The volunteers are taking time out of their day to say ‘I love you and you matter’...
The Western Territory’s news source
for 31 years
September 2, 2013 Vol. 31, No. 14
The Salvation Army and Target prep kids for school n 12,000 students nationwide receive shopping spree.
Eva Rodriguez learns about preparing healthy meals in a crock pot. Photo by Les Spousta
Hobbs Corps receives grant to fund nutrition program n Award doubles the funds requested.
The Hobbs (N.M.) Corps, led by Captains Les and Susan Spousta, applied for the Lea County United Way Community Innovative Grant (CIG) hoping to create a nutrition education program. In July, they were awarded $6,000, double the amount they applied for. A spokesperson for the CIG committee noted that The Salvation Army’s proposal presented innovative ideas that would serve the community well. Launched on Aug. 12, the new program will meet every Monday from 2 to 3 p.m., and is an extension of the corps’ ongoing Food Services Program that provides food to those in need living in Hobbs and Lea County. It will be conducted in six-week sets, and Les Spousta hopes to have at least four sets within the next year. “We decided that it was time to assist our clients and their families to know more about the food they receive from our food program, other programs or retail food stores so that they could make healthy and cost-effective choices in the future,” he said. Program lessons will include reading and understanding food labels, preparing foods, determining which foods are best in relation to content and price, learning how to eat certain foods for optimal nutritional value, the importance of eating slowly, and the value of spending quality HOBBS, page 3
Inside: Frontlines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 The West . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 The Nation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 The World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Sharper Focus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 In Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 From the Desk of . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Life Lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 On the Corner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
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BY CHLOE VIEIRA To give families relief from the pressures of back-to-school needs, The Salvation Army partnered with Target for the fifth year in a row to provide 12,000 students nationwide the supplies they need for the fall. “We need to get kids ready for school,” said Sharon Kerr, donor relations director for the Southern California Division of The Salvation Army. Approximately 21 percent of school-age children in the U.S. were in families living in poverty as of 2011, according to a study by the Institute of Education Sciences. Across the country, 500 Target stores held shopping sprees for children chosen by The Salvation Army. Each child received an $81 Target GiftCard—a total of $1 million in donations from Target with $28,000 directed at transportation costs. At Target in Santa Maria, Calif., a group of 30 eager elementary and middle school children arrived early on a Tuesday to shop, and each was paired with a Salvation Army volunteer shopping buddy.
Major Lisa Smith and a volunteer help Helen Ruth Tramble select back to school supplies. Photo by John Docter
Dorothy Mogavero, Santa Maria programs director for the Army, was grateful for their help. “The volunteers are taking time out of their day to say ‘I love you and you matter’ to these children,” she said. “Quite a bit of
my childhood, I grew up poor. Opportunities like this when I was chosen by an agency to receive help made me feel like I wasn’t left out. I could blend in and that made me feel okay.”
TARGET, page 9
Aquaponics in Anaheim n Volunteers help transform an empty lot into an urban farm.
Freeman stands afront the 1,000 square feet for growing crops. At full maturity, the farm should produce about 450 plants a month and up to 7,000 tilapia a year. Photo by Jared McKiernan
BY JARED McKIERNAN Staff at The Salvation Army’s Anaheim (Calif.) Praiseworks Corps Community Center met a consensus late last year that they needed to Listen to an generate more income. Not to interview with mention, they wanted to make aquaponics expert use of an empty blacktop lot beAaron Flora via hind the community center. They bit.ly/14dG2RY. uncovered the solution to both in an unlikely venture: aquaponics––a sustainable food production system that conflates growing fruits and vegetables with raising fish by recirculating the water between the two environments. Aaron Flores, worship and creative arts director, AQUAPONICS, page 9
Welcome home, Heralds of Grace n First-year cadets arrive at the College for Officer Training. BY BRIAN SAUNDERS, MAJOR On Aug. 20, 43 members of the Heralds of Grace Session of cadets arrived on the campus of the College for Officer Training (CFOT) at Crestmont, traveling in minivans, rental trucks and cars towing trailers. “The first day is always exciting,” said Major Ivan Wild, director of personnel at the college, watching as the cadets unloaded boxes and furnishings. “There is such energy and enthusiasm; we can’t wait to get started.” Cadet Immanuel Beeson shared
his enthusiasm right away. “Everything about this place is beautiful, especially the people!” Cadet Stephanie Galindo agreed. “I’ve been impressed with how positive the atmosphere is that has been created by the staff officers. They have been helpful, and reflect the nature of Christ toward us.” Upon arrival, the cadets were greeted by CFOT officers and members of the second-year session of cadets, the Disciples of the Cross. “We are so glad the Heralds are here,” said Cadet Arwyn Rodriguera, president of the Disciples of the Cross Session. “We’ve been praying Holly Beeson, a member of the Heralds of Grace Session, orgafor them all summer, and now we nizes her apartment in the cadet dorms at Crestmont. HERALDS, page 8
Photo by John Docter
Doing the Most Good
September 2, 2013 New Frontier
NEWS BRIEFS OF THE WEST
The Lord is my strength and song (Ps. 118:14 NIV).
Reno hails its ‘Messy Church’ n Creative strategy reaches kids where they are.
RITA, REPUBLIC OF MARSHALL ISLANDS (RMI)—RMI Youth Director Christopher Karen John started a new Gleason sports ministry for community youth. Editor At 9:45 p.m., he invites all those using the basketball and volleyball courts to gather for a message from God’s Word. Almost everyone sits and listens intently. “This is exactly what we need,” some of the attendees told John. “We don’t encourage them to exercise only their bodies,” John said, “but also their spiritual lives.” Captains Hittai and Maryrose Silk are the Rita corps officers. MESA, ARIZ.—A bus strike forced many Mesa residents to find alternate ways of getting to work, including walking in the hot Arizona weather. For several mornings during the strike, the Mesa Citadel Corps sent its vehicle out looking for people needing transportation down the main roads leading to the light-rail station that was not on strike. Corps representatives also distributed water to those they encountered on the way. Major Candi Frizzell is the corps officer. WRANGELL, ALASKA—The corps, led by Captains Ronnie and Debra Davis, hosted a Youth with a Mission team that came to help with vacation Bible school, but also assisted with the corps’ evangelistic campaign. The team hit the streets to hand out Bibles and tracts, and later cooked a Korean dinner for 70 people in the community. Later, the team led a “salvation meeting” at the corps, resulting in 48 seekers. TACOMA, WASH. —For its 125th anniversary celebration, the corps teamed up with the Tacoma Rainiers baseball team for The Salvation Army night at Cheney Stadium. Tacoma Corps Soldiers Jemeel Wiley and Aaron Morrow presented the colors before the game began. The Salvation Army was recognized throughout the game, which pitted the Rainiers against the Tucson Padres. Majors Don and Martha Sheppard are the corps officers. LAS VEGAS, NEV.— Children attending summer day camp at the Las Vegas Korean Corps visited a local nursing home. They played handbells and piano, and even sang for the residents. The seniors enjoyed the children’s company. Corps Officers Lts. Richard and Minhee Lee later explained to the children why the seniors live in the nursing home, and why it is important to visit them. LONG BEACH, CALIF.—Scott Beaubien and Mariano Bajaro, truck drivers for the Long Beach Adult Rehabilitation Center, recently received the Courageous Citizen award from Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey for their brave action in October 2012. They stopped a pursesnatcher, chasing him down, retrieving the purse and holding the thief until police arrived. New Frontier ran a story at the time (see bit.ly/18Nd3rH).
Messy Church kids hard at work on their latest art project Photo by Christopher Kim
During the summer, the Reno (Nev.) Corps’ weekday free breadline drew families, and as they waited in line the corps conducted a program specifically for the children, “Messy Church.” Cadet Eunha Kim, who led the program in July, said the kids loved a chance to get “messy” doing crafts, eating a snack and listening to God’s Word at tables set up just steps away from the breadline. She said some of the adults even listened to the Bible stories. “One of the grandparents...said her granddaughter...has a hard time interacting with kids in general,” said Kim. “Today I saw the girl hanging out with a friend she made on Tuesday and she cried when he had to go home.” Messy Church started with
about 10 kids, but word of mouth doubled its numbers. Families began coming early and waiting for the tables to be set up. Madilyn McDaniel, 6, said, “The best part was throwing water balloons at the cadets, mixing colors into shaving cream, eating Jello through a straw, smashing Play-Doh and painting with pudding. Oh, yeah, and the Bible stories!” Cadet Christopher Kim voiced a more long-reaching, life-changing goal. “I hope this is something that can help the kids...bridge the gap from gangs to God,” he said. The corps is also reaping results from Messy Church, including one family with five kids who then attended vacation Bible school and Sunday services. Majors Michael and Janene Zielinski are the Reno corps officers.
