Magazine

Finding hope in God again

Cadet Lilybeth Ciriaco enjoys the company of Cadets Melanie Ortiz and Jonathan Quatela.

Cadet Lilybeth Ciriaco enjoys the company of Cadets Melanie Ortiz and Jonathan Quatela.

This year, my summer assignment in Costa Rica reminded me of why I do what I do. The experience challenged me, motivated me, and reassured me of my calling to be a Salvation Army officer.

When I realized that I would share this assignment with cadets Melanie Ortiz and Jonathan Quatela, my sessionmates, I was excited. I had been to Costa Rica twice already, once in 2011 as leader of a Hands On Missions Team and in 2013 as a member of Greater New York Division’s youth chorus.
Although I was familiar with some of the places on our schedule, this ministry assignment was different from my previous visits. Through this trip, I developed a new love and passion for evangelism. People in the Latin America North Territory are passionate about evangelism; they want every soul won for Christ and will do everything it takes to make that happen.

Lilybeth fellowships with Salvationists in Costa Rica.

Lilybeth fellowships with Salvationists in Costa Rica.

During a two-week evangelistic campaign in the city of Nicoya, I met a woman named Carmen. I spoke to her and found out that she had attended the local corps, but after the death of her husband, and then seven months later, the tragic death of her only son, she stopped attending the corps and lost hope in God. Throughout my time there, I visited her and invited her to every activity. I got to know her story.

Eventually, it was time for me to head back to San José. The thought of saying “goodbye” to Carmen broke my heart. On my final Sunday in Nicoya, she came to me to say goodbye. As tears filled her eyes, she said to me, “God sent you here for me! And because of you, I now have hope in God again.”
I cried with her.

This summer, I was blessed beyond words. I now feel more excited and ready than I have ever been for the ministry that God has called me to do.

by Cadet Lily Beth Ciriaco

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