saconnects, Volume 7, Number 3, 2021

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VOL. 7  NO. 3, 2021

PROGRAMS: A shelter in the suburbs

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SPECIAL SECTION: Remember 9/11


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With so many evils to overcome,

YOUR HELP IS VITAL Join The Salvation Army’s Overseas Child Sponsorship Program! TRAFFICKING





For just $25/month you can sponsor a Salvation Army School Children’s Home After–school Program


One–time donations welcome! For additional information call 845–620–7435 or email

Apply Now. . . scan the QR!

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Protected for a Purpose

A Salvation Army shelter thrives in a N.J., suburb. Plus: Items to donate to a homeless shelter.

Salvation Army pastor James Jones saw his calling in a new way after surviving a violent shooting.

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Spiritual Life Development Everyone prays differently, but we must all listen to God. page 28

Health People Whether in Spain or in the United States, Major Silvano Diaz follows the will of God. page 7

Learn what PTSD is and how to manage it. page 31


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Charlie Kerr works to remind others that God has never left their side. page 32


REMEMBER 9/11 Views from the Classroom For many young people, September 11, 2001 began as another school day. It ended as a day they would never forget. page 12

Return to the Tower For one 9/11 responder, finding closure took 20 years and a visit to One World Trade Center. Read how he closed that life chapter from 102 stories above New York City. page 16

EDS in their blood The Myers family has given their lives to Salvation Army EDS work during 9/11 and beyond. page 22

Testimony Today, Dan Brunelle is a Salvation Army pastor in Old Orchard Beach, Maine, but on 9/11 he received his first assignment at Ground Zero. Page 27




TERRITORIAL LEADERS Commissioner William A. Bamford III Commissioner G. Lorraine Bamford CHIEF SECRETARY Colonel Philip J. Maxwell COMMUNICATION SECRETARY Lt. Colonel Kathleen J. Steele EDITOR IN CHIEF Warren L. Maye MANAGING EDITOR Robert Mitchell EDITOR / HISPANIC CORRESPONDENT Hugo Bravo ART DIRECTOR Reginald Raines PUBLICATION MANAGING DESIGNER Lea La Notte Greene GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Keri Johnson, Joe Marino, Mabel Zorzano

The cost of remembering 9/11


THE SALVATION ARMY MISSION STATEMENT The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.

WARREN L. MAYE Editor in Chief

Member since 2015 Award winner 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020

SACONNECTS is published six times per year by The Salvation Army USA’s Eastern Territory. Bulk rate is $12.00 per issue for 25–100 copies. Single subscriptions are available. Write to: SACONNECTS, The Salvation Army, 440 West Nyack Road, West Nyack, NY 10994–1739. Vol. 7, No. 3, 2021. Printed in USA. Postmaster: Send all address changes to: SACONNECTS, 440 West Nyack Road, West Nyack, NY 10994–1739. SACONNECTS accepts advertising. Copyright ©2021 by The Salvation Army, USA Eastern Territory. Articles may be reprinted only with written permission. All scripture references are taken from the New International Version (NIV) unless indicated otherwise.

To see how we’ve honored Salvation Army officers, employees, and volunteers who were first responders at Ground Zero, scan this QR code and go to our 9/11 10th anniversary special issue of Priority! magazine online. | @saconnects

COVID–19 has threatened every aspect of our lives, which today includes our promise to never forget the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Since the pandemic hit, crowds that would have visited the memorial, the museum, and the One World Trade Observatory in Manhattan, have diminished. The 9/11 museum is largely dependent on ticket sales. Last year, its “temporary closure and limited capacity left the institution with an $18 million deficit,” reported The New York Times. The financial impact has significantly reduced the budget for this year's 20th anniversary memorial service to be held at Ground Zero. As a result, the museum has laid off 60 percent of its exhibitions department staff, and none of the nonprofit organizations that helped after 9/11—including The Salvation Army—are being invited to participate in the official commemoration ceremony. The organizing committee has decided that such groups are among the “special anniversary programming” that had to be cut. “Leadership has put together the best possible plan to navigate this extraordinary challenging time,” said Marc La Vorgna, a representative of the curators. He said such a plan was necessary to maintain the mission of the museum. Nonetheless, 20 years ago The Salvation Army made a promise to never forget what happened on 9/11. Despite budget cuts or whatever else might get in the way, we promised to never forget. So, this year is the most important observance so far. To assume that our memories of the events of 9/11 will last without an intentional effort to keep them alive would be a mistake. We must and we will stand and be counted among the first responders to arrive at Ground Zero; offer extraordinary support; and in the aftermath, be among the last to leave. In this issue of SACONNECTS, we’ll include a recent visit to the new One World Trade Center tower and reflect on what happened, share testimonies from people who were children on 9/11, and look back at the Salvation Army's response to other recent disasters as part of its traditional and ongoing ministry. Join us, as we fulfill our promise, regardless of the cost.



WE ARE HERE NOW. In fact, we have been here for more than 120 years. The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services stands ready to serve those in need. When crisis happens, we are there to provide—not only essentials, such as food, clothing, donated goods and financial support, but emotional and spiritual care as well. A crisis isn’t a short–term event and our services extend long after the media and cameras have gone away. We aim to do the most good, for the most people, in the most need.

The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. During emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts.



The Salvation Army's relief effort, “Operation Compassion Under Fire,” led feeding and support operations for nine months.

The Salvation Army’s work on 9/11 went beyond New York. At the Pentagon, the National Capital and Virginia Division gave aid, meals, and spiritual guidance to first responders. Outside Shanksville, Pa., at the crash site of United Flight 93, Western Pennsylvania Division personnel served 20,000 meals and performed five worship services for the community.

The Salvation Army was the first relief agency at Ground Zero on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, arriving within half an hour following the first plane crash into the World Trade Center. On the Wagon The phrase “On the wagon,” which means for one to abstain from alcohol, was used by men and women who received assistance from The Salvation Army. Evangeline Booth, the daughter of Army founder William Booth and a former Salvation Army national commander, drove a hay wagon through New York City and encouraged people who sought recovery to climb on board and take a ride to The Salvation Army. Those individuals, who also worked on their recovery, were said to be “On the wagon.”

meals served


TSA officers, volunteers, and staff provided assistance

1 million

SCAN this code to download a collection of poems capturing Thomas V. Applin’s reflections on September 11, entitled “9/11 Reflections.”