Modesto Red Shield takes a punch at boxing n Boxing tournament draws in 300 community members. More than 300 fans crowded the boxing ring at the Modesto (Calif.) Red Shield, led by Corps Officers Lts. Dustin and Caroline Rowe, on Aug. 3 for its Live Amateur Boxing Tournament. In 20 matches, 40 fighters competed from boxing clubs all over California and Nevada. To keep the matches equal, Red Shield head boxing coach Juan Barrera paired the fighters up according to their skill level. Competitors showcased their skills, and hoped to add wins to their record in the quest to gain pro status. “The boxing program really instills discipline in the hearts of the [youth] of south Modesto,” Caroline Rowe said. “It strengthens their confidence, and gives them self-worth.” According to Dustin Rowe, the boxing program keeps the youth away from negative influences in the community, and provides the guidance and acceptance that many are seeking. “Boxing doesn’t sound like something that would line up with the mission of The Salvation Army, but when you look at the lives impacted by this sport you understand,” he said. Barrera overcame addiction and gangs, and now mentors youth and adults through boxing. “I am being used to help the kids, but they help me too,” he said. “I get to come back to my old stomping grounds and give back to the kids.” Rowe said that by the end of the tournament, some triumphed and others came up short, but they all gained the respect of their
Boxers compete for wins in hopes of going pro. Photo by Larry Lu
fellow boxers and pride in themselves. All competitors received a trophy at the end of the event. “To me, everybody is a winner,” Barrera said. “It takes a strong person to get out there and compete.”
NFL player supports Door of Hope n 3,500 people run in charity race to benefit Matthews Door of Hope Chest. NFL player Ryan Matthews and his mother, Trish, teamed with The Salvation Army Door of Hope in San Diego to help mothers and children transitioning out of homelessness. The Matthews, in collaboration with the San Diego Chargers and Kaiser Permanente, created the Bolt to the Q 5K to raise money for the cause. On July 21, 3,500 people ran at the Bolt to the Q 5K, raising $10,000 for the Trish and Ryan Matthews Door of Hope Chest charity foundation. All runners received a Nike Bolt to the Q T-shirt, while the top three finishers in each age division and all children received a medal. “The Bolt to the Q was not only a good time, but also helped families who graduate from The Salvation Army Door of Hope to get the support they need,” said Matthews, who plays for the San Diego Chargers.
Photo courtesy of competitor
Matthews also hosted the Ryan Matthews Charity Golf Tournament to benefit the Door of Hope and Rady Children’s Hospital of San Diego. The Door of Hope helps homeless women with children get back on their feet. When they graduate from the program, the Matthews’ Door of Hope Chest provides them with essentials for their new apart-
ments, including bedding, towels, dishes and cookware. “I know first-hand what these moms endure because my mother and I were homeless for a short time when I was little,” Matthews said. “I wouldn’t have a life right now if it wasn’t for my mom getting a helping hand and then doing everything she could to support me.”
Doing the Most Good
September 2, 2013 New Frontier
Eureka Corps celebrates n 125th anniversary event reestablishes Eureka Corps’ presence in the community. BY SYDNEY FONG Corps Officers Lts. Timothy and Diana Danielson hoped to make something clear at their corps’ 125th anniversary on Aug. 3—that The Salvation Army is alive and well in Eureka, Calif. When the Danielsons invited Majors Bill and Lisa Dickinson, Del Oro divisional leaders; and Lt. Colonels Doug and Diane O’Brien, territorial secretaries for personnel and community care ministries, respectively, to the corps’ anniversary celebration, they weren’t sure how the event would turn out. “Yes, I had a concern,” Lt. Timothy Danielson said. “Our thrift stores closed here several years ago and some thought The Salvation Army left town.” But the celebration did away with those concerns, showing residents that The Salvation Army is active within the community. The day started with a parade from the Army’s old site in downtown Eureka to its current facility, which houses the corps and the Silvercrest program. “Great turnout,” Danielson said. “I couldn’t believe the reaction from people around town. We had folks talking about their experience with the Army back in the day. We also had some coming back to Eureka just for this event.”
The Mexico team
Lts. Timothy and Diana Danielson
Eureka Corps parades from its old site to its new.
Photo by Sydney Fong
That included Elle Lowery, who first attended the corps over 40 years ago. “I’m speechless that God provided me a chance to be a part of this,” Lowery said. “I can’t explain it. I’m in awe. This is home for me.” The corps held a block party with free food and music, along with a bounce house and face painting for the kids. The City of Eureka issued a proclamation in recognition of the special day. “To have any charitable group last 125 years is huge,” said Rex Bohn, Humboldt County Board of Supervisor (District 1), and one the dignitaries who presented the proclamation. “The Salvation Army has con-
tinuously provided services to so many families, and that’s why they’re so respected.” Additionally, the corps collected nonperishable food items to fill 125 food boxes for families in need. “We’re just reinforcing to the community that The Salvation Army is all about service,” Danielson said. “And the town needs to know that we can’t do it without their help and generosity.” The Sunday morning worship service capped off the celebration, with the Dickinsons enrolling four junior soldiers and Lt. Colonel Diane O’Brien bringing the message. Lt. Diana Danielson assisted with this article.
Photo by Alexandra Wennstig
The Poland team
Photo by Jasmine Moody
Service Corps members embark on worldwide missions n Teams served in Kenya, Chile, Poland, Mexico and the U.S. BY MEGAN McQUADE This summer, 28 Salvation Army Service Corps members from around the Western Territory traveled to ministry locations in Kenya, Chile, Hawaii, San Francisco, Poland and Mexico. Administered by the Territorial Youth Department, Service Corps is a short-term summer missions program for young adults ages 18-25. Successful program applicants are placed on teams that join Salvation Army ministry in select locations. Teams participate in leading youth vacation Bible school, teaching music lessons and assisting with teen ministry. Team Kenya led youth rallies, performed songs at the corps, and preached at youth crusades with as many as 500 in attendance. “We [did] great things in the name of God,” said Rachel Bach of Team Kenya. “The youth groups and many people in this territory display an amazing amount of God’s love, and I believe that we have been blessed by all of the wonderful people we encountered.”
Team Chile heard first-hand from hosts Carlos and Clauris Morales about the 7.7-magnitude earthquake that destroyed much of the city of Tocopilla, where the team stayed. The local newspaper also featured the team and its missionary work. “Aside from all the destruction, the people of Tocopilla still work to find the beauty in their town,” said Team Chile member Kayla Covert. “We most definitely see the beauty God has blessed them with.” In the U.S., teams ministered in Hawaii and San Francisco. In San Francisco, the team distributed healthy snacks to the Bayview community; in Hawaii, they helped at Camp Homelani and played dodgeball, “carpetball,” and volleyball with the kids. Team Poland made friends with children in Warsaw, teaching Bible lessons and playing soccer with them. They also introduced “hula” as a form of worship. “The kids in Warsaw are so loving, and they really grew on us because each kid had something different about them,” said Team Poland’s Jasmine Moody. “I can’t wait... to get one more giant, loving hug from a changed child of God.” Team Mexico helped at the Xochitepec
Corps, visiting the homes of the poor and praying with them. They attended youth councils, and celebrated the Fourth of July with their hosts. “Our mission is to help others in Mexico City grow closer as a family to find the love of God,” said Joshua Stewart of Team Mexico. See Instagram photos of the teams via #servicecorps2013.
from page 1
family time at the dinner table. According to Spousta, a Spanish-language interpreter will be available at the classes as 80 percent of the corps’ client base speaks only Spanish. “We expect that the aim of the program of empowering people to eat their way to better health will be met by the end of each set of classes,” Spousta said. In-class demonstrations on preparing and cooking certain foods will allow people to get a better idea of how to apply the lessons in their own homes. At the completion of each program set, the Spoustas hope to provide participants with a small cooking appliance to better meet the needs of their household.
