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For the Sake of Christ and the World He Came to Save
by Lieutenant Brian Dueck

Well my fellow Messengers of the Gospel – here we are! It’s been approximately 15,844 hours since most of us arrived in Winnipeg to begin our journey at CFOT.

Some of us may say the time has been long, others would say it has been short – but one thing is now our reality: the time is gone!

It is my privilege to try to capture our Training College experience in these few moments, and if there’s something we have learned at CFOT, it is the value of being concise.

So, in that vein I would like to begin by summing up our collective CFOT experience in just one word.

And that word is: nimeshiba. What does this word mean, you may ask? Well, allow me to enlighten you. It is a Swahili word I picked up in Kenya which, to put it bluntly, means, “We’ve had enough.”

Now, before this becomes the shortest sessional speech in the history of Commissioning, let me explain the full meaning of the word – and I promise, there is redemption to be found if you will follow me!

This word, nimeshiba, is what one might say after sharing in a good meal with someone. If after the meal, you are full, you are satisfied, and would like to compliment your host, you might say: nimeshiba.

So yes, in one way it means “I’ve had enough” – but more importantly it means: “thank you, I am satisfied.”

In Kenya, this is one of the highest compliments you can give to someone after they have hosted you at their table because it says that the meal has accomplished its purpose of providing nourishment.

So, concerning these 22 months we have spent at CFOT, we Messengers of the Gospel would like to say

to all of our staff officers and mentors;

to the supports from THQ;

to the sessions of Cadets that have shared CFOT with us for a year;

and to our families and our friends who have supported us every step of the way;

.... Nimeshiba – thank you, we have been well nourished; we are satisfied.


Now, perhaps some of you are wildly optimistic and interpret that to mean that we’ve learned everything there is to learn, we know everything there is to know, and we are ready to conquer the world – but that’s not quite true.

Actually, it’s not at all true. If anything, after 22 months of Training College we know a lot about what we don’t know!

But I think I can speak for all of us in saying that what we still lack in knowledge, courage, and faith is not something to be ashamed of – because the promise found in 1 Corinthians 12 is that “God’s grace is sufficient for us, for his power is made perfect in weakness.”

We recognize that this means we also have to embrace humility. And we are okay with that.

In fact, my prayer for us is that when we look at our fancy new red epaulets, we would see nothing more than the crimson blood of Jesus Christ that testifies to God’s love for the whole world that he so lovingly created.

And I can assure you, we who form this monochromatic group of misfits have not lost touch of the simple truth that we remain a group of sinners rescued by the boundless grace of Jesus Christ, so that we might participate in sharing his love. Speak with one of these Messengers – you will find this is something which excites us.


Now on a lighter note, allow me to share something about our experience of community over the last 22 months.

If there is one thing we as a session have learned from CFOT, it is that living in a close-knit community comes with many blessings and, well, let’s just say plenty of “opportunities for patience.”

We have found that sometimes living in community is like the feeling of falling off a hoverboard – you can be gliding along smoothly when hitting the smallest of pebbles sends you for a friendly encounter with the floor. But restoration and recovery is always right around the corner – and if you need tips on how to recover from a hoverboard fall, just ask Rick…

On the other spectrum of things, the Bible says “taste and see that the Lord is good.” And we have indeed found that community can be a beautiful experience of loving support – so much so that its taste is sweeter than liquid honey – isn’t that right Barry?

We’ve discovered that community is leaning in to a conversation – even if it means getting one armed chopped off for leaning a little too enthusiastically…… Andrew…

We’ve discovered that community is supporting each other through the scary world of university academics, especially when you are constantly told by professors that you are “quite right” but never “exactly right.”

And we’ve discovered that growing together in community has helped us find our leadership compass and locate our “true north.”

But most of all, and in all seriousness, we have discovered that living as a close-knit community means participating together in the joy of life’s journey and encountering together the sorrows along the way. For this, we are grateful.


Before I finish I would like to also acknowledge that Winnipeg has made a fine host city for our CFOT experience.

Now if you’ve spent a significant amount of time in Winnipeg you know that a pothole is considered a valley, such is the flat nature of the land; and you would also understand that your “welcome to Winnipeg” moment could be that moment when you panic because you realize you’re going the wrong way on a one-way street!

I draw attention to Winnipeg’s flat landscape and its love of one-way streets for the purpose of stating that in these two ways, Winnipeg does not actually represent what we have found to be our spiritual journey as a session of cadets.

The reality of each of our stories is that they do not consist of flat-line journeys; rather, they contain plenty of ups and downs.

I guarantee you that each of the Messengers of the Gospel here before you have walked the hills and the valleys, and by God’s grace have found the beauty in both.

And as far as one-way streets are concerned, we certainly do not buy into the notion of a one-way street when it comes to Christian community.

Allow me to explain:

You may have just witnessed the Messengers of the Gospel being commissioned as Officers, but that does not mean we are the only ones in our communities called to teach, preach, encourage, correct, forgive, guide and lead.

Our commitment and our prayer is that we will indeed do each of those things to the glory of God, but if we may be so bold, we would also hold you to the same commitment.

You see, the Messengers gathered here before you do not believe in the notion of one-way ministry in Christian community. The body of Christ is made whole by the equal participation of each one of us.

So please, we implore you: help us make our journey as ministers of the Gospel a two-way street of accountability in mission. We ask that you do this for the sake of Christ and the world he came to redeem.

For the sake of Christ and the world he came to redeem…
Do not allow us to become so comfortable that we forget to sacrifice, and allow us to also push you outside of conventional comfortability; we are cross-bearers, after all.

For the sake of Christ and the world he came to redeem…
Share with us your radical ideas for spreading the message of the Good News, as we also ask you to join us in venturing outside of the ordinary in search of God’s will; God’s love is radical, after all.

For the sake of Christ and the world he came to redeem…
Ask us how we see God’s hand working in our lives, and allow us to also encourage you to share your experience of God’s faithfulness; we are a testimony people, after all.

For the sake of Christ and the world he came to redeem…
When we make mistakes and disappoint you – and I can guarantee it will happen – give us the grace to make amends, as we also forgive you when we have been hurt; we are a broken people, after all.

For the sake of Christ and the world he came to redeem…
Let us together participate in bringing beauty to brokenness; for we are a redeemed people, after all.


This is the fullness of the message we have come to believe.

We are not simply Messengers of the Gospel. No – we are Messengers of THE Gospel – the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Good News that through Jesus, God has lavished his love and grace upon the world he created.

Our invitation to you is that you join us as we form a passionate hallelujah band celebrating the beautiful, bountiful, subtle and boisterous Kingdom of God. It’s the Gospel – will you be a Messenger?










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