“ If The Salvation Army ever leaves the streets, it will die from lack of oxygen.” –General John Gowans, a former international leader of The Salvation Army


3.2 million

volunteer hours provided

$90 million donated




Montclair’s Hidden Corner The Cornerstone House looks much like other Victorian–styled residences in the town of Montclair, N.J. For the sake of privacy, it has no Salvation Army signage or even a shield to show that it is associated with the Montclair Citadel Corps, the closest Salvation Army church in the area. Nonetheless and for 30 years, The Salvation Army has used it to provide safe living quarters for needy men, women, and families who aspire to eventually gain permanent housing and employment. Families can access a private bathroom. Dormitory–styled rooms for single residents can allow up to four persons in each room. Residents share kitchen, dining, and recreational areas. They can reside at Cornerstone for up to 60 days. “Homelessness can fall in a wide range of situations,” says Anna Goglia, the family services case worker at Cornerstone. “There are the street homeless who we see outside and help. But there are other people who suddenly become homeless from being unable to provide for themselves, even with income. They fall on hard times and may not be eligible for services, like welfare. “For example, we have a woman living here whose only source of income is child support. But if it goes over a certain amount, she’ll be denied other services. She might be eligible for food stamps, but that won’t help her and her children find a place to live. That’s where we come in; to take them to self–sufficiency.” The Cornerstone House’s residents work with Goglia to get on lists to be considered for services provided by the city. Goglia, having been with the Army in Montclair for


21 years, has a vast knowledge of the available resources. Many of them are only blocks away from Cornerstone. “I have been in Montclair for so long that I know the connections and what they can offer,” says Goglia. “The city is saturated with services; there are food pantries; hot meals, three days a week; and breakfast every other morning. The need for food should not affect anyone’s budget while they are trying to get stabilized here.” Cornerstone differs from other shelters in the state because it takes women, with or without children or a spouse. “Welfare

ITEMS THAT SHELTERS NEED Pillows and bedding: When new residents arrive at a shelter, they receive new bedsheets and pillows. Cleaning supplies: Cornerstone residents help maintain the house. Bagels, donuts, and coffee: Food that can be stored is useful, but a meal that can be enjoyed immediately, such as breakfast, is always welcomed. Toiletry and feminine products: These items are crucial for long–term care and walk–ins. ‘Comfy’ and interior clothing: Sweats, socks, and underwear are simple garments that residents sometimes need when they arrive. Shower curtains: People rarely think of donating these, but at shelters, bathroom shower curtains are changed often.

shelters, for the most part, are not a mixed population. Even finding housing after they are here is not always easy,” says Goglia. Seniors are also among Cornerstone’s most frequent residents. Many of them live on a limited or fixed income. The waitlist for affordable housing for them is long; they can wait years before getting a response. Goglia says that helping seniors become stable is one of Cornerstone’s biggest challenges. “A young, healthy person can find work, but where is an older person going?” asks Goglia. The house out of which Cornerstone now operates stood during the pandemic of 1918. Almost 100 years later, and in the middle of another pandemic, Cornerstone residents have a place to stay where they can be safe and socially distanced. The House stays open longer hours for the residents who hope the day will soon come when they can apply for work and freely visit others, without the fear of contracting COVID–19. “We hired extra staff to be at the shelter from March to August of 2020 and it stayed open 24 hours a day. As I look back on our schedules, I still don’t know how we did it,” says Goglia. “We’re good at staying under the radar, so people don’t always see all the work that The Salvation Army is doing in a city like Montclair,” says Goglia. “But we’re happy to help a segment of the homeless population that is sometimes forgotten. When they arrive here, Cornerstone House is their home, and we want to make them as comfortable as possible.”

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God dictates our plans Interview by HUGO BRAVO

Major Silvano Diaz, special projects and property officer for the Adult Rehabilitation Centers Command (ARCC) in West Nyack, N.Y., talks about “miracle donations,” preaching with an accent, and remembering that God is always in control.

As a teenager, I wanted to serve God, but I didn’t want to do the work of feeding others. When I looked into becoming an officer, I thought, I’m not sure I want to wear a uniform. Even during my cancer treatment, with a painful tube in my nose, I asked God, “Why do You have me here when You need me out there working?” Then I heard God say, “At your church, you talk about Me and praise Me to others. But here, you talk to Me as if you are in control. I’m the one who commands you.” I had tried to control how I would serve God, but I learned that it is God who dictates how we will serve Him.


One of my first jobs for The Salvation Army was in my country of Spain where I worked in a home for the elderly. At first I wondered, What ministry could I give to someone who is in pain, or dying? One day, a 100-yearold man came to me and said, “You have what I’ve been searching for all my life. I can go in peace now.” After hearing me talk, he had accepted the Lord as his Savior. Now he knew where he was going after he left this earth. That’s when I understood why I was there. I saw peace and calm in the faces of people who knew they would soon be with God. Years later, when my doctor gave me a cancer diagnosis, I had that same peace; I was not afraid. If it was my time to go, then I knew where I would go, and to whom.

At my appointment at the Jersey City, N.J., ARC, I found it difficult to preach sermons in my broken English. I asked for a translator, but had to continue preaching with my heavy accent. Six months in, a beneficiary came to my office to thank me. He said that he had accepted God in his life, and it was because of me. I said to him that it was God he should thank. But he said, “In this case, it’s definitely you. At first, I didn’t want to be here or listen to anyone, but when you spoke, I couldn’t understand a word you were saying. So, I actually had to pay close attention. That was when the Lord spoke to me.” After that, I never worried about translation. I kept on preaching, broken English and all.

Our human bodies will stay on earth; they won’t be preserved simply because they belong to us. When we clip our nails, we don’t keep the clippings. The rest of our body is the same way. Someone at age 25 looks different than when he or she was 5. That person has a whole new body. So, why should it surprise any of us that we will one day have a new, glorified body when we leave our old body here on earth? When Jesus rose on the third day, He had a new body that accompanied Him to Heaven. We are only here for a time, but we were created to spend eternity with God.

