Meet the New Divisional Youth Secretaries

family photo
by British Columbia
Categories: Blog, Camps, Faces of the Army

This summer Captains Josh and Joyce Downer will be travelling across the country to join us at Divisional Headquarters in British Columbia; beginning their new appointments as Divisional Youth Secretaries, overseeing the Children and Youth department for the province. Coming with them is their family of four children who have all grown up in Ontario and Eastern Canada.

Before they hit the road, we gave them a call to welcome them to our beautiful province and to learn a bit more about the Downer family.


Where you are coming from?

We were serving as Divisional Youth Secretaries in the Ontario Great Lakes Division after previously spending time as Corp Officers in Nova Scotia. The two of us originally met while studying at the College for Office Training in Winnipeg 11 years ago.

What are you most looking forward to in your new role?

Moving to the West Coast after previously spending time living on the Atlantic Ocean, and enjoying all the beautiful nature that the Pacific Northwest has to offer.
We are glad that we have the chance to continue as Divisional Youth Secretaries working with children, youth and young adults as we experience life and learn about Jesus together.

What changes can we expect in the coming future?

Responding to the pandemic, it is difficult to predict how things will be in this season of change, but we look forward to providing support to the frontlines and using our experience as Corp Officers and DYSs to work directly with Ministry Units.

Tell us a little about your family.

Our oldest, Zoe – 7, and Joel – 6, are very excited about the move. Once we told them about where we are going and that we are still working in camps they started painting the mountains and water they saw in photos. We are also looking forward to the opportunity to raise Trinity – 4 and Theo – 2 in our new home.

What is your favourite thing about working with The Salvation Army?

Josh: Being a Salvationist my whole life I’ve always enjoyed meeting new people, seeing the world, and all the new experiences the role has brought with it.

Joyce: Doing God’s work, carrying out His mission, and being able to live out my faith in practical ways.

If you could have one superpower what would it be and why?

Josh: Captain America’s powers, to be able to fight for truth and justice.

Joyce: Invisibility or X-Ray vision to help keep an eye on my kids (and all the ones at camp).

What helped you pass the time during the 16-week COVID-19 quarantine?

Our kids. We stayed busy with little adventures, arts and crafts, and tons of Disney and Marvel movies. We also had a lot of work to do preparing for this transition and were thankful to have friends such as the outgoing Divisional Youth Secretaries, Jason and Kristen Dockeray, for providing support along our journey.

What is your favourite scripture?

Josh: “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and for the gospel will save it.” [Mark 8:35]

Joyce: “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” [Zephaniah 3:17]


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