My first year
BY DIANA DANIELSON, LT. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...” Charles Dickens could have been describing our first year of officership with his famous opening to “A Tale of Two Cities.” Our adventure began as we made our way out of the auditorium after commissioning. These were the first words we heard: “Do not unpack— the quarters needs work.” When we arrived at the quarters in Eureka, Calif., we understood what this meant. Luckily, we could not unpack even if we wanted to because our belongings took the scenic route to our new home—making their way to Montana before reaching Eureka. All the while the promise of better things to come and the knowledge that God was on our side were what got us through our first six months. Although we are both California natives, this is our first time in this part of the state. The city of Eureka sits on the largest deep water port between San Francisco and Coos Bay, nestled behind “the redwood curtain.” The weather is mild—a typical day begins with dew in the morning, sunshine in the afternoon and fog at night. It’s quite beautiful and a treat for us; we’ll definitely take the mid50s over the 100 degrees we experienced in Fresno! Meanwhile, I was expecting our sixth child—well into my first trimester—but this didn’t slow me down. Our first day at the office we hit the ground running. In our minds, we had prepared ourselves for an appointment to a small corps that we would have to build up. Instead, we were sent to a corps that was already well established, and we have had many great learning experiences. As we prepped for Thanksgiving and kettles we held our first Turkey Bowl to collect donated turkeys for families in need. Soon kettles began and health challenges arose. I was taken off “work” for the remainder of my pregnancy, which significantly limited my time at the corps. Our superb staff and volunteers spent many hours helping with everything that defines The Salvation Army holiday season. As we came to the end of our first Christmas here, the holiday transformed into a twofold joyous occasion in our home. A sweet
DANIELSON, page 9
Doing the Most Good
September 2, 2013 New Frontier
From Trash to Treasure n Garbage Bag Gala raises $13,000. BY ASHLEY KUENSTLER The second annual Garbage Bag Gala brought 200 people in early August to a runway show of recyclable fashion in St. Louis, Mo. With a team of 20 designers, The Salvation Army raised $13,000 to support its programs and services. “Too many times, the people who need our help the most are viewed the same way: as throwaways,” said Captain Matt O’Neil, who spoke at the event. “But at The Salvation Army, we believe everything and everyone deserves a second chance.” Among the anticipated list of designers was St. Louis native A.J. Thouvenot, who was featured on Season 8 of Project Runway. One of his designs was worn by Fox 2 news anchor Angela Hutti, who also emceed the event. Thouvenot, along with Debra Bass, Fashion Editor for the St. Louis Post Dispatch, and Sam Chadwick, Fashion Editor for ALIVE Magazine, served as judges for the evening. Each designer created two looks: a formal or casual design, as well as an “art-to-wear” piece using only throwaway items.
Models pose in dresses made from throwaway items.
They put their creativity and ingenuity to the test this year, using trash bags, duct tape, grocery bags, nails, carpet underlay, corks, VHS tapes, tissue paper, and aluminum cans as design elements. From 40 designs, the judges chose June Greig as the top designer for the second year in a row for her pink dress made from shopping bags and tissue paper.
Greig said the dress took several weeks of thought and planning and three days to create. “I had originally planned for a different color, but when I met my model, I knew the dress needed to be pink,” she said. “The design called for large circles made from tissue paper and plastic bags. I lost count how many I used after I reached 800.” The inspiration for the dress
Photo by Ashley Kuenstler
came from a Valentino design. “I just thought it was so beautiful,” she said. “I would never have the chance to go anywhere and wear something like that, so I decided to create it myself.” Greig said she designed her first garment more than 60 years ago, when she was 8 and her mother gave her two seed sacks to occupy her time. She is self-taught and managed
the alteration department for Saks Fifth Avenue for 28 years, owned her own business for custom clothing and alterations, and now teaches sewing to adults and children. “I’ve loved sewing my entire life, and having the chance to do what I love for a great cause like The Salvation Army is just a great experience,” Greig said. “I’ve already started planning for next year.” As the judges’ pick for top designer, Greig was awarded a Brother SB170 sewing machine donated by American Sewing Machine Co. in St. Charles. Her model, Anna Bird, was awarded two tickets to the Cards/Cubs game Aug. 10 at Busch Stadium. After the runway lights had dimmed and the creations were put back on their hangers, the party moved to The Moonrise Hotel rooftop, where participants enjoyed a VIP after party with food, drinks, live music from DJ Epic, and the company of St. Louis’ fashion community. The event was sponsored by Grizzard, The Moonrise Hotel, Yelp, ALIVE Magazine, Patch, Lou Fusz Fiat, Hardees, Black Diamond Glam Squad, and Fish Eye Fun.
Salvation Army expands wellness initiatives by 65 percent n Health programs aim to fight obesity. The Salvation Army expanded its health and fitness programs by 65 percent in the past five years, according to a recently released report, “Wellness for All.” The report explores The Salvation Army’s efforts to provide individuals and families with programs that will encourage them to maintain a healthy lifestyle, ranging from fitness and athletics to community gardens and cooking programs. “People in poverty deserve access to health resources to combat obesity and live long lives,” said Commissioner William Roberts, national commander for The Salvation Army. “The Salvation Army has grown its mission to en-
courage wellness for all—for the mind, body, and soul.” These results come just as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a new study that shows the recent decline in childhood obesity rates in 19 states from 2008 to 2011. Currently, 87 percent of Salvation Army facilities offer programs like Kroc Fit Kids, an obesity prevention program. The Salvation Army hopes to continue to expand programs like this to further the fight against childhood obesity, especially within low-income communities. The findings show that fitness and athletic classes are most in demand. Among the surveyed Salvation Army facilities, 73 percent offer at least one type of cardio or strength class. Examples of popular classes and programs
include Zumba®, basketball, swimming and dance. Additional services include mental health programs, summer lunch, health fairs, aquatics and even services that many people take for granted, such as dental and hygiene clinics. “There’s truth in the proverb, ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime,’” Roberts said. “We have seen remarkable life-changing benefits in people—weight loss, reduction in need for medication, new self-confidence and, of course, adding years to their lives in which they can spend time with loved ones.” Read the report at salvationarmyusa.org/ usn/2013HealthAndWellness.pdf.
Army helps trafficking victims n Cincinnati program provides long-term care for survivors. BY BILL SCHINKAL In response to the recent arrests of human traffickers in the Greater Cincinnati area, The Salvation Army announced the partnering of its Anti-Human Trafficking Program with the FBI in Cincinnati, Cincinnati Police Department and Sharonville Police Department to provide services and support for the survivors. “Supporting and empowering survivors of sex trafficking, labor trafficking and exploitation on the streets is the main goal of the Anti-Human Trafficking Program,” said Erin Meyer, AntiHuman Trafficking Program manager for The Salvation Army. “We are extremely grateful for the opportunity provided by this law enforcement operation to
Photo courtesy Salvation Army Puerto Rico
Army responds to floods in Puerto Rico n Volunteers pass out more than 100 first aid kits. connect our city’s survivors with local resources.” In addition, the program coordinated with the International Association of Forensic Nurses to ensure that medical assessments and care would be available to survivors on location. It will also provide services for shelter, substance abuse treatment, coun-
seling and other longer-term services, such as employment readiness, will be available for these survivors to support their recovery. For more information about The Salvation Army’s AntiHuman Trafficking Program call (513) 800-1863 or visit salvationarmycincinnati.org.
BY LAURA RENTAS The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services in Puerto Rico responded to a call for help by the commonwealth’s government Emergency and Disaster Response Agency (AEMEAD) for the residents of Puerto Rico’s Los Naranjos community after floods submerged the surrounding Vega Baja region in water.
Both Salvation Army and AEMEAD personnel went door to door to pass out more than 100 first aid kits to those in the community who remained in damaged homes. As a result of the incident, the local government created a dredging plan to clear the local drain in the Vega Baja region to prevent future floods. The Salvation Army continued to pass out lunches to the Los Naranjos community and those working on the dredging project.