We had a budget of 80,000 Spanish pesetas (about $575) per week to keep the home for the elderly running. One December, we were without funds, and feared we might have to close the home. While in the garden, worried, I was approached by two women. They said that the Lord had called their congregation to take a collection for us. A collection for a small church in Spain could get around 300 pesetas; they had exactly 80,000. I asked how they knew that it was the amount I needed. They said that God told them so. They gave me the money, and I never saw them again. I asked other local churches about the donation; no one said they knew these women or their church. It would not surprise me if one day in Heaven I come across two angels with familiar faces, and I’m reminded of their donation.





ometimes when James Jones tells the story of the events of December 1, 2016, he cries. On that day, he was involved in a shooting at his local barbershop. Someone else had been the target, but the bullet that entered Jones’ body brought him closer to death than he had ever felt. What had started as a typical day of fulfilling church errands and other responsibilities ended with Jones bleeding in a hospital bed. But miraculously, this Salvation Army pastor who had been shot at close range, was able to astound doctors by leaving the hospital that same day. “It makes me emotional to know that God is with me, and that I’m a living testimony to Him,” says Jones, who is the pastor of The Salvation Army corps (church) in McKeesport, Pa. At the time of the shooting, Major Jones and his wife, Major Malinda Jones, were corps officers in Barberton, Ohio. “Life is not promised to any of us. You can be here today and gone tomorrow. But we know that God has a purpose for us all,” says Major Malinda.


“Still, this is something that you expect to see on a TV crime show, not happen to your husband on a normal day of church responsibilities.”

Morning errands Despite having a busy day, it was imperative that Jones make it to his barbershop appointment. The mayor of Barberton was scheduled to hold a summit at Jones’ church later that day on the dangers of heroin addiction. Local judges and politicians were also expected to attend. Jones, who had just completed a “No Shave November” fundraising challenge, needed a haircut badly. “My wife was driving to Cincinnati for a funeral, so I was already needing help,” says Jones. The only way his schedule could work would be to move everything up. His first stop was the Akron Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC), to give a volunteer a ride to the corps. As he waited for the man to come out, a beneficiary made small talk with Jones. During his chat the man said that, in the past,


“ I couldn’t move or get up. The man in the baggy clothes was at my feet, and I could see he had his gun under the barber’s frock. I didn’t know if he was out of bullets, but I did know that I was an eyewitness to what he had done. He looked me in the eyes, and I thought to myself, Well, Jimmy, this is it. This is how you go out.” 10

he had been shot twice. James recalls, “I was a little taken aback, but I politely told him that the next time I saw him, we would talk about this for longer.” While in the car, the volunteer chatted about his interests, which included a desire to shoot handguns and rifles. Jones continued to politely listen to him talk. When they arrived at the church in Barberton, a woman named Suzie, who Jones knew well, asked, “Hey Major, did you know that, when I was little, they used to call me ‘Annie Oakley’ because I was such a good shot?” That day, gun talk followed Jones everywhere he went. But he didn’t have time to dwell on it; he had to get to his barber.

‘This is how you go out’ Every two weeks, Jones visited R.P.’s Blade Academy Barbershop in Akron for a haircut. Located down the street from The Salvation Army, the shop is well–known in the community. It was where NBA star Lebron James got his haircuts as a child. That day, Jones focused on how fast he could get in and out and prepare for the summit scheduled later that night. “As I waited my turn, I had a feeling inside me that said something was not right; I should get up and leave. But before I could think more of it, it was my turn.” However, Jones’ assigned barber began texting someone on his phone. Then, without saying a word, he walked away from his chair and into a bathroom. James sat there, feeling frustrated. As he waited for his barber to return, another customer, who wore wide, baggy jeans and a hooded shirt, sat in the chair next to Jones, facing him. “I would usually say something like, ‘Please pull those pants up,’ to someone dressed like that. This time, I didn’t,” Jones recalls. As a barber prepped the man in baggy clothing for his haircut, another patron walked through the front door. “I found this to be a little strange. Usually everyone comes in through the back of the shop, not the front,” says Jones. The man who had walked in, yelled, “Get out of the chair!” to the man in baggy clothes. But before he could finish his words, Jones heard a boom and felt a sharp blow to his body. It pushed him back in his seat. As the other clients in the shop ran out in terror, four more booms followed. The man who had walked through the front door collapsed. The man in baggy clothes stood from his chair and walked towards James, who bled from his torso. “I couldn’t move or get up. The man in the baggy clothes was at my feet, and I could see he had his gun under the barber’s frock. I didn’t know if he was out of bullets, but I did know that I was an eyewitness to what he had done. He looked me in the eyes, and I thought to myself, Well, Jimmy, this is it. This is how you go out." But the man in baggy clothes ran out the front door. James thought about trying to leave as well, but he worried who might be outside. “Instead, I ran into a doorless room in the back of the barbershop where they kept boxes of supplies and extra chairs. I hid and

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called 911 but had to hang up on them. I didn’t want anyone to hear my voice,” says Jones. Dizzy from blood loss, but still conscious, Jones finally left the shop and struggled into his car. Police officers rushed to the scene, their cruiser sirens ablast. The entire incident lasted about six minutes, but to James, it felt like hours.

‘Malinda, I got shot!’ As police questioned Jones, he paused to call his wife, Malinda. He got four words in before his phone’s battery died. “Malinda, I got shot,” he said. Major Malinda Jones never made it to that funeral in Cincinnati. As soon as James’ phone battery died, she contacted the police in Akron. She tried to learn more about where and when her husband had been shot, but the police withheld such active crime scene information. “I called David, our oldest son, and told him his father had been shot, and to go to the barbershop. He arrived just as James was being taken to the hospital.” “As I was being taken, the doctors said that there would be people who wanted to talk to me there. I was taken through an entrance in the hospital for patients involved in a crime,” says Jones. “I saw that I wasn’t being treated as a victim or an eyewitness; I was being treated as a suspect.” Jones obliged to give up his cell phone to the authorities to clear any suspicion they had of him. Meanwhile, the doctors were taking multiple X–rays and checking Jones’ breathing. The bullet that struck Jones had entered his arm, traveled through his armpit, and exited his back. It had avoided his heart, lungs, and spine. “This is a miracle,” said a doctor while looking over an X–ray. “Mr. Jones, if anyone ever has to get shot, they should want to get shot like you were.” James would soon learn that the man who had entered the shop had been shot in the spine, lung, and trachea. He would be paralyzed for the rest of his life. A 17–year–old boy in the barbershop had also been hit in the ankle by a stray bullet. Authorities believed that Major Jones’ barber, who went texting into the bathroom and stayed hidden during the encounter, may have been aware of what was about to happen. Jones went home that same night. “I thought I should have stayed longer. When I saw the puddle of blood on my hospital bed, I was dizzy. I couldn’t believe that had all come from me.”

