Sweet Music

Emily Debnar is an amazing young lady with a “can do” attitude. Her love for music has propelled her to try a number of instruments, and the teen is making admirable progress on each.

This boundless optimism is all the more remarkable, given the iRony we are about to learn.

In addition to being a soldier of the Weirton (West Virginia) Corps, she loves attending divisional events—including Girl Guard Camp and Music Conservatory at the Maryland-West Virginia Division’s Camp Tomahawk.

The annual conservatory lasts several weeks, and it provides fertile ground for Emily to hone her musical skills. She also signs up for as many camp activities as she could, appearing to have as much fun as anyone. There doesn’t seem to be anything Emily won’t at least try.

Bernie Dake was a guest instructor at MWV Music Conservatory last summer (2016), and he was blessed by Emily’s inspiring desire to learn.

“I sat just a few seats away from her during chorus time. As you can imagine, in a choir setting the object of the group is to sing together and tunefully. When I first heard her I was overcome with emotion. She was singing her best for the Lord and I believe that the sound I heard was one of the most beautiful utterances in all my of years of music making,” recalls Dake, who works as the assistant territorial music secretary and director of publications and production for the USA Southern Territory.

As for her future, Emily has set her sets pretty high. After high school, she wants to go to college to become a forensic scientist.

Anyone who knows Emily Debnar cannot help but believe that her “can do” attitude will propel her to be successful. Despite the fact that Emily is deaf!

That’s right—Emily was born deaf, due to a lack of hairs in her inner ear. She received her first set of hearing aides when she was just two years-old. The hearing aides have helped, but she still needs someone to use sign language in order to communicate with others.

At the age of four, she was diagnosed with autism, verbal apraxia, and ADHD. Then at the age of seven, she was also diagnosed with OCD and ODD.

Even with these impediments, Emily is very thankful to God for giving her a special gift—the desire and will to never give up doing what she loves to do.

See the December issue of Young Salvationist for more of Emily’s story 

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Major Frank Duracher, Assistant Editor

Christian Persecution Around the World

An interview with Colonel Jim Dau and Mr. Todd Nettleton of The Voice of the Martyrs

Around the world, many who profess their faith in Jesus Christ are met with hostility or even violence. The Voice of the Martyrs is a nonprofit missions organization working to fight Christian persecution taking place in over 60 different nations today. Editor-in-Chief Lt. Colonel Allen Satterlee spoke to Colonel Jim Dau and Mr. Tom Nettleton of The Voice of the Martyrs about the kinds of persecution Christians face each day and what their brothers and sisters in Christ can do to help.

War Cry: How would you define Christian persecution?

Nettleton: Christian persecution takes a lot of forms, but the definition is someone who suffers or sacrifices because of their faith in Christ. In some places, discrimination might mean not being able to get a job or having your kids barred from going to school. In other places, Christians are laying down their lives because of their faith in Christ. Any sacrifice because of Christian faith is a form of persecution, but within that there is a range of suffering involved.

WC: Where are today’s Christians enduring the most persecution?

Nettleton: Africa, Iraq, Syria and North Africa right now. There is tremendous persecution of Christians in North Korea, but we get little information.The Middle East and North Africa down into Sudan and Nigeria where Boko Haram is working in north Nigeria have the greatest amounts of persecution at this moment.

WC: Where are conditions deteriorating for believers?

Dau: There are some countries that we are keeping an eye on that 10 years ago never had any reports of persecution. Now we get one or two reports a year. One is Tanzania. There are other countries in Africa as well where there’s a rise of radical Islam.

WC: Is there a place where persecution is actually decreasing?

Nettleton: In Cuba it’s decreasing. Christians still have difficulty there, but not to the extent that they’re going to prison for their faith. Cuba is one that the U.S. government would point to. Vietnam is another; at one point, the State Department identified it as a country of particular concern on the issue of religious freedom—not so today. The gains that have primarily been made in the Vietnamese church are among ethnic minority tribal groups. Other Christians are still heavily persecuted, but it certainly is better in Vietnam than it was 10 or 15 years ago.

WC: What do you wish people understood about the oppression of Christians?

Dau: Where persecution has increased, believers have increased. Churches begin to grow. You would think it would make people run away, but true believers are being strengthened. The church in Iran is on fire. Where there is persecution, people still stand boldly for the Lord, and they will continue to stand at any cost. We’re seeing this in some refugee camps in Iraq where some very successful and wealthy Christians were living. Because of their faith, they had to choose to either commit to Islam or stand strong for the Lord. They stood strong for the Lord. Some lost their lives. Others are now in refugee camps, living on very little. Those are the people we want to come alongside, to help stand strong for the Lord.

