They are brand new to a lot of things because they have been retired for 11 years, said Major Stephen French who along with his wife Major Millie French have been assigned to run the Salvation Army in Williams Lake.
With 48 years of ministry each, the two have worked between Vancouver and Newfoundland, and in Guyana, South America.
Williams Lake isn’t the first place to draw them out of retirement.
In the past they spent four months helping out in Kamloops and two and a half years in Abbotsford.
“We’ve agreed to come here for a year while they find a replacement,” Stephen said.
They have been retired and retreaded, Millie added.
Stephen arrived here on July 15 and Millie on Aug. 14.
Williams Lake has already charmed the majors.
“It’s absolutely beautiful and reminds me of back home in Newfoundland — the friendly people, fresh air, and quiet spaces,” Stephen said. “So far nobody has road raged us.”
It’s so peaceful compared to the Lower Mainland, Millie said.
They are also pleased with the quality of the staff and volunteers.
“They are second to none,” Stephen said. “Here we have met some of the most dedicated people we’ve met in our entire ministry. They come back on days off to finish up some tasks. That’s says something right there.”
As for the people using the SA’s services, Stephen said it never ceases to amaze him how friendly people are, no matter what is on their outer shell.
“The more we help and love the more we get out of it,” he said.
Millie and Stephen have spent their entire ministry career working as a team.
They see things from a different perspective and that bodes well, Stephen said.
As they settle in to their role, they said they plan to maintain the work that’s already in place.
“We thank God for sending us here. The call came from the Salvation Army to come to Williams Lake, but we believe God called us,” they said.