I’d ever been part of. Raw in a good way. People brought their whole self into this family - who they are, their life experiences, their joys and their vulnerabilities. And as they brought themselves, I found myself doing the same. I realised that though my life often looks neat and tidy, the reality is that I’m a broken human being. My brokenness may be a little harder to see, but it’s broken all the same. And what freedom I experienced in a family where you can bring all that you are, including your shortcomings and experience acceptance and belonging.
But in fact that’s what we’re part of really isn’t it? The family of God is not made up of perfect people, just broken ones seeking wholeness and restoration.
My journey in the last two years at the School for Officer Training has been filled with experiences just like this that have been transforming my heart and mind.
Ben and Rachel Knight from the Joyful Intersessors session were commissioned on 4 December 2016 and will take up their first appointment as Corps Officers at Batemans Bay Corps.