Evangelism explosion in south-west Sydney
By LAUREN MARTIN
Eleven new soldiers have been sworn in at Canterbury Salvos in south-west Sydney following an increase in evangelism by corps members.
Over the past three years, 35 members of Bankstown, Burwood, Campsie and Hurstville Corps have been trained to share the gospel through a program called Evangelism Explosion. As a result, 75 people committed their life to Christ, and more than half of those people began attending a Salvation Army corps.
One of those was Ou, who was recently enrolled as a Salvation Army soldier at a Canterbury Salvos enrolment ceremony in Bankstown on 19 March 2023. Ou said that while she considered herself a Christian for a number of years, she formally became a Christian in 2021 when an Evangelism Explosion outreach group shared the gospel with her.
“From 2021 to 2022, she joined our online discipling group for 40 weeks,” said Bankstown Corps Officer Captain Frank Wang, “She then became a trainee in Evangelism Explosion 2022 training.”
Ou said during the Evangelism Explosion course, she grew deeper in her spiritual life and personal relationship with God. “It also helped me to learn how to share the gospel.”
Whilst volunteering for the Red Shield Appeal last year, she felt called to become a Salvation Army soldier. “I witnessed the trust, respect and appreciation from the wider community, which caused me to want to become a soldier in The Salvation Army.”
Now, she’s on fire for Christ, actively participating in discipleship huddles, church fellowships and serving in church ministries. “I intentionally share the gospel by being a witness for Jesus, helping others to know Jesus through the knowledge and experienced I gained in EE [Evangelism Explosion] training,” she said.
Also sworn in as a soldier was Pamela, who arrived in Australia from Lebanon in June last year. A talented singer and poet fluent in three languages, Pamela had been helping at the Bankstown Corps’ Doorways ministry when she decided to explore soldiership.
During the Soldiership ceremony, she shared the following poem:
New Beginnings 4/1/2023
Cycles dusking, new ones dawning
Journeys closing, new world calling
Bells are ringing, angels singing
Time for healing and forgiving
Release the old, embrace the new
Heaven’s got it all planned for you
The eye in the sky is watching
Battling, breaking and matching
Your pain will soon turn to blessing
There’s no more worrying or stressing
Your losses will turn to winnings
Endings are bur new beginnings
During the ceremony, 11 new soldiers were sworn in, 10 from Bankstown Corps and one from Campsie Corps.