Time on his hands Months later, Major Jones had the opportunity to speak to Rob Lash, the man in the baggy clothes who had shot him, but who was now imprisoned. On the day of the shooting, Lash was out on bail; he had sold heroin to a user who then died of an overdose. His story could have been part of the Barberton church’s presentation on heroin addiction, which Jones never got to see. “I had a whole speech written out that would really let Lash have it for what he had done to me. But I forgot the paper at home,”


says Jones, smiling. “Instead, I had the chance to minister to him. “I said, ‘The best thing now for you is that you have time on your hands. Learn who Jesus is while you are away, so when you get out, you can get direction in your life.’” Lash apologized to Jones for what he had done. At the sentencing trial, Lash was given 12 years in prison. After leaving the courtroom, Lash’s father went up to Jones, who had also attended the sentencing, and hugged him. At trauma counseling, Jones learned why his memory of the incident was stored in pieces and chunks, rather than as a continuous narrative. “The adrenaline rush from fear put facts and memories in my mind like scenes in a movie script. That’s how I remember all of this, and how I tell it to others—in scenes,” says Jones. “I was sure that, at some point, I was going to lose consciousness, but I never did. God did not want me to miss a single scene. “Satan has had his sights on me since the day I decided to go preach for the Lord. But God said, ‘You can try to go after James, but that bullet is going the way I tell it to go.’”

A prayer for purpose The final scene of that day pictured Major Jones as he arrived home from the hospital and back with his family. Jones thanked God, but had questions. “I still wondered what God really wanted me to learn from all this. Why did He have me go through what I had seen and felt? That’s when my mind took me back to my teenage years.” Jones remembered a verse he had read at age 19 in those days when he searched for answers. “But rise and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee,” (Acts 26:16 KJV). “I saw the word I was looking for,” remembers Jones. Today, Jones can roll up his sleeve and show the word PURPOSE tattooed on his forearm. “My purpose is to reflect on what I just lived through, and my testimony is to remind others that, even when we are caught up in our lives and not thinking about God, our Healer and Protector is thinking about us. “I am a minister, and now, I’m a witness.”




Views from the Classroom


Larry Fulmer was a 13–year–old middle school student when he heard words over a classroom public address system that would stay with him forever. “The World Trade Center in NYC has just been hit.” Two weeks prior, Larry had been on the observation deck of Tower 1. The faces of the people he had seen working there immediately came to mind. He wondered if they were safe or even alive. Larry’s mother picked him up from school. They both thought of Larry’s uncle, who worked as a pharmaceutical salesman in Manhattan. Fortunately, they learned he was safe. Today, Larry Fulmer is a Salvation Army officer (pastor) in Altoona, Pa., but his feelings from 20 years ago are still raw. “I remember where I was and the faces at the World Trade Center (WTC).


o children, New York City feels particularly alive in ways that other cities don’t. New York is the home of their movie superheroes and TV sitcom characters. It’s where a museum, a baseball game, an amusement park or a zoo are just a subway ride away. During Christmas season, the decorated tree at Rockefeller Center looms larger than life, as does the city itself. However, on Sept. 11, 2001, the “city that never sleeps” got a wakeup call from terrorists. As a result, the entire United States changed dramatically, as did our children's views of freedom and safety. These young people, who had to suddenly leave their classrooms and go home to witness hours of round–the–clock news coverage on the day’s event, felt fear and confusion on a different level. They will always remember where they were and how they felt on that day.

I remember how that day made me feel

Walking home

at such a young age.”

“I remember that I was in the 5th grade and living in Brooklyn at the time,” says Lieutenant Nereus Mogaria, who is today the assistant pastor at the Salvation Army’s church in Port Jervis, N.Y. “That day, we noticed smoky clouds traveling close to where we were. My classmates and I were confused.” The situation became clearer to the kids when their teacher walked into the classroom. In tears, she explained that the Twin Towers had been attacked, and every student needed to gather his or her things. Their parents would arrive soon to pick them up. “I remember my dad came to pick me up and


we walked home. We didn’t say much to each other. He just wanted to get home and make sure the family was together and safe; we were afraid of more attacks. Although I didn’t see it at the time, I’m sure my dad was worried about the possible negative backlash of being wrongfully blamed for the day’s events, because we were minorities.” At home, Nereus’ parents sat their children down and helped them understand what had happened. They watched the news on TV stations that were still available; many local channels became inactive when the towers fell. “I was scared; it was tragic to see and hear what was going on. I will always be able to recall what happened that day,” says Mogaria.

Sacrifices made Alyssa Pratt, supportive services coordinator at The Salvation Army in Carlisle, Pa., thought that her mother had come to pick her up from first grade for a surprise visit to the dentist. But when she arrived, Alyssa noticed the fear that gripped her mother’s face. “She told me that ‘bad guys’ had crashed two airplanes into buildings in New York City,” says Alyssa. At home, she watched the news and tried to make sense of what was going on. But it


was hearing a phone conversation between her mother and a family friend that made the situation feel closer to the family than it had before. “If they attack close to home, I want us all to be together,” she heard her mother say. Words like that coming from a parent would frighten any child. Despite not fully being able to understand the situation, Alyssa still felt sick to her stomach. Gus Moreno, Alyssa’s father and a veteran of Operation Desert Storm, knew that this attack on the United States would likely lead to war. He talked to his family and mentioned that parents like him were being called to deploy, and eventually he would also be called. Three years later, the memories of 9/11 returned when Moreno was deployed to Iraq for 14 months. Says Alyssa, “I remember the tears, the goodbyes, the constant worry, the television news updates, the moments of waiting for a letter or a call, and the times we longed to receive word that my father was safe after reports of an attack near him. “Every holiday without him was blurred by tears, and every milestone in those months felt empty. By the grace of God, my dad returned to us, but many others did not,” says Alyssa. Seventeen years after his last tour, Moreno still lives with PTSD and physical ailments from his service. Alyssa says that the sacrifice her father and others like him made after 9/11 for their country and family, should never be forgotten. “Thank a veteran for his or her sacrifice, because it goes far beyond their deployment,” says Alyssa.