Doing the Most Good
Practice by puppetry n A new project educates kids on drug abuse and teen pregnancy in unique fashion. Puppets took center stage at Kakamega Township Secondary School in Kakamega, Kenya, when 60 students put on a show for over 200 individuals, using 20 sock puppets and a wooden puppet stage built by inmates of the local prison. Through a series of skits, the students addressed issues relevant to their culture and community. The performance culminated “Puppets for a Purpose,” a project developed by Salvationist and college senior Jessica Hodder that uses puppet theater as a tool for community bonding and education. “Theater can be used to explore a number of social, economic and cultural issues within a wide variety of cultural, political and socio-economic contexts,” Hodder said. Hodder brought the project to Kakamega Township, a Salvation Army-
The audience in Kakamega, Kenya, eagerly watches as secondary school students bring puppets to life. Photo by Jessica Hodder
sponsored school established in 2005 that educates 385 students each year. Over two weeks, participating students worked in groups to create skits addressing drug addiction, theft, teenage pregnancy, conflict over land and peer pressure. During the rehearsal process, the
students considered their respective issues and determined how best to present them to the community. “This is the best method that we can use to teach people in our community about issues that are affecting us,” said PUPPETRY, page 8
Scouts ‘ignite’ at jamboree n 100 years of Salvation Army scouting celebrated at world jamboree in the U.K.
The jamboree opened with a parade of each scouting group displaying its flag. Photo courtesy United Kingdom Territory
To celebrate 100 years of Salvation Army scouting, the United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland hosted The Salvation Army World Jamboree for Scouts and Guides— Ignite 2013—Aug. 3-10 at Gilwell Park, Chingford, the historic U.K. home of scouting. The event welcomed 520 scouts, ages 10-25, plus guides and leaders, from Australia, Canada, Ukraine, Finland, Sweden, France, Belgium, U.K., Norway and The Netherlands. “[The jamboree] is a very great experience,” said Elise, a 16-year-old Norwegian delegate and nine-year veteran of the scouting program. “It is especially great getting to know people from other countries.” Activities included archery, climbing, unicycling, pogo sticks, 3G swing,
high seesaw, crate stacking, grass sledging, zip lining, music, and arts and crafts, with campfires and social activities in the evenings. A “Quiet Zone” was also available. Embracing their diversity, campers explored different cultures, while realizing the common bonds they share in Christian life and scouting. Major Denise Cooper, jamboree coordinator and territorial children’s ministries officer in the U.K. with the Republic of Ireland, believes that the Army should continue to invest in scouting. “It helps break down barriers, builds character and develops leadership in young people...and many of the kids that we connect with do not have a church home,” she said. Delegates also participated in an international market day, sampling food and viewing cultural performances from the attending countries. The week concluded with a day in London for shopping and sightseeing.
Strawberries transform life for Chinese villagers n Salvation Army supports entrepreneurs in China. On a recent trip to China, Major Heather Poxon, director of international development from The Salvation Army International Headquarters in London, visited several Army projects in rural areas. In one community, Chikai village in the Great Nujiang valley, most villagers live below the extreme poverty line—approximately $1.30 a day. Chikai village is the home of Mr. Yu, an entrepreneurial farmer. Yu had an idea to grow different crops on his land rather than the usual maize, potatoes and rice. So he researched and chose strawberries, even though no one had ever grown them in that region. His first attempt yielded a poor crop due to heavy rain. He then planted later in the year, resulting in a successful yield. The fruit proved so popular at the markets that the demand soon became greater than he could supply. Tourists from other countries began coming to buy strawberries from him and see his farm. He is now known as far away as 100 miles. Yu realized the effect this new cash crop could have on his community, so he shared his knowledge and experience with his neighbors, and they also began farming strawberries. The Salvation Army is supporting the community by providing loans to families to purchase the plants and material they need. When a loan is paid back, those funds are made available to other families.
Entreprenuer Mr. Yu in his strawberry field Photo courtesy International Headquarters
By growing strawberries, the people of Chikai village have the potential to increase their income up to six times their current earnings, raising their living standard above the poverty line. From news.salvationarmy.org.uk
September 2, 2013 New Frontier
Elsewhere in the world AUSTRALIA—Australian Christian author David Malcolm Bennett’s book, “William Booth and His Salvation Army,” has been shortlisted in the biography section of the Christian Authors Lifting Each Other’s Books (CALEB) Awards 2013. Winners of the various categories will be announced Oct. 11. MEXICO—The Salvation Army recently opened a corps in Cancun after six months of construction and with the support of Mexico Territorial Headquarters and the Holland territory. This is the first corps in Cancun. Territorial leaders Colonels Ricardo and Sonia Bouzigues dedicated the new building and performed the ribboncutting ceremony, alongside many other Salvation Army leaders. Lts. Alberto and Consepción González are the corps officers. From El Grito de Guerra CANADA—A month after flood waters ravaged High River, Alberta, The Salvation Army Disaster Assistance Centre remained on the scene. Mark Mitchell, from W. Garfield Weston Foundation, and management personnel from Extra Foods in High River, visited the site Aug. 13 to witness the Army’s post-flood relief efforts. The visitors delivered a $75,000 donation to Captain Pam Goodyear, divisional secretary of public relations and development, to provide ongoing aid to flood victims. From The Salvation Army Canada and Bermuda Territory on Facebook NEW ZEALAND—A 6.6-magnitude earthquake hit Seddon Aug. 16. The Salvation Army soon established a welfare center at Seddon School where officers and volunteers offered food and pastoral counseling. Because some houses were unsafe for residents to re-enter, the Army obtained additional food for breakfast. Civil defense staff, along with 24 victims, remained overnight at the center, often listening to stories and concerns. From WarCry SCOTLAND—Member of Scottish Parliament Humza Yousaf visited Easterhouse Corps to witness its work firsthand. He praised The Salvation Army for its efforts in the community, and was so impressed with corps assistants Tom and Pamela Mitchell that he promised to return as a volunteer. West Scotland Divisional Commander Major Russell Wyles thanked Yousaf— who is also the Minister for External Affairs and International Development. From salvationist.org.uk UK—A newly refurbished building gifted to The Salvation Army Colchester Mount Zion Corps almost 20 years ago will now serve as a youth and children’s ministry venue. Dennis Pratley, the longest-attending member of the corps, cut the ribbon with Robin Mitchell, a fourth-generation member of the corps. Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell also attended the grand opening event. From SALVATIONIST
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SEPTEMBER 2, 2013 • NEW FRONTIER—PAGE 7
The emergence of a new homeless intervention strategy may come at the expense of another.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is working to devise the best model for decreasing homelessness in communities across the country, and related funding could help determine the financial future of several of The Salvation Army’s transitional housing programs in the Western Territory. Rapid rehousing, or “housing first,” denotes the effort to assign homeless individuals and families to permanent, supportive housing within 30 days. These initiatives appeal to HUD due to their low cost compared to transitional housing programs run by The Salvation Army as well as their ability to immediately remove families from the homeless list by putting them in permanent housing. Occupants of transitional housing facilities owned by The Salvation Army are still deemed homeless for the duration of their stay. There is also a two-year limit on these programs––which means that if these individuals do not stabilize within this period, they are back on the streets.something that “The strategies used to work with the homeless population are evolving; they’re growing and they’re apt to change,” said Shawna Sampson, social services director for The Salvation Army in Spokane, Wash., where the Army has engaged a rapid rehousing program successfully enough to decrease the demand for transitional housing. “What used to be the prescribed intervention is no longer the case.” The Georgia Department of Community Affairs conducted a study this year on homelessness, concluding that a person who was served through transitional housing or an emergency shelter in Georgia was more than four times as likely to return to homelessness as a person served in a rapid rehousing program. Next year, HUD is set to release its own detailed study comparing the long-term effects of rapid re-housing with transitional and subsidized housing nationwide. The Salvation Army Western Territory’s Northwest Division facilitates both rapid —TOM WALKER rehousing