The Courier

I never imagined I would become a padre. Becoming a chaplain in the CAF is something that just happened for me, as if it was meant to happen. A calling from God, if you will.

I joined the CAF in 2011 as a Logistics Officer (Log O) and was gainfully employed at 22 Wing North Bay, ON for almost five years. I enjoyed working in administration and thought that I would stay a Log O for the duration of my military career. God had other plans.

One afternoon I turned on my office computer and noticed an email from the Wing Chaplain’s office. The email was simple and concise. It read: “Alex, I hear you want to become a chaplain. Come and see me.” I remember thinking, “I’ve never once thought about becoming a chaplain, why would he think that?” What was more is that I had never before met the chaplain who sent me the email and had no idea why he would contact me regarding entering the chaplaincy. I decided that the email couldn’t have been random. It couldn’t have been a fluke. It was too direct. Either someone was pulling my leg or God was sending me a message.

I decided to visit the chaplain who had emailed me and found that everything he mentioned regarding chaplaincy was something that I could see myself doing. I love working with people one-on-one, I love helping others work through difficult life situations, I enjoy seeing people grow personally, spiritually, and intellectually. I entered the chaplain’s office feeling sceptical; I left with a new life purpose – to minister as a chaplain to Canada’s military members and those closest to them.

In January 2016, my chaplaincy journey began. My wife and I sold our home in Callander, ON and moved with our six-month-old daughter to the Winnipeg, MB area where I attended Providence Seminary for three years as a Master of Divinity Student. Upon graduation, I worked for two years as an Associate Pastor at Bethel Baptist Church in Winnipeg where I gained experience, ordination, many friends and memories. After gaining two years of pastoral experience, the military was ready to take me back as a Basic Training List (BTL) chaplain. They asked me where I would like to be posted and were surprised that I included 4 Wing Cold Lake as one of my top posting choices. After having moved to Cold Lake in July and having spent some time enjoying the lake and other activities, my family and I are very happy to have been posted here.

As a BTL chaplain I will be working alongside the 4 Wing chaplain team for experience building and will also focus on completing my basic occupational training. I look forward to completing my training and soon serving as a qualified chaplain here at 4 Wing.

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