Yesterday, I mentioned my brother-in-law, David, and his efforts with The Salvation Army to provide disaster relief services to the people of Haiti. He is returning home this evening, while my own corps officer, Captain Geffory Crowell, is arriving there to continue those efforts. I'm sure my sister, Dawn, and their kids, will be eager to see him arrive home safely.
There's a funny story that I must share about Dawn and David. As I said in the previous post, our parents were Salvation Army officers. Thus, there are many aspects of life which Dawn and David shared automatically while going into marriage. Life in The Salvation Army is a particular culture and sharing that culture with your spouse has to be a great blessing. When both individuals are officer's kids, there are numerous shared experiences you could expect.
When we all gathered together for David and Dawn's wedding (19 years ago), David's sister, Julie, stood to share some words. As she spoke, she began to share a story about a time when her father went to pick David up from middle school in the only vehicle available, the Army's canteen.
If you don't know what a Salvation Army canteen looks like, here are a few examples (one from the present efforts in Haiti and one from a Salvation Army news blurb):
These are small recreational vehicles, equipped with refrigerator, microwave, cooking supplies, etc., which are used to distribute food and beverages during disaster relief efforts.
As Julie continued her story, all of my family began to stifle chuckles and glance furtively at each other. She went on to say that David was not going to have anything to do with being picked up from school (middle school, no less!) in the canteen, so he dashed back inside the school and hid.
I don't remember if the story ended exactly the same or not, but my whole family was in stitches. The exact same scenario played out in our family. My dad had gone to pick up my sister, Dawn, from middle school in the canteen. Dawn ran back inside and called a cab.
As we sat there, enjoying a good chuckle, none of us knew that David and Dawn would go on to become Salvation Army officers. None of us had a clue that they would become so extensively trained in disaster relief themselves. I imagine God had a good laugh, as well. He knows the plans He has for us!
Now, I'm wondering whether or not they have ever pulled that stunt on their kids. Their oldest child, a daughter, is the same age as my eldest son. If they ever renew their vows, I suggest they ride off in a Salvation Army canteen, dragging cans, with a sign saying, "Give us your poor, your tired, your hungry ... we truly care!"