and transitional housing programs. Major Tom Walker, social services secretary for the Northwest Division, believes its transitional housing programs face an uphill battle. “We have a lot of work to do to determine if the future of our [transitional housing] programs are viable,” Walker said. “We can anticipate that the funding is going to be going down for transitional [housing] programs.” While more and more jurisdictions are weighing the benefits of rapid rehousing programs, Walker believes that a wholesale switch to rapid rehousing might be hasty, especially for metropolitan areas. According to the Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness, rapid rehousing was New York City’s prevalent method for reducing family homelessness from 2005 to 2011. Over that period, approximately 33,000 families were moved out of a shelter. Yet, during that same period of time, the return-to-shelter rate increased. “The effectiveness of the case management is something that hasn’t really been studied extensively yet,” Walker said. “The headlong rush to get rid of transitional housing programs and focus exclusively on rapid rehousing is a little bit premature.” Walker added that Seattle, another metropolitan area, has actually seen increased need for shelters in the city with the emergence of rapid rehousing. “Increasingly, if The Salvation Army wants to continue to do transitional housing, in our units with our programs, we’ll have to prove it’s more effective at ending homelessness than being in their own housing with our program or someone else’s program,” Walker said. Former Spokane Corps Officers Majors Kyle and Lisa Smith recently helped launch the Homeless Families Coordinated Assessment, which allows families to come to one location where they’re assessed using an objective tool to identify what their barriers to housing are. Their score determines the best intervention or strategy to move them into housing. “Data is indicating that the shorter amount of time you’re homeless, the more successful
you’re going to be,” Sampson said. “Many families in Spokane are scoring for rapid rehousing. Families with fewer barriers are most likely going to go through rapid rehousing. We’re not seeing a whole lot of families score for transitional housing right now. Families with higher barriers to housing end up in transitional housing because they need more support.” Other divisions in the territory are working to direct homeless individuals toward the most applicable intervention for them. Major Robert Lloyd, Clark County, Nev., coordinator, said that Clark County does offer permanent housing, but not via the rapid rehousing intervention. He, too, expressed skepticism for rapid rehousing as a panacea for homelessness. “It can cause problems when you [immediately] put someone who’s been homeless for 10 years in permanent housing,” Lloyd said. Aside from the chronically homeless population, he said that those struggling with addiction and mental illness may have difficulty securing permanent housing through this method. Once admitted into an addiction recovery program, individuals are no longer deemed homeless by the caseworkers, eliminating their chances at permanent housing. “It’s difficult when you have someone chronically homeless who needs an [addiction] recovery program.” Lloyd said. “You get them in the —SHAWNA SAMPSON recovery program, but by virtue of being in the program, they’re no longer homeless and they no longer qualify for the permanent housing.” “Rapid rehousing is most effective for those who’ve recently lost their jobs, but it’s very little help to those with mental health issues.” Many HUD-funded transitional housing programs come equipped with additional support services––a factor not typically accounted for when determining the cost-effectiveness and overall value of these programs. One of the Army’s transitional housing programs in the Northwest Division, for instance, offers resources for victims of domestic violence. “Rapid rehousing has a lot going for it, but we think there’s value in our transitional housing programs,” Walker said. “There’s value in having women and their families who have decided to leave domestic violence and are trying to rebuild their lives in one place, meeting in support groups and working on their resumes and job skills, while they are around other people that know what it’s like. We think that there’s a value to that but we haven’t proven that there’s a value in that.” Despite controversy surrounding which is the more practical method for alleviating homelessness in different regions, Sampson insists the two models can coexist––at least for the foreseeable future. “Rapid rehousing and transitional housing are not going to be changing tomorrow,” Sampson said, “but I do think that rapid rehousing is here to stay.” According to Walker, one thing within The Salvation Army’s control can go a long way in solidifying the value of transitional housing programs. “Research,” he said. “The Army should be engaged in researching the effectiveness of our own programs. The burden of proof is on us now to show that our way is more effective.”
The Army should be
engaged in research-
ing the effectiveness of
our own programs. The
burden of proof is on us
now to show that our
The headlong rush
way is more effective.
to get rid of transitional housing programs and
focus exclusively on rapid rehousing is a little bit premature.
REVISITing reHOUSING BY JARED McKIERNAN
APPROXIMATELY 20 TO 25 PERCENT of the single adult homeless population suffers from some form of severe and persistent mental illness, according to the National Resource and Training Center on Homelessness and Mental Illness. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration estimates 38 percent of homeless people are dependent on alcohol and 26 percent abuse other drugs.
Doing the Most Good
September 2, 2013
Cascade Division families unite for celebration n Families across the Cascade Division come together for four days of fun and spiritual growth.
In the village of Kake, Alaska, Lt. Noel Evans, corps officer with her husband, Michael, recently reignited the lost tradition of walking down the village streets playing the corps drum to call people to the Sunday worship service. It rejuvenated the village elders, and brought people to church who had not attended in a while.
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student puppeteer Samuel Kaduki. Several participants expressed a desire to put on future puppet shows, specifically to address HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases within the area. “Theater, and indeed puppetry, is new in Western Kenya,” said Frederick Jacob Tali, principal of Kakamega Township. “Puppetry is successful because it combines learning with fun, and it makes students more active and participatory in the learning process. It also promotes peer teaching, because the students share with each other as they perfect their skills. I’m sure that if we continue to refine our skills using the new stage and puppets, other schools will learn and the trend will spread.” Hodder hopes that puppetry will continue to inspire those in rural areas to breathe life into their stories, and create effective spaces for learning in the process. “By playing upon Africa’s deeply rooted appreciation of stories and storytelling, this performance project proved successful in first appealing to community members and then addressing pertinent societal concerns,” Hodder said. “I am looking forward to seeing how Kakamega Township Secondary School utilizes the stage and puppets in the future.”
Family members of all ages enjoy themselves at Cascade Division’s Celebration and Family Reunion. Photo courtesy of Cascade Divisional Headquarters
a study on the seven Feasts of Israel, linking the Old Testament feasts with New Testament portrayals of God’s gifts accessible
through the trinity—or whole person—of God. Lts. Emmanuel and Jennifer Masango led a vacation Bible school program for
Raley’s gives thousands to Oklahoma tornado relief n Food for Families collection boxes raise money for the Army. Raley’s Family of Fine Stores raised $74,220 in just four weeks this summer through its Food For Families collection boxes designated for the Oklahoma Tornado Relief effort. The collection boxes were located in stores throughout the Sacramento, Calif., area. The donation was split between The Salvation Army and the American Red Cross with each organization receiving a check for $37,110 for use in its relief efforts in Oklahoma. “The money generously donated by Raley’s customers and employees will have a very positive impact on the lives of so many people trying to rebuild and recover,” said Jennie Teel-Wolter, community relations manager for Raley’s Family of Fine Stores. On May 20, a Category EF 5 tornado with winds topping 210 miles per hour touched down near Moore, Okla., for 39 minutes cutting a 17 mile-long path of destruction that was more than a mile wide at its peak. The
Major Lisa Dickinson receives a check from Jennie Teel-Wolter, community relations manager for Raley’s Family of Fine Stores. Photo by Sydney Fong
twister killed 23 people and injured more than 375. “This is another great example of the incredible generosity of this community,” said Major Bill Dickinson, Salvation Army Del Oro divisional commander. “The Salvation Army is truly grateful for efforts made by Raley’s and its customers and employees. This will go a long way to provide any assis-
tance now and in the future for the families and individuals in Oklahoma.” As part of the fundraising effort, Raley’s absorbed all administrative costs to ensure that 100 percent of the money raised will reach the victims of the Oklahoma tornados. To learn more about the Food For Families program, visit foodforfamilies.org.
