I am a 58 year old college student. I know. That’s a little old for college but I want to pursue a career as a substance abuse counselor. I have one more semester to complete a Regents Bachelor Degree at Marshall University and then I plan to apply to the MSW program. My ministry is as a chaplain of the West Virginia Veterans Home in Barboursville West Virginia and as a peer support specialist intern with LifeHouse Recovery Houses in Huntington WV. I am also one of two adult Sunday school teachers with the Huntington WV Salvation Army corps and a soldier with the same. I am the Coordinating elder for West Virginia as well.
I was saved when I was 18 and called immediately. I tried to circumvent God’s plans for my life and jump into a pulpit ministry, feeling certain I was called to be a pastor. When my plans did not work out I became frustrated and disillusioned. I began drinking and using drugs, leading to a 32 year addiction. I got clean on February 9, 2009 and rededicated my life to God. It became clear that my calling was as a peer support specialist leading others out of the bondage of addiction. God used my own addiction to teach me empathy and insight other professionals lack. Pray for my ministry. I am deeply humbled to be here.
God’s providence just absolutely blows me away! For example I have a praise report. I recently started work with Harmony House in Huntington WV as a peer support specialist to the homeless. One of the big needs that became apparent to me right away was a need for sleeping bags. The commander of the Salvation Army corps here in Huntington recently told us to let her know if we had any ideas for ministry. I was praying this morning and felt led to ask if the Huntington Salvation Army Men’s Club could hold a fundraiser to donate sleeping bags to the homeless. I went to church and mentioned it to several of the men’s club officers and they said to ask the commander about it and bring her response to the next men’s club meeting. I asked her about doing the fundraiser and she said it was an excellent suggestion but unnecessary. God had already taken care of the situation and she knew where she could get 100 sleeping bags donated! The Salvation Army recently held Youth Conservatory at Camp Tomahawk in Hedgesville WV and a corps close to Huntington had the sleeping bags left over from the conservatory. She is going to e-mail the commander of that corps and see if she can have the sleeping bags sent here!
God’s providence absolutely blows me away at times! When she said she thought she could have that many sleeping bags donated I was ecstatic! I could not wait to share my praise report and have been doing so ever since.
Another praise report is that I am being commissioned as a local officer with the Huntington Salvation Army Corps. I will be the Community Care Coordinator for my corps, which means I have the privilege of working with other non-profit and churches in Huntington to network and provide services to those in need. I will be helping the Salvation Army live up to its motto of “Doing the most good.”
I will also work closely with other local corps officers such as our corps sergeant major and corps Youth Program Sergeant Major to carry out the mission of the Salvation Army and bring souls into the kingdom of God. My commander said we would file the necessary paperwork Tuesday June 25, 2019. It will take about two weeks to process, then I will receive my commission. God is so good!
I also want to remind everybody to keep the 2020 West Virginia Gathering in mind. It will be held at the farm of Pastor Clarence Camara in Wheeling WV. The date is yet to be determined but will be sometime next spring. We are working to get some special guests depending on scheduling. Keep watching for announcements! I spoke with Executive Elder Rodger Neimier today and it was suggested that the 2020 West Virginia Gathering serve as a regional gathering due to our proximity to Pennsylvania and Ohio, so we are going to try to make that happen if possible. All gatherings are special, but this could be a very special time if all goes well. Keep praying and praising God!
Chaplain Marvin Schrebe
WV Coor. Elder