Growing up I went to church with my grandmother. As I got older, though, I stepped away from church completely. I wanted nothing to do with God and became a non-believer. Ten years ago I decided to join the music programs at my home corps Philadelphia Citadel. Through the ministry of music and, more importantly, fellowship, I found the love of Jesus. Four years ago I decided to move toward the calling God placed on my life to become a Salvation Army Officer. I moved far away from my family to Western Pennsylvania to work at the Aliquippa Corps. The lessons I learned and the family I gained during my time there showed me that God is always with me. As I look forward to starting my life of officership, I am reminded of the words found in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” I’m excited to see how God will use me in this season.
My name is Jennifer Pizzirusso and I am a Reflector of Holiness (2nd-year Cadet) at the College for Officer Training in Suffern, NY. I grew up in Milford, PA, attending the Port Jervis, NY Corps in the GNY Division. I served as a translator and secretary for The Salvation Army South America East Territory from 2014-2019. During this time, I married my husband, Elias, who is from Argentina. We entered CFOT from the Brooklyn Bedford Temple Corps.
Philippians 1:6 (NIV) says, “being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” When I accepted Jesus as my Savior at 13 years old, my Corps Officer read me this verse which has always reassured me that God is not done with me yet! I look forward to being commissioned as a Salvation Army officer to continue teaching God’s Word, especially to children and ministering to those of other cultures and languages.
I thank God for each Corps family that has been part of my journey: Port Jervis, NY; Oak Brook Terrace, IL; Patricios, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Brooklyn Bedford, NY; Trenton, NJ; and Poughkeepsie, NY.
My name is Shinil Kim. I am a 2nd year Cadet at The College for Officer Training. I have a wife, an 11-year-old son and a 4-year-old daughter. I am from the Philadelphia Korean Corps. I want to practice a missional life along with ministry according to God. As an incarnation, Jesus came into people’s context, understood them, and engaged with them. I also want to follow Jesus, share the gospel and love with humility in the place where God has called me.
My favorite scripture reference is Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” This verse is the word of promise given by God as I prayed while preparing for the CFOT. I hope to live with trust in God, not my understanding in the chaos of life.
I thank my corps family and Pendel Division family for praying for my family. Also, I am grateful to CFOT’s officers who serve as good models in various ways, and to my session mates who encourage and pray as we go through the training journey together.
As I think back to the dysfunctional life I had before Christ, I am reminded of:
A Dark house filled with trash and clothes everywhere, little critters running around as if they are part of the family.
A wrenching refrigerator with mold growing out.
Rooms filled with screaming and hitting, covering my ears to silence the noise.
Multiple people running in and out, taking what they want from the little girl sitting in the corner. Her innocence was stolen time after time, leaving a pile of shame and hurt.
A pile that was swept under the chaos that filled the house.
The streets became my way of life
I talk the talk; I walk the walk just to survive
Shame and hurt led the way
Years of searching for some type of light… a way out.
I found freedom
I found Christ. He pulled me out of the chaos and gave me his peace.
His peace took away the hurt and the shame
Christ gave me light
He brightened my life with His love
His love gave me new life
His love gave my life a future
A future of hope to live.
Hello! I am Cadet Kristal Vázquez, and I am a second-year cadet at the CFOT. I am from Puerto Rico and was born and raised there. I learned English at the age of thirteen and met God in 2017 after Hurricane Maria. God has transformed me into the daughter, servant, wife, and leader that I am today. God has continually worked in my life and in my transformation. He has sent people who love Him to help guide me in everything I do for Him. I am so grateful to my PRVI Division, the Corps, and the beautiful congregations for all the care packages filled with prayer letters, first necessity items, and THE COFFEE!!!. It has been such a blessing for my husband and me through our time of training. I am looking forward in the future to continuing the work that God has already started in the place He has for us as we arrive at our first appointment. Psalm 46:10 NIV 10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” May the Lord continue to Bless you.