Lieutenants Joel and Lynn Torrens of the Salvation Army are thrilled to have been placed in Salmon Arm. (Martha Wickett/Salmon Arm Observer)

Lieutenants Joel and Lynn Torrens of the Salvation Army are thrilled to have been placed in Salmon Arm. (Martha Wickett/Salmon Arm Observer)

Salmon Arm’s Salvation Army officers enthusiastic about future in community

Lieutenants looking forward to making more connections, offering support

Like most days, this is a busy one for Lieutenants Lynn and Joel Torrens.

It’s Dec. 18 and the financial institutions in Salmon Arm are doing a corporate challenge, raising money for the Salvation Army.

The longtime Christmas Kettle coordinator for the organization is unable to come in due to an emergency, so the Torrens are helping make sure each location that needs a kettle has one.

“It should still be good, it’s just a little more chaos,” smiles Lynn calmly.

The Torrens came to Salmon Arm in July from Winnipeg where they were in training for two years. Prior to formal training, they spent a year of ministry on the Sunshine Coast. In their early to mid-thirties, they may be the first Salvation Army lieutenants the community has seen – after five years the rank becomes captain.

“As we settle in more and more, we’re just loving this community,” remarks Lynn, adding she loves aspects like bumping into a parent from their child’s school while she’s shopping at Askew’s. “All these little things, it feels like home. And it’s beautiful…”

Read more: Salmon Arm’s homeless shelter opens, busy immediately

Read more: Salmon Arm supports a good cause during Coldest Night of the Year

Joel agrees, describing coming to Salmon Arm as “fantastic.”

“It’s just exceeded any expectations we may have had.”

It could be said that ministering is in the couple’s DNA.

Joel’s parents were missionaries in the Philippines.

“Since my earliest days, the way I was raised was with strong Christian beliefs and strong conviction that those beliefs are translated into action.

“As I looked where I belong in that Christian spectrum of churches, seeing the Salvation Army, how active they are in their communities, getting to know some of the other officers, and how much they care and how quirky and how unique they are, I said okay, there’s a place for me here, this is where I fit,” Joel says.

Lynn’s connection to the Salvation Army goes back generations. Her parents, both her grandparents and one of her great-grandparents were officers.

So it’s quite a long legacy in my family. I didn’t imagine that I would follow in that path, but here I am and I’m happy to be here,” she says.

Read more: Salmon Arm residents give generously to Observer food drive

Read more: Unusual food bank donation offers inspiration

She and Joel have spent the past few months learning and becoming familiar with the community.

One of the things that’s come up over and over, Lynn says, is transformation.

“How do we help people transform their lives, experience transformation, how do they get to that next step?”

Joel said they’ve had great opportunities to connect with a number of groups in the community.

“Almost everyone we talk to seems to have the same desire.”

When they’re not busy with the ministry, the Torrens enjoy family time, books, music and more. Joel is a Dr. Who fan, a Rotarian, and Lynn reveals that he also loves spreadsheets.

“You name it, he’s got a spreadsheet,” she smiles.

Overall, they both welcome connections with the community.

“Look for us in the community, say hi, connect with us on Facebook,” encourages Joel. “We’re just excited to invite anyone who’s interested to be a part of the journey that we’re on.”



marthawickett@saobserver.net

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