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look forward to getting to know them.” The College for Officer Training, perched on cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., holds a special place in the hearts of cadets and officers alike. “When I arrived at Crestmont, I knew I was on holy ground. I felt as if my spirit was moving like never before,” said newly arrived Cadet Adrian Ribeiro. “This is sacred space,” said Major Brian Jones, director of curriculum, “where the Army has trained and equipped generations of officers; a place set apart for God’s service.” First-year Cadet Maryellen Walters said, “I am so blessed to be here and a part of the CFOT family. We were welcomed with open arms by the campus officers, staff and the Disciples of the Cross.” The Heralds of Grace represent all 10 of the Western Territory’s divisions, and
Save the Date
The Cascade Division brought families together for four days of fun and spiritual focus at its annual family camp, themed “Celebration and Family Reunion,” held at Camp Kuratli in Boring, Ore., July 31-Aug. 3. Almost 250 people attended the event, where they participated in activities including a barbecue, hikes, games and sing-alongs. The spiritual celebration, however, was the main focus, and three separate tracks accommodated the different age groups, meeting the needs of adults, youth and children. For the adult track, Sierra del Mar divisional leaders Majors Lee and Michele Lescano offered
the children, while Majors James and Laura Sullivan headed up the youth events. Tosha Firman, from the Medford Corps, came with her 2-year-old, Shawn. Firman expressed surprise at how “comfortable everyone is making us feel. Everyone is so accepting. It makes me feel like I know them already.” Throughout the week, The Dalles Corps hosted a cafe with open mic sessions. People sat, sipping cappuccinos and lattes, while listening to music or visiting. During one of the communal services, Cascade Divisional Commander Lt. Colonel Judith Smith introduced Adrian and Jamie Ribeiro, from the Gresham (Ore.) Corps, who are accepted candidates for the College for Officer Training at Crestmont.
come from a variety of backgrounds. Many have worked for The Salvation Army, with responsibilities such as youth director, residential program manager, human resources coordinator and family caseworker. Others worked outside the Army in the medical field, auto repair and engineering. Five served in the U.S. military. Virtually every cadet held some responsibility at his or her corps—from Adventure Corps leader to Sunday school teacher to Young People’s sergeant-major. Most of the cadets are firstgeneration Salvationists, but two are fifth, and one cadet’s family has been in the Army for six generations. “We are thrilled to welcome the Heralds of Grace Session to their new home at Crestmont,” said Major Timothy Foley, training principal. “My prayer is that God will expand their hearts and help them to embrace the opportunities for service and learning that await each of them.”
Instructor Lorri Coker teaches a nutrition class on how to prepare a nutritional meal on a SNAP Photo by Audra Whipple budget.
Helping the community in LEAPS n Redding Corps offers classes to improve lives. LEAPS, a new program launched at the Redding (Calif.) Corps, aims to help community members in “Leading, Educating and Pursuing Success.” The program offers classes in nutrition,
finance and budgeting, resume and cover letter writing, gardening, emergency preparedness and basic vehicle maintenance. Each hour-long class covers basic materials and demonstration, then allows time for questions and answers. Instructors are community members, skilled in a given area, who donate their time. “We’ve seen an increasing number of people looking for the knowledge to make themselves better and we’re providing access to that knowledge,” said Corps Officer Lt. Audra Whipple. Several classes are running 15–25 people. Currently, the two most popular subjects are the nutrition and vehicle maintenance classes. These sessions help clients switch to a healthier lifestyle by making better food choices helps them know when and what to fix on their cars. The program is in its fifth month.
Doing the Most Good
September 2, 2013
A squash plant blooms in the aquaponic garden. Photo by Jared McKiernan
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Kamorin O’Callahan, with chaperones Yuba City Police Officer Dennis Hauk and Kary Aldridge, finds new school clothes at the Target Shopping Spree. Photo by Sydney Fong
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This time of year is particularly expensive for families. According to a survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF), the average family will spend over $600 on back-to-school supplies this season. “Backpacks rip, pencils break, and children grow, there’s no way around it,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. Single mom Lopez Rendon couldn’t afford to buy her 14-year-old daughter Elizabeth clothes for school. Her two sons, ages 17 and 20, still live in Mexico, where she is from. She was grateful that The Salvation Army chose Elizabeth for the program. Elizabeth and her shopping buddy, Jodi Radford, headed straight for the girls’ clothing section. “I know how hard it is,” Radford said. “I was a single mom for a while. I got help at times when I needed it and this is my way of giving back.” Radford guided Elizabeth through racks of jeans and tank tops, then helped her pick out a shoulder bag. Radford asked Elizabeth whether she was nervous to be a freshman at Santa Maria High School. “I was scared at first, but it’s just another
step of life,” she said. Elizabeth wants to go to college to be a pediatrician. Most children chosen for the Target School Spree come from families living in homeless shelters, or from social service programs and afterschool programs organized by The Salvation Army. “We try to find the kids with the greatest need,” said Lt. Colonel Douglas Riley, Southern California divisional commander. “Living in generational poverty, that’s a very traumatic experience,” said Major Ron Busroe, national community relations and development secretary. “This is a wonderful opportunity to impact a child in a very positive way.” In the kids’ shoes aisle, volunteer Cecilia Lopez helped 9-year-old Cassandra try on sneakers. Cassandra, one of five children—four of whom were shopping that day—had never been to Target before. She picked out shoes, tights, a shirt, pencils, underwear, paper, a binder and a pink rolling backpack. “When it has a lot of books I don’t have to carry it. And I can use it when I go on trips,” she said.
Kerr said the children who participate in the Target School Spree are aware of their budget and stick to their lists. “They know from a very young age the value of a dollar. Even the little ones are very careful,” she said. Any change left on the gift cards is combined and used to buy more school supplies to be distributed by The Salvation Army. Last year, Target donated $98 million to education programs like The Salvation Army’s back-to-school effort. Santa Maria Target employee Ricky Zamora appreciated the effort. “I love that the store does this,” he said. According to Busroe, The Salvation Army hopes to use its partnership with Target to give to arts and music programs in schools where they’ve been cut. For Kerr, the goal of the shopping trip is to boost self-image and confidence in the children who participate. “They start out a little behind as it is,” she said. Before leaving, Cassandra and her siblings found Kerr and thanked her, their hands full of Target bags.
Pedal to the metal for 100 campers n County coordinator keeps a pledge to send 100 kids to camp.
It seemed a daunting task. The plan: raise enough money to send 100 kids to summer camp. The specifics: Salvation Army Solano County (Calif.) Coordinator Captain Jonathan Harvey and others would walk 10 miles on a treadmill. “I didn’t think I could do it,” Harvey said. But he did. “I’m so exuberant that we were able to do this. What a team effort,” he said. Harvey, along with eight other walkers, sweated off the pounds at the Kroc Center in Suisun City, Calif., to fulfill a pledge to walk the 10 miles in order to send 100 Solano County kids to Camp Del Oro in Nevada City, Calif. Salvation Army Solano County Advisory Board members, several Kroc Center staff and Harvey raised more than $30,000, which was used for camp scholarships. Harvey credited board member Dana Fennie for being the catalyst of the fundraiser.
Captain Jonathan Harvey on the treadmill
Photo by Brandon Davis
“Three months ago he [Fennie] said he wanted to raise $2,000 for campers. He came up with the treadmill idea and others decided to do the same,” Harvey said. “It was a personal accomplishment for everyone involved. I’m so happy for the walkers, this community and the kids going to camp.”
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blessing that made our first Christmas here even more special was the arrival of our son—Solomon Emmanuel—who was born at 4:48 p.m. on Christmas Day. This precious little guy made sure his brothers and sisters were able to open their gifts before making his grand entrance into the world—two weeks early. This has been a year that we surely will never forget! With moving three times (to Eureka, into a rental, and back to Army quarters) and caring for six children—along with ministry—our first year has been quite a task.
