Kate Geddes (23) has a heart for young people and their potential as ‘fierce warriors’ for God’s Kingdom.
I grew up in a Salvation Army family, and it’s been a really cool experience. I always knew that God was real, loving and wanted a relationship with me. I remember giving my life to Jesus when I was seven, one night after having devotions with my mum.
At 14, I went to my first Easter Camp and the preacher said that if we wanted to receive the fire of the Holy Spirit to come up the front, so I went forward for prayer. At that moment, I felt this sense of joy and excitement I’d never had before. Jesus really became real to me then.
From then on, I’ve just continued learning more about God and growing in my faith. I have a saying, ‘When the going gets tough, rely on God.’ Just because you’re a Christian, doesn’t mean life is easy. I had a really hard time when my grandma died suddenly. It was hard losing someone that close to me; I don’t know how people get through things like that without God.
We often talk about the cost of following Jesus, and there is a cost. But it’s also fun. It’s exciting and I enjoy following Jesus. The rewards far outweigh the costs.
I think there comes a time in every teenager’s life when they question their identity. When I was at university, it was easy to get my identity in what I was doing, not who I was. It was about what subjects I was studying and my identity as a student. But God loves me just for who I am. I now know that I’m a daughter of the Highest King, and that God has a plan for me. Following Jesus encourages me to be okay with who I am. I don’t need to worry about the future because God has a handle on my life.
I’ve always had a heart for children and young people. My role in the territorial children’s and youth departments gives me the opportunity to encourage children and young people to reach their potential and fi nd their identity in Christ. They hold so much potential and need to be encouraged and given opportunities. They are worthy and fi erce warriors for the Kingdom of God.
The best thing about my job is being able to pray with young people and seeing them encounter Jesus. If just one person comes into the Kingdom of God as a result of what we do, then I would do it all again—just to make sure that one person knows Jesus.
I really believe in what The Salvation Army stands for. It puts together the two things I love doing: helping people and teaching people about Jesus. I love that the mission of The Salvation Army is for the last, the least and the lost. It’s family. It’s like that Lilo and Stitch quote about family: ‘Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.’
I just can’t wait to find out where God will lead me next. It’s all about trusting him and continuing to learn what his voice sounds like in my life.
Salvation Army Youth Online | www.firezone.co.nz
by Kate Geddes (c) 'War Cry' magazine, 25 February 2017, pp11
You can read 'War Cry' at your nearest Salvation Army church or centre, or subscribe through Salvationist Resources.