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March 22, 2018

A Mobilizing Miracle

Craigieburn Corps in Victoria, Australia, experienced a miracle that has enabled them to mobilize like never before!

In 2015 and 2016 we, at the Craigieburn Corps, Victoria, Australia, had a dream. We wanted to have a food van to take out on the streets. As many of you would appreciate, we didn’t have spare money to purchase a new vehicle for street ministry! So we prayed. Within the whirlwind of Salvation Army ministry, I remember distinctly that at random times some of our ministry leaders would look at each other and say, “I really want God to bless us with a new food van.”

But nothing happened. Two years. Nothing.

At the start of 2017, I felt the Holy Spirit prompt me with words like, “If you really want a food van, why don’t you actually start looking for one.”  Fair comment, Lord.  Thank you for that.

So, my wife, Captain Jo Brookshaw, and I started to look online for a food van. $60,000AUD. Our hearts sank. How could we ever afford that? Then we found a picture of a caravan online. It was nearby, so we jumped in the car and went for a drive. We found the caravan on the side of the road. The pictures looked promising. Yes, promising, until we actually saw the caravan in front of our very eyes. It was a disaster.

We left with our hearts sinking. We found ourselves saying, “But God, you said we should look for a food van!”

We found out a local corps had a trailer we could have. “Yes, maybe this is it Lord!” The trailer was rusted and still in one piece but far from what we were dreaming about for the last two years. Our hearts sunk again and we lifted up another prayer, asking the Lord to provide.

Now, one of our newest soldiers of the Craigieburn Corps, the wonderful 72-year-old Di, was coordinating our weekly community lunch. She was helping a gentleman who was unemployed, week in, week out, by providing meals from our lunch. As she would deliver the meals to the man, Di would speak occasionally of the vision we had for a food van.

You’ll never guess what happened next. The man found a job at a factory where they make the chassis for caravans and trailers (the bottom part of the vehicle). He shared with the owners about The Salvation Army’s vision to have a food van to go out onto the local streets and bring hope into people’s lives.

They looked at him and said, “We’ll build it.”

“I’m sorry, come again? You’ll build it?”

“Yes."

That one conversation took us on an absolute rollercoaster of excitement in 2017, as this local business pursued the building (from scratch) of a food van, to later gift to The Salvation Army in late 2017.

I’m convinced that God has a unique calling for The Salvation Army, that is different to the calling other communities of faith have. The Salvation Army flourishes when it stays true to the purposes for which God raised up this movement.  

We are not called to ask people to come, but to be mobilized to go. We are called to go to the marginalized, the sick and hurting and the lost poor soul upon the streets. We must go. 

By Captain Peter Brookshaw — Australian Territory — www.petebrookshaw.com

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