My life verse from Crestmont still resonates loud and strong today. It is found in Isaiah 40:29-31: He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Through it all God has been ever faithful. Now more than ever, we know that officership is God’s plan for our lives. He has seen us through so much
this year—how could this not be his plan? There is no better life for us than to serve full time through the ministry of The Salvation Army. Each day, God provides subtle reminders of his presence. Our dear Silvercrest neighbor, Ann, gives us a thumbs up whenever she sees us. This affirmation may not sound like much, but it lets us know that we are making a difference in at least one person’s life. Praise the Lord—he has surely kept our family in his hands throughout this year.
contacted Aaron Flora, an old friend who builds aquaponics farms for nonprofits. Within only a few months, the vision became a reality. Flora designed the urban farm, and 40 volunteers helped construct the foundation for it in just two weekends. “The thing that was exciting for [us as] a church ministry is it creates a strong connection point,” Flores said. “Most importantly, we’re turning that blacktop into a resource where we can help feed the community and invest in the city of Anaheim in a really cool, practical way.” Now, the formerly lifeless lot is bustling with life. Tomatoes, squash, zucchini, Swiss Chard, sweet peas, honeydew and melon sprout from 15 gravel-lined, wooden beds. A few yards away are three 10,000-gallon fish tanks full of homegrown tilapia. The ammonia in the fish waste is pumped out of the fish tanks and into the plant beds, converted to nitrites and then nitrates, which the plants absorb as food through the gravel. This process cleans the water, which is then pumped back into the fish tanks for the fish. Essentially, the fish waste helps the plants grow and the plants purify the water for the fish. “We’re basically just recreating a chunk of the ecosystem,” said Flora, who has built aquaponics farms around the U.S., in Africa and Asia. “I think people don’t really believe it.” Once the system reaches full maturity, Flora expects it will be able to produce around 450 plants a month and between 6,000-7,000 tilapia a year. The opportunity to make organic food accessible to lower income residents was appealing to Envoy Michael Freeman, who runs the community center with his wife Joanna. “I know when I go to Sprouts, I pay a fortune for this stuff,” Freeman said, “so it’s great to be able to have it here and have it fairly priced for the community.” Aquaponics is an emerging technology due to its cost-effectiveness and capacity to serve the community. Billings, Mont., and Long Beach, Calif., are just two other locations where The Salvation Army has experimented with aquaponics. The Anaheim Praiseworks Corps is the largest in the Western Territory to do so thus far and if this farm proves to be a success, it may prompt others to follow suit. In addition to supplying the community center’s emergency food pantry and the Anaheim Adult Rehabilitation Center, Freeman plans to sell the fresh fish and produce to local restaurants and possibly even start a farmers’ market. “Even if we don’t sell a ton, we’re still out there and they’re learning about what The Salvation Army does,” Freeman said. “The Salvation Army isn’t just about drug and alcohol rehab. There’s a lot more to what we do.” Though aquaponics farms are not commonplace for The Salvation Army––at least not yet––Flores insisted the project aligns seamlessly with the mission of the community center. “Overall I think the feeling was, ‘This is worth the risk,’” Flores said. “We really don’t treat our community center as a facility. It’s really important that it’s used as a mission and it’s OK to take risks for the bigger picture.”
Doing the Most Good
September 2, 2013 New Frontier
We love because He first loved us inProcess
Tears well in my eyes, my voice begins to break, while I assure the child, “I love you so much, honey.” Twenty-five hundred miles separate me from her, my 6-year-old granddaughter, silent on the line. Then come the tender words: “I love you back, granddaddy.” My entire body trembles as I wish the child goodbye.
“I love you so much, children,” the Lord reminds us all, though isolated from us by an enormous span, remuneration for self-centeredness and sin. It strikes me I have pained him, cut him to the core, in spite of all he’s done to hold me in his arms: For God so loved the world he gave his one and only son. From deep inside my gut wells up a mournful cry: “Have mercy on me, Lord! Against you I have sinned!” Falling on my knees, I plead with all sincerity: “Please, Jesus, I repent. Make me obedient.” Surrendering myself into his warm embrace, I give up all I have: my sole right to myself. If you draw near to God he will draw near to you. Then a miracle! Cleansing grace washes over me! Wide arms of love envelope me! Truth lifts me up and carries me! Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and he will lift you up in honor.
Final release of ‘John Larsson Plays’ debuted n Two Western musicals included in last volume of series
General John Larsson (Ret.) includes favorites from two musicals born in the West in the fourth and final volume of “John Larsson Plays,” piano arrangements from the Gowans and Larsson musicals. “Son of Man,” written for the centenary celebrations of the Western Territory, premiered in Los Angeles in June 1983 and was later published by the territory. “Man Mark II” was commissioned for the international youth congress held in Macomb, Ill., in 1985. It was premiered at the congress by a cast from the Western Territory and sub-
sequently published by the territory. This volume also includes favorites from the musicals “White Rose” and “The Meeting.” The musical authors said these four musicals include some of their best songs, such as “I’ll not turn back,” “They need Christ” and “I want to say yes.” The four volumes in the series feature a total of 115 songs from the musicals with a 32-page booklet of lyrics by General John Gowans (1934-2012). For sample tracks and further information, visit johnlarsson.com. Order the CD series via tradewest. com.
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The High Council 2013 Recently, Carolyn and I were appointed to the 18th High Council of The Salvation Army and attended as required by the Orders and Regulations of The Salvation Army. The occasion James was advanced on the basis of Knaggs the retirement of General Linda Commissioner Bond (Ret.), who chose to do so for personal reasons. We pray that her decision and her retirement are blessed by God even in these days. She served well for over 44 years as a leader through the ranks, becoming our 19th General in the journey. She also capably led the Western Territory’s 2012 Congress known as The Gathering. Within the last year, Bond appointed then Commissioner André Cox as the Chief of the Staff in succession to Commissioner Barry Swanson who had accepted an appointment as the Territorial Commander of the USA Eastern Territory. It was, then, Cox who dutifully called for the High Council to meet, and so we did late in the month of July in London, England, as required again by Salvation Army Orders and Regulations. The specific location turned out to be the Renaissance Hotel at Heathrow Airport as the customary location, Sunbury Court, was under renovation. A total of 118 international leaders were called, of which 117 were able to attend. A single member was unable to attend due to illness, being on official sick leave. Amazingly, even with short notice, all details came together nicely for a pre-High Council meeting of the leaders for just a few days. Three or four of the members were unable to arrive until the day of the High Council due to unavoidable conflicts in their schedules. The early meetings were a blessing, containing
discussion in small groups about matters of international importance and providing an opportunity for each member to acquaint themselves with the other members. Since the last High Council just over two years prior, almost half of the members at this High Council were first-time participants. One of the beautiful opportunities we shared was to sit under the leadership of Commissioner Keith Banks, who led worship on the Sunday of our experience. His ministry was most appropriate as the presence of God was undeniable among us. Here’s where the description of the experience changes from detailed to philosophical. There seems to be two approaches to the election of a General that define the actions of a High Council. Firstly, we meet to discern God’s choice for the movement, and believe that the General elected is absolutely God’s person for the hour. The second approach is that we meet together in one accord to elect who we believe to be the best person for the hour, and ask God to anoint our choice with his blessing. I would simply ask that if the former approach is right, why would we have nominated candidates, delivered speeches and answered questions? Why wouldn’t we go to our knees and simply petition God for such holy discernment? Then, considering the holy membership present, wouldn’t we come to a more clearly unanimous determination? If the latter approach is correct, are we any less compelled to follow this leader with loyalty, commitment and faithfulness? I leave it for you to conclude. Either way, we have a glorious God-inspired movement known as The Salvation Army with a new international leader, General André Cox, clearly chosen by the High Council and anointed by God to lead us forward. May your prayers and mine be heard in the heavens above for the advancement of the kingdom under his leadership. Hallelujah!
Encounter Christ daily One Friday I was driving home, weary from the usual week of work and juggling our family of five’s schedules. On top of that, I’d found myself “stalled” on a writing project and frustrated at this perceived writer’s block. My lack of progress lingered in the back of Erin my mind and I’d found myself Wikle filling any free moment with Soldier attempts to cast vision and put pen to paper. It made sense I pursue this opportunity; it would fill a need and desire to write more and pour forth new ideas and revelation. So why was I struggling so? Quick to recognize that this particular week had managed to suck a lot of life out of me—leaving me dry and worn out—I entered into a little combo of prayer and praise. (For those with long commutes, I highly recommend filling this idle time by engaging God in some way, be it in intercession or turning up Pandora and having a mini-worship session.) Like a stubborn child who had refused the help of her father, choosing to struggle through a task to prove her independence, I suddenly “gave up” and began crying out to the Lord for help. The words from a worship song, “I feel you near God, you are thick all around me,” played, and I became overwhelmed by the love of God. Through tears, I began pouring out words of repentance and desire for clarity and peace of mind. Admitting that I desired obedience over independence, in but a moment, something shifted. As if a weight were lifted as words of desperation poured forth, peace and joy were suddenly all mine. I’ve been in “this place” before. That moment of recognizing you’ve long pursued something because it “made sense” and fit within the paradigm of your world, because it was masked by spiritualism or Salvationism, so why wouldn’t God have that for you (or me); yet quite ironically, God didn’t have that for you. So many times, I’ve
sharperFocus tried to force in my flesh what directly opposes the Spirit of God. My perceived writer’s block, absence of vision for this project, frustration and lack of peace were a direct result of conceding to an idea because it made sense—I didn’t need anyone else’s input or approval, including a God whose sovereignty is so seldom tapped into and acknowledged. This encounter with God was brief, but so significant for me. I was reminded how my own flesh (sin nature) acts as a veil, keeping me from the presence of God and his best. All decisions derived from a place of disobedience will keep you from hearing the voice of God, receiving and responding to his revelation, and knowing him more. Friends, we must put to death the notion that it is only the worst of our worst that keeps us from him; our disobedience alone separates us from God. Even those desires and choices which are intrinsically good, “make sense,” or are seemingly reasonable, if their origin is not of a place where God has directed you, you have veiled yourself from his presence and cut yourself off from closeness with your Creator. His desire is that we encounter him daily. That we push through the veil and enter right into his presence—the power of Jesus’ death and resurrection alone has allowed us access. So, be it in the quiet of the morning over a cup of coffee or in your car during your commute home, don’t settle for conventional and sensible, what is justifiable and of our own intellect —we are much too flawed a people. Don’t settle for disobedience. Settle for a sovereign God who is rich in love and compassion for his created, and who knows and cares for our deep wants and desires. And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him (Heb. 10:19-22a NLT).
