Scott and Aimee Noakes have been accepted for training at Booth College of Mission. They share their journey from officers’ kids, but discovering the officership calling for themselves.
Scott: I have been told my whole life that I would become an offi cer. It’s what happens when you’re an officer’s kid. But there is more to the story— when I was born, the doctor (who was a Christian) told my parents that I would be a preacher and a pastor. My mother, Vyvyenne Noakes, has always wholeheartedly believed this and encouraged me throughout my life.
I enjoyed being an officer’s kid. I was heavily into rugby and sports, and my mates were all heavy drinkers. But I always had that foundational faith— I got pride in knowing who I was and not giving into temptation, and I got respect for that as well.
But it wasn’t until I was 16 that my faith became very real and personal. I was at a camp, and during one of the meetings I just had the realisation that I was a sinner and needed Jesus. I didn’t understand it at the time, but that was my salvation moment.
Aimee and I met when we were still teenagers. We were both studying at Praxis—a Christian organisation that trains youth workers. We didn’t think much of each other to start with, but we developed our friendship throughout the year. We have been married for eight years, and have three young children.
We both currently work for Hutt City Corps—I’m the youth coordinator and Aimee is the children’s worker. About six years ago, I came to the realisation that we were called to The Salvation Army and full-time ministry. For me, the next logical step was officership. But Aimee was very anti, so I had to wait and see what God would do …
Aimee: All my life, I resisted the idea that I would become an offi cer. My parents, Denise and Stephen Crump, were offi cers. I found moving around really hard. I had an extremely loving family, but we lived in 20 different houses, in nine diff erent towns.
My early teenage years were spent at a small high school in Australia, where everyone knew each other. Then my parents were appointed to South Auckland—it was such a culture shock. Many times, my parents sat in the car with me while I cried, not wanting to go to school.
When I was 16, someone prayed for me at church, and in that moment I had a very clear call to full-time ministry in the church. I became a youth worker, and started dating Scott—we had a long-distance relationship. He was in Wellington, and I moved to Tauranga with my parents, where I had an internship at the church.
But after six weeks I decided to pack it in and move to Wellington. As stupid as that was, I believe it was a real God thing, because within a day of moving I already had a job offer. I was also offered a place at the girls’ home, part of 614 Corps. We got married when I was 22, and a week later moved to Palmerston North to be youth pastors at the corps. Five weeks later, we became pregnant. It was a very difficult time and we drove each other crazy … but in the best possible way, because it was the making of us.
I never thought that I would become an officer, but through the encouragement of others, I came to realise that we love The Salvation Army, we love the people in it, we love God, and we want to serve him in this way.
by Scott & Aimee Noakes(c) 'War Cry' magazine, 14 July 2018, p11 - You can read 'War Cry' at your nearest Salvation Army church or centre, or subscribe through Salvationist Resources.