Step into the Light
The first signs of spring are emerging: spring bulbs are in bloom; the birds are positively rowdy (see page 6 for the reason why); and we are no longer going to work in the dark. The promise of warmer weather, evening barbecues and beach strolls is firmly in sight, tempered by upcoming frosty mornings and polar blasts.
September is also Mental Health Awareness month and our territory’s Flag Publications is releasing Jules and Major Mat Badger’s book, When the Light Goes Out, which tells the story of Jules Badger’s mental breakdown and the impact on her marriage, children, family and ministry. You can read an interview with Mat and Jules on page 8. Our regular readers will recognise their names, as both have written articles for our territorial magazine and Jules is currently a writer on staff.
There are few people today who have no awareness of the broad topic of mental distress, particularly in this post-Covid era. But one positive outcome is that mental distress is more acknowledged and understood. Families, workplaces and churches are increasingly educating themselves on mental wellbeing, as they seek to support people in their families, workplaces and congregations.
Jules and Mat generously share their story as they unpack the complexities and challenges of mental breakdown, and the slow and painful journey to wholeness and freedom.
We are also entering the New Zealand election season and, in this edition on page 20, you are invited to read an article by members of the Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit (SPPU) raising awareness of the issues that will impact the 150,000 people The Salvation Army assists in a year. SPPU’s aims are to present the pressing issues that have negative effects on individuals and whānau (families) and encourage our readers to ask the big questions of their representative politicians. Your vote is important, and being informed and voting strategically will ultimately shape the focus of the next government.
On a lighter note, there is a Father’s Day children’s activity on page 34 and a poem (page 24) to mark the coming of the spring season.
Vivienne Hill, Editor
I welcome your feedback and suggestions, and also your photos, letters, crafts and stories. Please email: [email protected]
Glimpses of Light: Jules and Major Mat Badger share insights gained through Jules’ breakdown, and their new book When the Light Goes Out.
Weathering the Storm: When Amy Keats from Napier Corps woke up on 14 February 2023, she thought she had escaped the worst of Cyclone Gabrielle. Little did she know that she was hours away from disaster.
Be Kind to Your Mind: Christian artist, musician, author and mental health expert Julia Grace offered practical wellbeing tips for
‘being kind to your mind’ to the hundreds who gathered at Johnsonville Salvation Army over the weekend of July 22 to 23. Jules Badger reports, with photos by Captains Robert and Susan Adams.
Citizenship, Democracy and Discipleship: The Salvation Army is politically non-partisan. This means that as a movement we do not promote or endorse specific candidates or political parties. However, The Salvation Army is politically engaged seeking God’s kingdom values for our communities.
The Pursuit of Holiness: Captain Shaun Baker, chaplain at The Salvation Army Territorial Headquarters in Wellington, calls us to examine our lives through the lens of holiness and what this means as followers of Jesus Christ.
Launchpad for Faith: Kelly Jenkins from Whangārei Corps explains why she is a Launchpad Champion at her local primary school, seeking to equip children with Christian values in an ever-changing world.