God’s people helped move me toward service

By: Lieutenant Allen Adkins

People play important roles in our lives, sometimes in extraordinary ways, and sometimes in more ordinary ways, but important nonetheless.

Certain people have played important roles in my life, such as the church van driver who faithfully picked me up for church through my early teens. During my 20s when God was pulling me into a deeper relationship with him, I was searching for answers about life. A pastor would take me for long drives through the hills of West Virginia while talking about things like suffering, sin and God’s love and grace. Around the same time at the fire department where I worked, a deputy chief that I highly respected regularly warned me and others to be careful. “Sin will take you farther than you ever wanted to go, and keep you longer than you ever wanted to stay,” he told us.

And there was the Salvation Army officer who befriended me through a canteen ministry to the fire department and began asking me to volunteer for this and that at the corps during a time my wife and I were looking for something more in our Christian service, perhaps possibly as missionaries, we thought (and still do). During that time, we learned about the mission of The Salvation Army; then subsequently over the coming years, we experienced God’s call to serve him as Salvation Army officers.

Not many people may know this, but my wife, Lieutenant Trish Adkins, felt called into mission as well. Her purpose in returning to college later in life to get her English teaching degree was to prepare for the possibility of serving as a missionary teaching English as a second language.

God has used people and circumstances in calling us into his service as Salvation Army officers. While we were working through the application process for training in 2012, we had a hurdle to overcome. The housing market and lending market were still struggling with the recent market crash. We asked God to help us sell our house to show us if he was calling Trish and I to enter officer training.

We listed our house we had lived in for almost 20 years on a Thursday evening. The next day before noon, our Realtor called me at work and said, “You’re not going to believe this, but your house is under contract for the asking price, and they wanted to know how soon they could move in.” I immediately called my wife and told her the news. We had not been officially accepted as cadets yet, but I told her God answered our prayers, so we better start packing for Atlanta.

God has put people in my life, just like he does in your life, to move us where he wants us and then uses us to impact the lives of those around us for his Kingdom.