Congratulations to Chris and Alanah Moody, who have been accepted as candidates for officer training in 2020. They speak about their faith journey so far …
Chris: My first encounter with God was when I was eight, at the Kelvin Grove Corps. My faith has had its ups and downs, as we all do, but God just keeps showing up at the right time. When he comes through on the other side, it’s brilliant.
I am an officer’s kid; I was born in Wellington, then we shifted around. I met Alanah when I was nine years old in Palmerston North. We went to school together and have been friends for a long time. We got distant for a few years when I moved away to Hawke’s Bay, but then we started talking on the phone. When Mum and Dad went to Christchurch, I moved back to Palmerston North.
Alanah and I both received calls to ministry at Easter camp, but officership had always been in the back of my mind after watching Mum and Dad do it. It was something I tried to not do for a while, but God pulls you in the direction he wants you to go. One of the big catalysts for Alanah and I, was we both found our lives getting in the way of our ministry time, so what better than to go into full-time ministry?
I’m passionate about everything in corps life. We’re involved with youth group, recovery church, and helping out wherever we can lend a hand. I feel really privileged to be able to speak to young people. The kids come from a lot of different backgrounds and life journeys, yet when we gather, we are all the same people. I see God through that. And seeing older generations of salvationists who are moved by God constantly—that’s awesome.
Alanah: My favourite verse is Isaiah 41:10, ‘So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand’. That’s the one I hold onto when things are hard, or I don’t understand.
God fills in our gaps that we can’t fill in ourselves. Coming from a non-Christian background and being able to rely on God to fill in those gaps is huge.
I grew up in Christchurch. When I was nine, our family moved to Palmerston North, which is where I went through school and uni, met Chris and got married. When Chris moved back to Palmerston North and we started to date, I went along to a church service with him and never left. I became a Christian after my first Easter camp a couple of months later. I had never gone to a Christian event before, and there was just so much of God there. Speaking to, hearing from, and being around other Christians—that really impacted me.
Working with young people is so important to me. I can speak into them when they’re in non-Christian homes, because I can relate to them, and I feel like the impact is beneficial for them. If I had been surrounded by the type of people I have around me now when I was a teenager, my life could have been so different.
For me, The Salvation Army is the people within it. Some people I know are going thirty minutes down the road to make a connection there, but then also putting in the effort at their corps.
For me, that’s what’s going to build and sustain the future army: people going outside of their comfort zone and routine to get to people.