Nettleton: There’s a tendency even within the Church to view this as a human rights issue and that if we protest enough or if we could arm the Christians we would put a stop to this. The reality is this is exactly what Jesus said was going to happen. He said, the world hates Me and if you follow Me the world will hate you too. It’s not a human rights issue—it’s a spiritual issue. We would like to see the Church understand that and respond.

When I first traveled for Voice of the Martyrs (VOM), I had this idea that I was going to meet depressed, downtrodden people. I thought, “Isn’t it great that I can come from America and help cheer them up.” But when you get there, you find some of the most joyful people you will ever encounter. They have smiles on their faces. They are very excited about what God is doing. The New Testament talks about suffering for Christ being an honor. They see it that way, that God has honored them to allow them to suffer for Him. That completely blows the mind of American Christians, but it’s New Testament Christianity being lived out today.

WC: How does VOM stand by persecuted Christians?

Dau: The international department consists of four regional directors with a vice president. We have frontline workers who go into a country, not to tell them how to do things, but to hear about their needs and to serve them. We find the people who are standing boldly for the Lord and see how we can help strengthen them as they ask.

WC: What are some examples of the means that you use?

Nettleton: For instance, in the Middle East, where so many Christians have been displaced by ISIS, we are providing humanitarian aid, food, shelter and educational opportunities for kids. In most of the countries where we work, we provide Bibles—over 1.2 million Bibles last year. In Bangladesh, one of the things that happens at the village level is that if you’re a Christian, you can’t use the water supply anymore. So VOM is able to help people dig a well, allowing them access to water. The number of projects is around 1,600 a year. The work is different in every situation, different in every country. We ask, “What are you doing? How can we help you? What do you need from us?” Rather than saying “Here’s the ten things that VOM does. Which one do you want?” We ask what they need and then we try to fulfill that.

WC: How can I, as an individual Christian, do something to make a difference for those being persecuted?

Dau: The one request that everyone has when you go overseas is prayer. Pray for them. They very rarely ask anything for themselves. They say, “Please go back and ask the Church in the West to pray for us.” They say, “We’re praying for you.” Individual Christians could come alongside organizations like ours or other organizations that work against persecution and help financially. Perhaps to provide motorcycles to our evangelists or help us bring boats to those in Colombia in the jungle so they can move around. But the biggest request is prayer.

WC: Is there anything else?

Nettleton: You’re timing this in November to coincide with the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. We certainly want to encourage every American church to do something—if not the first Sunday of November, then a different Sunday. At some point in November, we want believers to understand that our brothers and sisters are being persecuted. They’re suffering for doing the same thing we’re doing when we gather together to worship.

For more information about the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church and free downloadable resources, please go to the 2016 IDOP Web page.

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Lt. Colonel Allen Satterlee, Editor-in-Chief

Empty Chairs in God’s Temple

I was born and brought up in a Hindu family. Idol worship was predominant. But, by God’s grace, I became a first generation Christian. At the age of 18, I got an opportunity to study Nursing at a Salvation Army hospital. I admired a missionary, the late doctor Major Hazel Scott, and her dedicated service. The kindness she showed for the poor and needy led me to become a soldier in The Salvation Army.

I committed myself one youth council meeting to fill the empty chairs in God’s Temple. My dream was to be a servant of God. I was not able to fulfill my desire, however, due to my family’s gross poverty.

God is faithful, and he helps me run my race. He intervened for my family and remembered my desire to serve. I learned to read the Bible and slowly the Lord opened my spiritual eyes. He forgave my sins so I could experience His love and grace. He turned darkness turned to light. The power of that light touched my family. One by one, they found their place in His house.

God didn’t stop there. I was presented with the opportunity to serve the Lord through various Salvation Army hospitals in India.

Many people I encountered opposed my faith, saying that Salvation Army doctrine was incomplete. I would reply boldly that Army Founder William Booth’s vision and motto is true and alive, applicable to anyone who needs salvation through Christ. This is summed up in the statement “Christ’s last command is our first concern.” Before Jesus was taken up into Heaven, He told His disciples:

 ”You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts1:8).

Jesus also said, “If you honor Me, I will honor you.” The Lord has enabled me to be a witness today, like the maidservant of Naaman’s wife. Naaman was a respected commander of King of Aram’s army, but had leprosy. When the king’s raiders invaded Israel, they took a young girl captive who was given to Naaman’s wife as a maidservant.

