Q&A with Samantha Tamayo

"My faith influences my work because I know that there is power in the name of Jesus Christ."
Q&A with Samantha Tamayo

Lieutenant Samantha Tamayo was commissioned as an officer in 2021 with the Messengers of Grace. She is currently appointed to the Adult Rehabilitation Center in Chicago, IL, where she is training to become a program administrator. She is married and has four children. Before The Salvation Army, Samantha served in different capacities that allowed her to help people, which has always been her passion.

How did you first become involved with The Salvation Army?

I became involved with The Salvation Army when I was working as a homeless shelter administrator for a local ministerial association. Because the shelter did not have a permanent building, it was a rotating night shelter hosted by churches in the community. The officer of The Salvation Army was a member of the ministerial association and came to meetings regarding the shelter to see how he could support it. That officer is now my husband!

What is your favorite event or program in The Salvation Army?

My favorite event in The Salvation Army is any sort of women’s retreat. As a busy mother of young children, I love opportunities to have uninterrupted, intentional time with the Lord.

Who inspires you and why?

My mother-in-law, Major Annette Tamayo (retired). Her faith is rock solid. She’s one of the most helpful people I have ever met and genuinely loves everyone!

What hobbies do you like to do?

I love camping in our pop-up, tending to plants, reading, writing, embroidery and organizing.

How do you spend time connecting with God?

I spend time connecting with God in so many ways! I journal, read the Bible every day lectio divina, listen to podcasts, regularly write down what I’m thankful for, spend time daily in prayer, take a regular sabbath, set strict boundaries on my social media and phone as well as receive discipling from a more mature officer.

How does your faith influence your work and/or your everyday life?

My faith influences my work because I know that there is power in the name of Jesus Christ. He can restore broken hearts and wounds and breathe life into dead things. I count it a privilege to witness the transformation of people recovering from substance abuse and healing from things that have always weighed them down.

What is your favorite Scripture verse and why?

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

Matthew 6:33 (ESV)

I love this Scripture because it’s Jesus promising me (and you!) that if we keep our priorities straight, keep Jesus at the center of our lives, and seek His will, not our own, everything else will fall into place!

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

I celebrated eight years of recovery from drugs and alcohol on August 6, 2023. Thank you, Jesus!

What are your hopes/goals for the future?

My hopes and goals for the future are to continue my education in social work, go camping in our pop-up at Glacier National Park in Montana with all our children and to write a book.

What has been one of your biggest joys in following Jesus so far?

Being delivered from the bondage of guilt and shame!

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