Time at Ground Zero Lieutenant Dontay Gibson, pastor at the Plainfield Corps in N.J., remembers being instructed to hide under his desk when his class was informed about the attacks. During recess, he looked to see smoke from the towers, but the late summer sky was clear. Dontay’s mother, Christine Tilley, was a cadet at the Salvation Army’s College for Officer Training in Suffern, N.Y. She was in her second year of training to be a Salvation Army pastor and lived with her son on campus. “When I got back from school, everyone was in the student lounge watching the news. I didn’t understand what was happening or the severity

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of the situation,” remembers Gibson. Cadet Tilley was assigned to Manhattan to distribute food and supplies to first responders. She worked late into the day with Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) personnel at Ground Zero. When Dontay came home from school, other cadets watched him as he did his homework and played with their children. “My mother would come home tired and pretty much done for the day. I knew where she had been and why, but I did not know the real danger she was in until years later, when I heard some of the stories she told,” says Gibson. Before Tilley had answered the call for officership, she had worked at World Trade Center (WTC) 7, the 47–story office building to the north of the main World Trade Center. Gibson remembers, “I used to walk underneath Tower 1 after school to go to day care while my mom worked. When she went into training, her boss at the time encouraged her to come back to work at WTC 7 in case The Salvation Army didn’t work out.” On the afternoon of 9/11, fires raged out of control for hours at WTC 7 until it collapsed.

shared their testimonies about how every need had been met in his absence. The spirit of serving was present at Ground Zero and across the Eastern Territory, where community members stepped up to assist in any way they could. Adam’s deployment in New York had personally affected him. He had always taught his family that serving others is a way of serving the Lord. But serving at Ground Zero made him see his own life and ministry differently. “My father cried over what he had seen and the stories of loss he had heard,” says Laura. “But from then, until his promotion to Glory in 2013, he lived his own life more fully. He knew that it can all change so quickly, just as it did on 9/11.”

Living his testimony Laura Crowell’s 9 th grade English classroom in Berwick, Pa., was one of the few in the school that had a TV with cable access. “My teacher, classmates, and I sat and watched in disbelief. I honestly don’t remember what happened the rest of the day. It’s like a blurred memory now,” says Crowell, a former program assistant for The Salvation Army in Old Orchard Beach, Maine. What Crowell does remember clearly is seeing her father, Captain Adam Hench, deployed to Ground Zero with an EDS crew from the Salvation Army’s Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware Division. Laura’s mother, Captain (now Major) Tammy Hench, ran the household and the Army’s Berwick, Pa., church while Adam was gone. “Our church programs continued in my dad's absence. My mom always had volunteers show up to keep things running. Family and friends stayed with us to help care for my younger sister and run errands for my mom. The advisory board and Rotary Club donated funds and supplies,” says Laura. When Adam returned, he and Tammy







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On the 4th of July weekend, and just days following the collapse of a condominium in Miami, Fla., where over 100 people lost their lives in the rubble, I decided to visit the One World Observatory at the top of One World Trade Center. It is the tallest building in the western hemisphere. From there, I looked down into the harbor at the Statue of Liberty and reflected on my 9/11 experience. Breathtaking is the word that describes the view from 102 stories above Manhattan Island. Formerly known as the Freedom Tower, it stands next to the memorial that marks the site of the World Trade Center tragedy. Although the visit marked my first time in the area in 20 years, memories of the sights, sounds, smells, and feelings are still vivid. A year after those attacks, 9/11 was added as a new word to the American Heritage College Dictionary, 4th edition. When I asked Steven Kleinedler, senior editor, if the definition emphasized the response to the tragedy, he told me that, as a rule, a word must be “defined according to what it is, not what it means.” Therefore, 9/11 is defined as, “nin’i•lev’en n. September 11, 2001, the date on which two hijacked airliners were flown into the World Trade Center in New York City and another into the Pentagon. A fourth hijacked airliner crashed in open land in Pennsylvania.”

A beautiful, but tragic morning On that 9/11 morning, I enjoyed an exchange of text messages via the internet with my son who sat in his college dorm room in Boston. I looked out of the window of my home at a beautiful blue sky and anticipated a quiet and relaxing day. Minutes later, all that changed. The sound of twin engine fighter jets flying low overhead caught my attention. I had grown up around them, and I knew the sound. They headed toward Manhattan. I turned on the radio and heard news reporters describe the first hit on Tower 1. I turned on my TV and saw shocking pictures. I loaded a cassette into my VCR and another cassette into my radio/tape deck




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and pressed “record.” Then I called Territorial Headquarters in West Nyack, N.Y., and then the Greater New York Division Headquarters on 14th Street, to find out how The Salvation Army would mobilize. Their personnel were already on the scene. The next day, I was at Ground Zero and stayed till early the next morning. I felt grateful for the opportunity to participate in some small way. Being there helped me accept the shocking reality of what had happened. I'll always remember the extraordinary camaraderie, faith, love, and determination displayed when people of different races, faiths, and social backgrounds came together to fight a common enemy and recognize their shared humanity. I will also remember feeling profound sadness. I thought about my son and how he loved New York. Just a week earlier during a drive along the highway, we talked about the movie “Pearl Harbor,” which had opened that year in theaters. Actors Ben Affleck, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Kate Beckinsale reenacted that 1941 attack in such a way that my son asked, “Did it really happen that way? Did all those people die like that?” I said, “Yes. Your generation has never witnessed anything like that. You're fortunate.” He fixed his eyes on the road. I knew he had more questions, but he remained quiet. So, at midnight of September 12, 2001, on West Street, I sat on a curb and thought, this is my son’s turn to see tragedy on a massive scale. How will he define it for himself?

Sights, sounds, smells, feelings I also asked Kleinedler if “Ground Zero” had acquired a new meaning since 9/11. He said that phrase emerged during the nuclear age and already had a meaning. “It would be premature to change it now,” Kleinedler said. In a nuclear attack, Ground Zero is left desolate, lifeless, and rendered unfit for habitation or use. However, the effects of the stunning attack that destroyed the towers on 9/11 seemed as devastating. At one of several Salvation Army canteen trucks, uniformed Salvationists laid out supplies for the long haul. Spotlights kept them visible in the night. Everybody wore a mask to protect them from the dusty and contaminated air. Eating together at a Salvation Army canteen offered workers relief from the stress and struggle.


