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An unusual start to God's mission

An unusual start to God's mission

An unusual start to God's mission

29 September 2020

Bethany and BJ Baillie are spending 14 days in hotel quarantine in Perth before starting their first appointment as Salvation Army officers at Kalgoorlie-Boulder Corps.

By Bethany and BJ Baillie

When we moved to Eva Burrows College at the beginning of 2019, we never imagined that our first appointment would start with two weeks of mandatory hotel quarantine.

BJ Baillie looks out over Perth from his hotel room where he is quarantined due to COVID-19 restrictions for people arriving in Western Australia.

But that’s where we find ourselves, in a hotel in Perth, waiting to start our first appointment in October 2020. This whole year has been unexpected, unpredictable and even unprecedented.

Waiting in this hotel now is certainly not our only experience of waiting. We had been living in Melbourne lockdown for quite some time. The idea of living in Western Australia, a state with fewer restrictions, is exciting and while being stuck in a hotel isn’t great, it is comforting to know there is an end date. In Melbourne, we faced more uncertainty as we did not know when restrictions might ease.

There is a real sense of things ending, but also new beginnings for us both at the moment. Saying goodbye to Eva Burrows College, our session mates and the place we called home for the past 20 months was not easy with restrictions in place. We have really missed the ability to farewell properly and are grieving that.

But the new beginnings of our first appointment in Kalgoorlie-Boulder soon, brings great excitement. We are excited to meet the community and connect in with what God is already doing there. Right now, we are sitting in between the ending and beginning. It feels equivalent to a plane in holding ready to take off.

We completely understand why there are strict protocols in place with hotel quarantine; however, waiting is not something we like to do. Many aspects of our lives have been taken out of our control. For example, what and when we eat. It has been a challenge to let go of that. We remind ourselves of just how blessed and grateful we are to be healthy, have our needs met and to have family and Divisional Headquarters call, check in and drop off lots of goodies and puzzles to keep us busy.

Salvation Army cadets BJ and Bethany Baillie use their time in hotel quarantining to continue their Officer Training College studies.

We have been using this time to get ahead in our studies, which will mean we can give greater attention to our new appointment, removing the pressure of assignments.

Despite not liking sitting in the space of waiting, we have really sensed God’s perfect, although confusing, timing over the past couple of months. We have had plenty of time to reflect, listen and pause and pace (all 10 steps of the room) and had a great sense of God’s presence with us in the wait. While waiting, we’re making the most of this time to intentionally and attentively seek the intimacy of God’s presence.

“To encounter God means actively, intentionally and attentively seeking Him, and the intimacy of His presence.” – Henri Nouwen

Bethany and BJ Baillie are graduating as Salvation Army Officers from the School of Officer Training later this year. Their first appointment is at Kalgoorlie-Boulder Corps in Western Australia.

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