It was back in 1999 when I was in India that God called me to full-time ministry.
I was admitted to a Bachelor of Divinity programme at the Union Biblical Seminary in India. During this intensive four-year residential course, God helped me to understand and confirm my call to serve him.
I discovered my passion to preach the Word of God and to reach out to people who are struggling in the darkness of the world outside the church.
I was married to my beautiful wife in 2006 and ordained as a minister in 2007. In 2009, God led us to New Zealand. The first thing that came to our minds after arriving was not finding good jobs but finding a good church with strong biblically-based doctrines.
We visited different churches in Auckland on every Sunday for nearly two months. Every time we came home, we prayed and asked God to show us if that was the church for us. One Sunday we landed at The Salvation Army Glenfield Corps in Auckland. We felt comfortable, but did not think that we would make The Salvation Army our home.
Because the officers (ministers) weren’t there on the first Sunday we visited, we returned the following Sunday. Majors Paul and Steph Herring invited us for tea that afternoon and explained about The Salvation Army and its beliefs.
One of the many things that touched me was that The Salvation Army was not only a strong faith-based community, but it also had means to reach out to the people in the community through its Community Ministries work.
Jessica and I prayerfully decided to make The Salvation Army our church home. Through ministry in the church in different capacities, God further confirmed my calling to become an officer. I prayerfully discussed this with my wife, and then with our officers. It was wonderful to hear from my wife that she felt the same!
My first encounter with God in terms of my calling for officership happened in 2009 when I attended a Salvation Army event at the North Shore in Auckland.
I vividly remember that after a musical skit on Moses there was an invitation about ‘Following the Call’ and applying to become Salvation Army officers. I strongly felt the presence of God prompting me to say ‘yes’ to that call. I was overwhelmed by the presence of God.
In 2011, Ameet and I attended a ‘Delve’ weekend for those thinking about officership. During one of the sessions, we were asked to take time and seek God for confirmation. God spoke to me through Isaiah 61:1–6, especially verse six: ‘But ye shall be named the priests of the Lord; men shall call you the ministers of our God’.
Despite God speaking so loudly, I still had a list of ‘ifs and buts’ before I would say ‘yes’. Finally, in September 2012, I felt 100 per cent certain that Ameet and I should apply.
Ameet and I praise God for confirming his calling and look forward to serving as vessels in God’s hand, to be used for his glory as officers in The Salvation Army.
By Ameet & Jessica Londhe (abridged from War Cry, 26 January 2013, p9)