Dispatches

Dave West, Winner of the "War Cry" Survey Contest, is a Dedicated Soldier

At the age of 81, he reflects on more than 60 years of soldiership and service.

Meet Dave West, the winner of our April 3 iPad Drawing, one of more than 600 individuals who entered the "War Cry" contest by completing a readership survey . His story as a soldier of The Salvation Army and servant of the Lord is truly heartwarming. At the age of 81, he reflects on more than 60 years of soldiership and service. He was born in Reno, Nevada to parents who were officers of The Salvation Army. And for that reason, he describes himself as having been born into The Salvation Army, as well as having been brought up by it. He currently is a soldier at the Ray and Joann Kroc Corps Community Center and leads the Men's Ministries Fellowship.

In addition to his roles in the corps, he furthers the mission of the War Cry wherever he goes, sharing copies with neighbors, community centers and at outreach events.

"...Anything to fulfill the mission," Mr. West said.

Furthermore, he has contributed his own writing to the War Cry in the past, and relates how he met the Army in an article appearing in the April 28, 2012 issue. Here is an excerpt:

At the age of two I came down with a handicap that affected my whole body. I couldn't walk or speak plainly enough for people to understand my words.

Often during my growing years I cursed God for my handicap. I would ask myself, "Why did this have to happen to me? What's the use of me being alive?" Then one day I retreated to my room and considered that perhaps God had allowed this handicap for a reason. "Maybe," I thought, "I can show others what wonderful miracles God can perform through a person who is handicapped."

I was 16 when I took my first step toward making a decision for Jesus Christ. I was at the Salvation Army corps in Denver where dad was the corps officer.

Today I am walking with God and loving it. As the song says, "Jesus is real to me. I never will doubt Him nor journey without Him, for He is so real to me." God's hand has been on my life since I was born. Event when I first became ill, He was watching over me.

I began playing different brass horns when I was seven years old. I liked the tuba best. I also visited prisons to minister to inmates, something I have continued for 30 years. I taught an adult Sunday School class with my wife Dee, and kept teaching until the age of 72.

The longer I was obedient to God, the more faith He gave me. He will do the same for you, if you'll but trust and obey Him. "The wounds of Christ are open, sinner, they were mad for you." Come, for today is the day of salvation!

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