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Not my own effort

Mereani Betena
Posted January 23, 2019

Accepted candidate Mereani Betena says she used to be a ‘Christian who was living without Christ’ but today she’s committed to living for God as a Salvation Army officer.

I was brought up in a single parent family and I heard these powerful names ‘God’, ‘Jesus Christ’ and ‘Holy Spirit’ from a very young age. But having that vital connection with them was quite far away from my own understanding.

The kind of life that I lived before Christ was filled with worries and confusion about what my future would hold. I was nurtured by a single parent, my mother, and this left me living without peace, fearing what would happen if she was no longer with me.

While struggling and wrestling with my own problems, I came up with an idea just to pray, read God’s word and hopefully find a solution for it. But little did I know that God already had
a plan for me.  

I was given social assistance from one of the corps officers and they invited me to attend their youth programmes. This led me to hear God’s call in my life to become an officer. At first, I rejected it because I wasn’t sure whether it was really from God. I felt his confirmation again, from his word that says in John 15:16, ‘You did not choose me but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit’. I also had strong support and words of wisdom and encouragement from the officers and salvationists, which uplifted my spirit to make a wise decision and humbly obey God’s calling.

So, in 2012, at the age of 22, I completely surrendered my whole life to Christ and received him as my Lord and Saviour.

Life in Christ is so wonderful and exciting, and on top of that, my faith strongly increased as I faced difficult challenges. So, I began and continued to value my relationship with Christ, with the help of God and the Holy Spirit.

I was encouraged to apply for the officer’s training at once, but it was not successful, and after five years I was told to apply again. This time I had complete hope in Christ that my application would be successful. I never gave up, because I knew that God’s call on my life wasn’t the result of my own effort, it was by his grace. So I continue to press on and believe that when he calls, he will equip.

I know that being accepted as a single candidate is going to be challenging, but I am willing to face those challenges because I believe that God is with me, that I am in Christ, and with the help of his Spirit I can use those challenges as a living testimony to others. I am looking forward to my journey with the Lord during these two years of training and in the future to come. Vinaka.


By Mereani Betena (c) 'War Cry' magazine, 12 January 2019 p11. You can read 'War Cry' at your nearest Salvation Army church or centre, or subscribe through Salvationist Resources.