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Relevents: Major Ronald Foreman

relevents_1Major Ronald Foreman, divisional commander of the Empire State Division, talks about sports ministry, the Salvation Army’s work with immigrants, and carrying the torch for the Winter Olympics.

I enjoy ministering through sports. It’s a subtle way to introduce the Word of God to people. When they approach me during or after a game and ask, “There’s something different about you. What is it?” —that’s a perfect time to tell them about my relationship with Christ. Sports give you opportunity to be casual. When you’re there for some friendly competition and exercise, people tend to be relaxed and open. There’s a lot of humanity in sports. One can get angry or frustrated during a game, and that’s ok. We can be ourselves, yet still have a powerful relationship with the Lord.

When I was younger, my officer parents held a variety of ministry appointments. Among them was being corps officers in the predominately African–American community of West Philadelphia. In elementary school, my siblings and I were the only Caucasian students. Our parent’s next appointment was on the South’s Mason-Dixie line where the demographics were the complete opposite. Exposure to such diversity has served me well. Today, as an officer, I find myself completely comfortable wherever the Army chooses to send me. Whether it is the inner city or the countryside, I’m happy to be a witness for Christ.

relevents_2One of my roles was helping immigrants who were cadets at the College for Officer Training (CFOT).  In college, I had studied social work and law. I used these skills to help about 30 cadets get their visas to come to the US for training and thus follow their calling to officership. They received religious worker visas, student visas, and, in a few cases, green cards.

During the 2001 Winter Olympics, I had the honor of being a torchbearer. An executive of John Hancock Financial, a Boston insurance company (she also sat on our local Salvation Army board), called me and asked if I would carry the flame 3/10 tenths of a mile between Providence, R.I., to Boston. A month earlier and shortly after 9/11, she had called, saying her company had supplies and wanted to send them to New York to help responders, but had no way of moving the items. The Army gathered 18 tractor–trailers full of supplies and sent them to Ground Zero.

On December 26th, I started running. People cheered me on. The adrenaline rush had made me sprint halfway through my path. I said to myself, I need to slow down and enjoy this!

The philosopher Edmund Burke once said, all it takes for evil to flourish in the world is for good men to do nothing. The ministry of my wife, Major Dorine Foreman, and me has been devoted to helping in any way we can. You want to motivate me to work? Simply tell me how and where I can give someone a hand. I want to be one good man who actually does something.

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