Lieutenants Luie and Lesley Colon | Newark Westside, N.J., Corps

by Hugo Bravo

Lieutenant Luie Colon
“My proudest accomplishment as an officer was being on the frontlines as we watched our first Christmas campaign at the Newark, N.J., Westside Corps. We had toys for 80 children from our basketball program. It was great to see their faces light up. I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to do it again this year at our new gym. I want our community to see that all this is here for them.”

“To prepare my sermons, I first look at the lectionary. But then I pray and meditate to see if this is the right way to go. We have a unique congregation, and every week can be different. I try to stay close to the lectionary, but sometimes the Holy Spirit can lead us in a different direction of what to say.”

“Lieutenant Lesley and I have been part of many corps in our lives. She has her strengths and I have mine. At every Salvation Army ministry where we’ve served together as a married couple, we’ve focused on what has worked in the past, what did not, and how we can adapt to our new home. I have been very fortunate to have her as a partner.”

Lieutenant Lesley Colon

“It’s so important and beneficial for me to find time to settle in prayer and devotion to Him, because I need to be sure that I’m right with God before I do anything for people. My devotional time is best in the mornings when everything feels quiet and still. Those are for my own personal devotions, but I also have a group of women that I meet with virtually. We share our thoughts on Scripture and our own devotions. Those two types of time with God are helpful because they keep me accountable.”

“I felt called to officership when I was 13 years old. I knew that being called at such a young age meant that there was still so much growth needed before I ever stepped into a role of pastor. The growth came from education; I went to school for youth pastoring, and that path led me back to The Salvation Army and the College for Officer Training. My personal strengths have also been developed in new passions and interests. Exercising and even just doing walks have become a new way for me to connect with God.”

“Though we have only been with our Newark congregation for a short time, we can really feel the support from them. I know that they pray for us, and it’s a blessing and an honor to be here for them. There are times that I feel unequipped for the role, but I know that God places us for His purpose and plans, and we’re grateful that He is telling us it’s our season to be here.