Doing the Most Good
September 2, 2013 New Frontier
Have you eaten yet? lifeLines
When Chinese Singaporeans of an older generation greet each other they don’t say, “Hi!” “How’s it going?” or “Wassup?” They say, “Have you eaten yet?” With typical Singapore linguistic frugality, they often reduce the question to a single Ian word, “Makan?” which simply Robinson Malay means, “Eat?” Major It all stems from Singapore’s early days, before they were established as a nation, and probably originated in China. Most people were poor and food was scarce, so if you met a friend in the street you would ask him if he had eaten yet. If he answered no, it was usually because he could not afford to buy food, so you would invite him back to your house to share what little you had. On another occasion they might reciprocate the gesture and in this way everyone shared their food with everyone else. Of course, nowadays it has become a rhetorical question, more of a greeting than a genuine inquiry into one’s welfare. Food in Singapore is a national obsession. Everyone eats all the time. Every housing block has a food court with 20 or more stalls serving delicious Chinese, Malay, Indian and even Thai or Indonesian food. Many food courts are open 24 hours, and outside of the housing blocks these eateries are sometimes known as hawker centers. All major hotels have an international buffet and the streets beside the Singapore River are lined with restaurants. Eating out is so relatively inexpensive that it doesn’t make sense to cook at home. Just go down to the food court and enjoy a big plate of steaming hot noodles with seafood and a rich gravy for a couple of bucks. This is making me hungry! A good friend of mine, Jimi Tan, is the chaplain at The Salvation Army’s Peacehaven Nursing Home. Recently, he told me about Moy Ga Ho, a resident of the home who accepted Jesus as her personal Savior in Peacehaven. She took ill and was admitted to the hospital. When Jimi went to visit her she said, “Jimi, no one visited me except you. I was hungry and not able to eat because of my physical condition then I remembered you told me about the name of Jesus. So I called to him to help me and when lunch came I was able to eat and get my strength back!” And, despite the social workers making her funeral arrangements, she was happily back in Peacehaven within a week. “Have you eaten?” must have been an important question in Jesus’ day as well since he fed 5,000 hungry people using only five loaves and two fish. Jesus understood the importance of meeting their physical hunger before he preached to them. William Booth had the same idea. Later on, Jesus told his disciples, “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you” (John 6:27). If physical food is essential to our daily survival, spiritual food is just as essential to our spiritual survival. Like my granddaughter, I can only go a few hours before I get “hangry”—a hunger that makes me growl and snap at people. So, it is surely not possible to go for hours, or days, or even weeks, without satisfying our spiritual hunger. We must learn to feed our souls on God’s Word with great and increasing regularity or we will die. In his commentary on John 6:27, Albert Barnes calls this, “The supply of your spiritual wants; that which supports, and nourishes, and strengthens the soul; the doctrines of the gospel, that are to a weak and guilty soul what needful food is to the weary and decaying body.” Isn’t it time for us to put as much, if not more, effort into satisfying our spiritual hunger as we do in making sure our physical and emotional needs are adequately met? Have you eaten yet? CELEBRATING OUR 30th YEAR
ISSN 2164-5930 New Frontier is published twice a month by The Salvation Army USA Western Territory Commissioner James Knaggs, Territorial Commander Colonel Dave Hudson, Chief Secretary We welcome submissions of news stories of interest to the Western Territory. If you have something you’d like to share, submissions can be sent electronically to: email@example.com or by postal service to: New Frontier, P.O. Box 22646, 180 E. Ocean Blvd. Long Beach, CA 90802 The editor reserves the right to edit material submitted. Articles should be roughly 300 words in length.
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What does God require of me I’m no theologian...but here it goes. It starts with a mature belief system concerning the existence and presence of God within my life. Belief demands faith. Faith exists without evidence, although much evidence exists relative to divine creation of earth itself and of humanity in general. The complexity of earth’s placement in orbit, its relationship with the sun, its precise tilt, plus its ability to sustain human life speak of precision, not a random event. Faith needs nurturance leading toward growth and strength. It grows as we grow in grace. I struggle with the word “perfection” in relation to Wesley’s interpretation of “sanctification” and several other verses in the New Testament. Does God require me to be perfect? It is often preached in a manner similar to one of the Pharisees and comes across to me as unattainable, narrow and rigid. For me, perfection exists somewhere outside the boundaries of human existence. The Old Testament Hebrew law assumed complete obedience and seemed to believe that humans could find perfection. The New Testament seems to me to differ from the Old Testament on matters pertaining to perfection. For example, 1 John 1:9 implies an ongoing process: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (NIV). Or Philippians 1:4-6: In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. I believe the human condition, locked within our souls since Adam, dispels the possibility of attaining perfection. I do not have a tendency to perfectionism. Neither do I claim it. I am growing in my faith, and talking to God about my “humanness” on a daily basis. I believe that what God truly wants from me is contact. That’s the way I demonstrate to him that I know he exists, that I express my love and obtain his never-ending grace. I know the way I understand “sin” and “sinning,” and I am not conduct-neutral. I’m a striver seeking my best possible self. I try to relate positively to people around me. I stay in contact with God who is always the closest. I see claiming myself as God as self-deification. God alone is perfect. My policy says: “Keep on growing in the right direction.” See 1 John 1:8: If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
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So, God requires me to continue striving toward a sinless existence, but forgives me when I fail. The prophet Micah spoke out on behalf of God at a very difficult time for the children of Abraham. He worked during the same period as Isaiah, 750-650 B.C. Robert Ahaz was king of Judah, the Docter southern province. Even though he Editor-In-Chief was in the line of David he had none of his qualities. The people wandered, without leading, through a minefield of pleasure; the Assyrians, who had already captured the northern province, Israel, were knocking at the door, and Ahaz was ready to deal. Micah asked: With what shall I come before the Lord and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? (Micah 6:6-7). And then he answered himself with this memorable and oft quoted verse: He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God (6:8). Those three—justice, kindness and humility—are qualities of obedience to God, and add to my requirements. Justice speaks to me of moral rightness, a right connection in community, to be fair and truthful, to be honorable and conscientious, about how I treat those in need. The critical ingredient in kindness for me is empathy— a strong sense of the interpersonal world, identifying with the needs of others, feeling with someone, intimate, heartfelt, affectionate. Humility requires me to see my positive attributes, but avoid trumpeting them, to accept my own limitations, and recognize that, often, I am not the smartest guy in the room. Finally, I must have a close relationship with God. They say that the devil is in the details. I try to handle this with the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step program. I focus on step 10. It asks me to engage in a daily inventory whereby I look at my day and examine those elements of my relationships with God, my family and those around me. I undertake this daily in my prayers.
NEW FROM FRONTIER PRESS
walking in white Walking in White tells of Commissioner Jolene Hodder’s experiences as an American Salvation Army officer serving in Africa. Told through letters home, this book gives a glimpse of Hodder’s service to, and love for, the people of Kenya. Available now at: amazon.com and tradewest.com $11.99 • Frontier Press • isbn 978-0-9768465-7-4
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