It was a time of relaxation, camaraderie, and rest. As night fell, workers who had met only that morning developed an emotional and psychological bond that was frequently sealed at a canteen. Bravo Group was one such team. These men of various races, backgrounds, and stations in life had eagerly volunteered for service on the morning following the attack. The group worked all day. They cleared rubble and searched for survivors. By nightfall, they were exhausted. Ash and smoke covered them from their hardhats to the melted soles of their steel–toed boots. Although the events of the day could have easily caused the team feelings of depression and a sense of failure as they dug for survivors only to uncover parts of human beings, Bravo Group still lived up to its name. As the nine men emerged from darkness and into the light near a canteen on West Street, their exuberant expressions of hope were as bright as the floodlights that illuminated the area. Cadets from the Salvation Army’s College for Officer Training prepared plates of food for the men as they shared stories about the rescue effort. The cadets found hope in Bravo’s diverse but cohesive team. Whether from New York City, New Jersey or Hawaii, each man agreed with the sentiments expressed by Gabriel H. Acosta, a group member from New York. “We never met before today,” he said with an arm around Mark Figueroa, another group member. “But people can come together, no matter what their race or background. We are proof of that.” Wilson “Cujo” Corujo said with a broad smile, “Please convey our special thanks to The Salvation Army. You guys have done a [heck] of a job!” After eating, they thanked the cadets, hoisted their gear, and marched back into the darkness.

The freedom to choose On July 4, 2021 when I looked down on the Statue of Liberty from the One World Observatory, I was reminded that the first time I saw Lady Liberty from that angle was a few days after 9/11. I stood on a balcony of the American Express building. That day, I had a sobering choice; I could look down into the city to my left, see the smoldering remains of the towers, and believe hope was lost, or I could look to my right, into the beautiful harbor and admire the iconic statue that has, since the end of the Civil War, promised freedom and hope to people here in this country and the world over.

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you had a chance to define the word 9/11, how would you do it? What would you

tell your children about it? For me, it will always mean “a time of extraordinary camaraderie, faith, love, and determination when people of different races, faiths, and social backgrounds came together to face great odds, and who were determined to survive the worst the enemy had to offer.”




EDS in their blood by ROBERT MITCHELL


Bob Myers III, is better known in his family as “Bobby.” Bobby was just a teen when he climbed into a Salvation Army canteen and tagged along with his father, Bob Myers Jr. Together they would answer calls for help when natural and man–made disasters struck the community. “I was always around the canteen,” Bobby says. “It was part of our family’s life. It was something I always had a passion for.” Bob jokes that his son “took over the family business” by entering Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) work like his father. “He grew up on a canteen. Over the years, he got up in the middle of the night and went on fire calls and things like that with me,” Bob said. “It was a natural progression. As he got a little older, he wanted to volunteer.” Today, Bobby is the EDS coordinator for the Salvation Army’s USA Eastern Territory. Meanwhile, Bob works for another non–profit


ministry after a 32–year career as EDS director for the Salvation Army’s Western Pennsylvania Division. He holds the record as the longest–serving Salvation Army EDS director in the country. Both father and son vividly remember answering the call on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. In the aftermath of those terrorist attacks, they served in Shanksville, Pa., and Bob later at Ground Zero in Manhattan. They agree that EDS work has dramatically changed in the two decades since. In ensuing years, such disasters as hurricanes, f loods, earthquakes, and COVID–19 have occurred. Bobby served at




Four hurricanes hit Florida in six weeks: Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne. Charley was the strongest hurricane to strike the entire U.S. since Hurricane Andrew in 1992. The Atlantic hurricane season that year killed 3,200 people and caused $61 billion in damage.

Hurricane Katrina led to more than 1,800 deaths and $125 billion in damage, most notably in the New Orleans area. It was, at the time, the costliest tropical cyclone on record and is now tied with 2017’s Hurricane Harvey.

Heavy rains led to flooding in many parts of the USA Eastern Territory, including Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and New England. A t least 16 people died in t he floods.


most of them (see timeline). “We’re not without our disasters,” says Bobby, who became the territory’s EDS boss in 2019. “It used to be every two or three years, but now it seems like every year we have something we’re either dealing with directly in our own territory or in support of another territory. “That’s part of the nature of what we do in emergency disaster services. People often forget about EDS until a disaster happens, but the reality is EDS is a year–round effort. We do local disasters 365 days a year throughout the territory, whether it be a house fire or a small flood or whatever the situation may be.”

A different approach Bobby said the canteen ministry used to be the focus of EDS. Today, it is a part of EDS. “It’s certainly still a significant part, but it’s one part of a much


Hurricane Ike caused considerable damage and 195 deaths in Cuba, Haiti, and the United States, including Texas.


bigger operation that we serve under emergency management,” he said. “Now we really look at things as all–encompassing.” Bob said EDS was a “stepchild program” when he first started, but that has all changed. He noted that since 9/11, The Salvation Army has made significant financial investments "in resources and equipment and things." “I was lucky if I had a canteen that actually ran well,” he said. “I went from having a couple of broken–down canteens and one moderately good one to rebuilding an entire fleet. “We had a mobile command center and a mobile supply center and all kinds of other cool toys in our toolbox. Those kinds of resources led us to provide support at a lot of other national emergencies around the country. The Army is positioned really well to be there and to be effective.” Bobby said that before 9/11, EDS focused mostly on response and feeding support. While those remain significant components, The Salvation Army today offers a more comprehensive emergency management approach. “We now have equal attention on the recovery side of things and the preparedness side of things,” he said. “Disaster recovery has become just as big a part of what we do. We look to help people’s, immediate and long–term needs.”

Training for best results Bobby said The Salvation Army today has a robust national disaster training program, which developed after 9/11. “We use trained volunteers year–round,” he said. “We’ve raised the level of expertise in the professional ranks and we’re trying to support the Army holistically.” What separates The Salvation Army from its partners in the EDS world is its spiritual component. “It’s not just the physical relief we provide, although that’s certainly important, but it’s also the emotional and spiritual support,” Bobby said. “It’s even more than just pastoral care. It starts there and moves into ‘disaster mental health’ with some of our experienced people trained at a higher level.” Bobby said the spiritual side of EDS is a huge motivator for him. “It’s those moments when the Lord opens doors to me in those difficult times that I find rewarding as an individual,” Bobby said. “The faith part is one of the most significant aspects. The Lord finds ways to assure me as a disaster worker that He’s using me in ways that I can’t always see. “EDS has always been one of the core missions




Heavy spring rains over areas with remaining snow led to flooding in New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. The storms caused $330 million in damage.

