By: Lt. Sheena Marquis
I didn’t grow up in The Salvation Army. My parents weren’t officers. I came to the Army as a little girl whose parent’s had just been separated due to domestic violence. My mother and two sisters at the time entered the Family Life Center in Arlington, TX in 1995. At the age of 5 years old I didn’t really grasp the harsh reality of our homelessness. To me The Salvation Army was simply another place for us to live. And soon it became a place where I found Christ, a family, and a place to worship.
Since the shelter was just down the hall from the corps, it wasn’t long before my sisters and I were involved in the weekly youth programs. We attended sunbeams, singing company, and were eventually enrolled as Junior Soldiers. By the time my mother graduated from the housing program and we had a place of our own, The Salvation Army had become our home church and we continued to attend and participate in weekly services.
When I was 12 years old I picked up the baritone for the first time. I had always loved music; singing particularly, but now I had the opportunity to hone a new and special skill. I attended conservatory for the first time that summer and was introduced to a larger Army; one where I made life-long friends and grew to love music for the purpose of worship. Eventually I became part of the summer conservatory staff and declared that one day I would serve as a member of the divisional music department staff, teaching future youth to love music as much as I did. God had others plans.
The summer after I graduated high school in 2007 God sent me to Kenya as a member of the Salvationist Service Corps. It was there that God opened up my heart to service and evangelism. I returned home to the 2009 congress in Atlanta where God called me to serve him across the globe as a Salvation Army Officer. I chose to finish my degree in social work before entering the Evangeline Booth College, which provided me just enough time to meet and marry my husband and future partner in mission. We entered the training school in 2013 and were commissioned to Clay County, FL as a part of the Heralds of Grace session in 2015. We love our calling, the people and place that we have been called to serve, and most importantly the God who called us. God has been faithful thus far, and I cling to Philippians 1:6: “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”