Serving in slavery and bondage was not an obstacle for this young girl to serve as an instrument of healing and to witness about her God. The girl told her maidservant,

 “I wish my master would go to see the prophet [Elisha] in Samaria. He would heal him of his leprosy” (2 Kings 5:3).

The Lord continued to fulfill His call on my life last April when He sent me to Haggai Leadership Training for Evangelism in Hawaii. While there, He led me to attend Sunday services at the Salvation Army Kahului Corps on the island of Maui. I thank Captains Robert and Jill Steiner, Corps Sergeant-major Mark Saxon and other church leaders who prayed their blessings over me and on my missionary journey leading up to my convocation at Haggai Institute.

Salvation begins in our house. My husband and I are blessed with two children, a girl and a boy. Both are medical students in the Lord’s healing ministry.

There are many who have received help, education and support from The Salvation Army who have since left their chair in the Lord’s temple empty. But as for me; I and the children The Lord has given me still serve.

I am currently working in Saudi Arabia, a country closed to preaching of the gospel, so my evangelism is one-to-one with those I come across through my job.

How many of us are ready to take a step to gather souls to fill the empty chairs in Gods Temple?

 Let us make Christ’s last command our first concern.

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Sornam Paul, BSN

God’s Chosen Soldier

Major Harold Borror is a hero. The fact is, he’s saved countless men during his 87 years of life on the earth—physically and spiritually. His career as a Salvation Army Officer saw him in corps and Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) appointments in the USA Eastern Territory from the time he was commissioned as a Lieutenant in 1962—a member of the Soldiers of Christ Session.

Major Borror retired from active service as a Salvation Army Officer in 1994, and today he lives in York, Pennsylvania.“I served as a corps officer for 12 years and was the ARC administrator in four cities,” he says, with well-deserved pride.

But it’s fair to say he also proud of a feat he accomplished (“entirely by God’s power and grace!”) on a battlefield in North Korea many years ago.

The Battle of Chosin Reservoir lasted about three weeks in from November 27 until Christmas Eve, 1950. About 30,000 United Nations troops (later nicknamed “The Chosin Few”) were encircled and attacked by approximately 120,000 Chinese troops. The allied forces were comprised of the U.S. 1st Marine Division, two battalions of the U.S. Army’s 7th Division and a force of British Royal Marine Commandos—about 15,000 men of the Tenth Corps. The Chinese Army had isolated the Allied forces by manning roadblocks and blowing up the lone mountain road, cutting off all access. The battle was fought in -30°F weather, and the Allies had no choice but to continue fighting in the hope that U.N. forces could take out each of the four roadblocks and rebuild the mountain road.

While in Japan a few years earlier, Sergeant Borror had gone to both leadership school and medical school, graduating as a medic. He would need every ounce of his training to survive the battle and help save those few of his company who finally made it out.

“Our company was charged with taking the Chosin Reservoir, and the fighting was vicious, very vicious,” Borror says.

That’s when Borror’s leadership training kicked in.

“I was able to direct our unit, plus stragglers from other units, back to safety without losing any lives. I had the men spread out and we headed into the woods,” he says. “All of my leaders in that battalion were killed.”

The battalion itself suffered heavy losses. A few became prisoners of war, many were severely wounded and most were killed during the fighting. Borror sustained shrapnel wounds from a mortar, injuring his hand and leg, earning him a Purple Heart.

“The tents used for sick bay weren’t nearly large enough to hold the wounded,” Borror recalls. “The less critical were kept outside and covered with canvas and straw.”

Medics and surgeons worked in a frenzy over the wounded. Blood plasma was frozen and could not be used. Morphine syringes had to be “thawed” in soldiers’ mouths before use. In the course of the epic battle, the 15,000 allies suffered 12,000 casualties, including 3,000 KIA, 6,000 WIA, plus thousands of severe frostbite cases, Sergeant Borror among them. Marine losses in the campaign numbered 836 killed and 12,000 wounded. Most of the latter were frostbite injuries inflicted by the severe cold and winter weather. US Army losses numbered around 2,000 killed and 1,000 wounded. To this day, he suffers from the damage done to both feet. He eventually recovered from his shrapnel wounds.

Major Borror is one of two medics from that unit still alive today. The other medic, a close friend through the years, lives in Georgia and they remain in contact.

A few years after he returned Stateside, he married his sweetheart, got his GED and felt God’s call to become a Salvation Army officer.

His three decades as a servant of Christ are as sterling as his three weeks during the battle at Chosin Reservoir, and he sees God’s influence in it all.

“God had His hand on me throughout. He was looking into the future and had all my life’s work waiting for me!”

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Major Frank Duracher, Assistant Editor