A 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti in January causing around $8 billion in damage. A n estimated 3 million people w ere affected by t he quake. Death toll estimates range from 220,000 to 316,000.

Hurricane Irene impacted the Eastern part of the United States, including several areas of the USA Eastern Territory, particularly New York an New Jersey. Tropical Storm Lee killed 18 people and caused $2.8 billion in damage.

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of The Salvation Army. It’s why we’re a unique faith–based organization and a church. We talk a lot in the Army about the ‘ministry of presence’ and I feel EDS is a big part of that. You don’t always have to use words to show Jesus.”

Springing into action The fateful morning of Sept. 11, 2001, when everything changed for the Salvation Army’s EDS efforts, is never far from the mind of father or son. Bob, who served as the Salvation Army’s EDS director in Pittsburgh, remembers driving into the office that morning after a long night on a fire call. He was listening to local radio personality and fellow Salvationist Fred Honsberger on 1020 KDKA–AM when the news broke. Bob raced into the office and made phone calls to the Greater New York Division and to Territorial Headquarters. “I literally was engaged within the first five minutes of 9/11 and for the next two or three hours,” Bob said. “I was getting my staff all on board. I knew we were going to get busy because we operated a national supply program for EDS. I knew that we were already going to have to ramp up supply support from our division to the Greater New York Division, so that became our focus.” One of Bob’s calls was to Bobby, who was sleeping that morning after working another

overnight shift as a AAA dispatcher. His father told him he needed him in the office immediately. A few hours later, Bob took a call from the county’s EDS director. There was a report of a missing plane over the Western Pennsylvania Division. The plane, United Airlines Flight 93, had also been hijacked by terrorists and eventually crashed in Shanksville, Pa. For the next 16 days, Bob and Bobby both served in Shanksville, while also supporting efforts at the Pentagon, which had been hit by another hijacked plane.

(Page 23) Bob Myers Jr. with his young son, Bob Myers III. (Above) Today, Bob Myers III leads the USA Eastern Territory's EDS program. His disaster relief work has taken him around the world.





Hurricane Sandy killed 233 people and caused $69 billion in damage throughout New York, New Jersey, and New England. Corps and EDS staff throughout the tri–state area went into action.

A spring tornado in Oklahoma killed 24 people and caused $2 billion in damage. There were more than 900 twisters in the United States that year.

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in the USA Southern and Eastern territories and Hurricane Maria in the Caribbean.

Hurricane Michael, which hit the Florida Panhandle and Georgia, was the first Category 5 hurricane to impact the contiguous United States since Andrew in 1992.



“I had a multifaceted response because we provided heavy supply support to the Pentagon and to Greater New York while responding to Shanksville,” Bob recalls. “We shipped in an entire truckload of supplies so that they had them the next morning at 8 a.m. These were uniforms, the food service products that were branded with our logo, and things like that." “That started an almost daily supply shipment. While in Shanksville, we did support functions for the Pentagon and even New Jersey where we shipped equipment."

Fighting the battle together Bob was in Shanksville for 17 days before deploying to Ground Zero. His original assignment was to set up logistics, but he quickly became the operations chief for two weeks. Early in 2002, with 9/11 still on the country’s mind, Bobby


Hurricane Dorian was a Category 5 and regarded as the worst natural disaster to ever hit the Bahamas. At least 70,000 people were left homeless.


took the job as EDS director in Philadelphia for the Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware Division. That same year, he served at Ground Zero in Manhattan at the conclusion of operations. Both father and son would go on to serve together as EDS directors from 2002 until Bob retired in 2010. Bob said, “It worked out great for me and for him because I had the western half of the state, and he had the eastern half. We were able to join forces regularly and work together for common goals. We got to see each other and go to statewide meetings all the time. It was nice to stay connected with him.” Today, Bob is the executive director of Off The Floor Pittsburgh, a faith–based, non–profit furniture bank that provides donated furnishings to agencies that help people get their lives back together. Bob said he misses EDS work. He calls it “the most exciting job in the world, if you do it right.” The year he left, the Western Pennsylvania Division’s personnel had answered 325 calls. The work was long and arduous. He admits, “I hit the wall, I burned out a few times, but I kept going. “The work was exciting. Most people see it on the evening news, but I got to see it live and in person,” he said. Some of Bob's more memorable deployments

were the Midwest floods of 1993, the Los Angeles earthquake of 1994, and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. “My final big assignment was Katrina,” he said. “I didn’t really have any major deployment after Katrina, but that was a blast. I looked at it as a challenge and this is what I worked to do all the time. This is what I prepared myself for. My job was to be the ringmaster and keep the whole thing going.” As the 20th anniversary of 9/11 looms, Bob said it’s always an emotional day for him as he recalls the events. “I take time and pause and think back and reach out to some people who have become lifelong friends. We worked together there on that day at Ground Zero and supported colleagues at the other sites,” he said. “It’s always one of those solemn days. I think about it regularly.” Bobby took part in the ceremonial closing of the 9/11 site and said he still has flashbacks all these years later. “It’s one of those things that always sticks with me,” Bobby says. “I remember certain aspects of it from time to time and sometimes it will just pop in my mind or something will trigger a reminder, but certainly as I lean into that date every single year, it kind of rings true. “It just kind of solidified, for me, a desire to help people who are in that greatest time of need.”

2019 2020


A series of earthquakes shook the southwestern portion of the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico, including 11 that were 5.0 or greater.

COVID–19 impacted the entire USA Eastern Territory and the world. “This was the first time we had every division in our territory impacted with a crisis at the same time,” said Bob Myers III, EDS director for the USA Eastern Territory.

