2 Testimonies: A Look Back on the 2017 Holiness Institute
A Reflection by Celeste Pagan
Looking back on this weekend’s privilege to attend the Salvation Army’s Holiness Institute for Soldiers, it was a time of spiritual cleansing for me.
One moment during this weekend’s institute spoke to me and reminded me in a much clearer picture that God has called me to do such a greater task in this world. It also reminded me of where I came from and how my life story might impact others that I come across in life.
This one particular moment when all this took the small groups time. Throughout our time with each other, the questions made me think back to some of the darkest moments of my life. My grandparents, who were very God-like people, came all the way from Maine to the college I was attending to speak with me about the poor choices I was making as a senior soldier. I was just getting out of a relationship and I had fallen into depression. I was drinking my sorrows and pain away and forgetting about the plan that God had in mind for me.
Being able to speak to others within my group about this one particular dark time in my life really opened my eyes and reminded me that I must live according to his word to live a holy, sanctified life. It also reminded me I am never alone in any situation and that I have God to look towards whenever I feel defeated and alone.
I am blessed beyond measure to have had the privilege of attending the Institute. Now I continue that mission to be an example to others about how to live holy in God’s kingdom. I am ready to impact the world and spread the good news to others about what our Lord Jesus Christ has done in my life through all the things I have witnessed throughout my life so far. This scripture goes along with my testimony, “So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.” (Colossians 3:1-4, NIV)
To God be the Glory!!
A Reflection by Nereus Mogaria
I want to thank God for the great opportunity and the privilege of attending the Territorial Holiness Institute for Soldiers this year. The Holiness Institute is known for bringing a significant opportunity to nurture and empower Salvationists for the life of holiness. That was unquestionably experienced during the different sessions for every attendee.
The different sessions really pointed out how to be holy and how to live a holy life with Christ. The theme for this year was “…On Things Above” (Colossians 3:1-4). It was evident that much effort and many prayers were put into the event to help each attendee be awakened and enriched in our souls to fulfill God’s will in our lives in our different ministerial fields in The Salvation Army.
This was very important to me because I will be entering in 2018 the College of Officer Training. In answering this call to be a Salvation Army officer, and to fulfill God’s will and purpose in my life, I have been seeking God daily to live a holy and pure life. The Institute really enabled me to grow in this, reminding me that I am meant to be holy and set apart for God’s purpose and His kingdom.
I would highly recommend the institute to anyone who is seeking how to be set apart for the works of the Lord. One quote that was discussed at the Institute that really moved me was by Commissioner Samuel Logan Brengle, “It is impossible for us to walk like Him, to live like Him, unless we have a heart like Him.” This stuck out to me because it reminded me that in order to be holy, to be set apart for God, we have to first surrender our lives and repent to have a heart like Him. Once fully surrendered and having an attitude of obedience and with the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit, we can walk and live like Him. This is not a one day process, it is a daily walk and fine-tuning on how to better yourself for God’s will. If you are looking for a deeper experience with holy living on your spiritual journey, I would encourage you to join the next session in 2019. The institute will give you a great experience on living a holy life and is useful for all ages. I highly recommend it to any who are willing to seek God and to gain experience on how to be set apart for God’s will and purpose for your life.