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From cadet to first responder in six hours by DAN BRUNELLE

On the morning of 9/11, I was among the brand–new cadets at the Salvation Army’s College for Officer Training (CFOT). We had finished the morning chapel service and were on our way to the lecture hall when we heard that planes had crashed into the World Trade Center. Administration canceled classes for the day. A group of us decided to walk over to the Good Samaritan Hospital to see about donating blood. The lines were too long, so we planned to go back in the afternoon. Upon returning to the CFOT, we were told that The Salvation Army was looking for cadets to help at Ground Zero. We were told to wear epauleted shirts, caps, and good sneakers or boots. By 4 p.m., we had three, 15–passenger vans full of cadets from the Believers and Crossbearers sessions. The vans followed a canteen truck down the Palisades Parkway and into New York City. However, when we reached New Jersey, the state police had stopped traffic. Large dump trucks served as highway barriers on the parkway. Only emergency personnel were allowed onto the George Washington Bridge into the city. So, they let us through. When we got to the bridge, military personnel blocked everyone but emergency responders from entering Manhattan. Again, they let us through. It was strange to see all the traffic on the bridge as it exited Manhattan, but see only us go in. While on the bridge, we could look right down the Hudson River and see the large plume of smoke rise from the lower Manhattan skyline. We got as far as we could on the West Side

Highway before a barricade stopped us, just past Canal Street. That day, Cadet Dan Brunelle our first action as EDS helps operate a workers was to unload canteen two blocks a large trailer truck of from Ground Zero. bottled water. When that was done, we grabbed a case of water as instructed and During the first five days, we saw The walked towards the smoke until we found Salvation Army in action. What started as one of several Salvation Army vehicles that a rush of available responders and assets were scattered around the World Trade turned into an organized response. As a Center site. cadet in my first deployment for EDS, it A few of us found a Salvation Army amazed me that the police and fire and canteen about two blocks up from the military personnel let anyone in a Salvation World Trade Center on West Street. Their Army uniform through their blockades and crew had been there since the morning. We checkpoints. It made an impression on me relieved them and, for the next five days to see the power of the Army’s reputation. from 4 p.m. to midnight, we served until Many of us worked on canteen trucks, The Salvation Army could mobilize forces some of us worked in the morgue, and a to replace the cadets. few of us went on top of the rubble to help For these first few days, it was a rescue search and rescue. After five days, our mission. We saw hundreds of firefighters and deployment was over. The Believers and first responders march in formation past our the Crossbearers went back to college. canteen down West Street towards the smolThe big welcome ceremony planned for dering ruins in an effort to find survivors. my session was canceled. Instead, we had Many hours later, we saw them struggle an intimate ceremony in the college gymnaback up the same street. Dust, exhaustion, and sium. As we marched in, the band played shock covered their faces. We were humbled “America the Beautiful.” My tears flowed. to offer them something to drink, something Our session pin has a blue figure of to eat, and a place to stop and sit and begin to a Salvation Army soldier who faces an process what they just experienced. American flag. His raised hand holds a At the end of our shift, around midnight, Bible. A white EDS hard hat is on his head. our 15–passenger vans returned to pick us up It replaces the traditional Salvation Army and take us back to the CFOT. As we traveled cap, in order to commemorate our deploytowards the West Side Highway, hundreds ment to Ground Zero. of residents formed a line on West Street. Psalm 34: 18 states, “The Lord is close to They held lights, candles, and signs, and they the broken hearted and saves those who are cheered. It made me emotional to see people crushed in spirit.” The experiences of 9/11 offer encouragement and gratitude to us. showed me in real life that this is true. —Major Dan Brunelle is now a corps officer in Old Orchard Beach, Maine.





All blessings come to us through our Lord by JOANNA POLAREK

How we pray is different for all of us. Like a conversation with a friend, the topic and our emotions are always different. We hope that the person receiving our words is listening, but that means we need to listen, too. Frank Laubach says, “the trouble with nearly everybody who prays is that he (or she) says ‘Amen’ and runs away before God has a chance to reply. Listening to God is far more important than giving Him our ideas.” Part of our running away is because we don’t know how to wait and listen for a response. As we grow and mature in our faith (lots of practice and discipline), we deepen our understanding through various rhythms by waiting and listening in prayer. A Christian mystic, Teresa of Avila (1515–1582), spent years praying and communicating with God. Then like many of us, she fell away from her prayer life, only to come back to a full, engaging, and fruitful relationship. Her encounters and experiences helped develop a four–part vision for our soul connecting to our prayer life. She describes these metaphors as part of the Lord’s garden. Our prayer life is the water that flows to the flowers (our virtues) which bloom into the Fruits of the Spirit. To water the flowers, we must see where the water comes from and how it gets there.


PART 1: Drawing the water by hand As a beginner, there is a lot of focus and attention needed to be present during prayer. Our distractions and thoughts take over so quickly, the work is in letting go of the distractions. Like collecting water from a well, we place that bucket deep into the well and pull to bring the water up. While trying to be steady with the bucket, the water sloshes out, and by the time the bucket reaches the top, a good amount is missing. The water then needs to be transported to the garden. Again, like our prayer life, there is a lot of work in practicing meditation and contemplation. It may feel that the connection with God is just enough to experience His presence, but there is still work to be done. The foundation work takes time, but our prayer life is being nourished by going back to God every time.

PART 2: The pump – more water, less labor Next, the person who prays begins to recognize the fruitfulness of prayer. With continued practice in meditation and

contemplation, the prayer time feels less like hard work and more natural. Like a pump at a well, there is still work to pump the water, but far more water is collected with less labor. This doesn’t mean that prayer life is easy, but the work done is more fruitful, and a deeper connection with God is evident because you can rest. There is now more water for the flowers. In When The Well Runs Dry by Thomas H. Green, he says, “There is a newfound joy simply in being still in the presence of the Lord, just as good friends find joy simply in being together.”

PART 3: Streams – better ways of watering The pump is an improvement from pulling the bucket up the well, and there is a better way to water the garden. There is still work, but there is an even greater reward, which are gifts from God. The third way of drawing water to the garden is to feed it from a river or stream. The water soaks the ground, and reaches the roots of the

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flowers, so there is no need to water them as frequently. God does more work within you, as you do less. The need to refocus diminishes while faith in God flourishes. The internal work is the desire to want to be with God rather than feel forced to be with Him. A natural stream or river that flows is refreshing.

PART 4: Rain – a better way of watering The other part of this gift from God is the rain. How naturally and freely does it pour down and saturate the ground? The water is abundant and covers the whole garden. This gift leaves the gardener, the person who prays, to sit in God’s presence during prayer and be saturated by God’s work within.

Dear one, be patient in your prayer journey. God already knows your heart and your desires. He is listening and waiting for you to listen to Him.


More prayer resources Our prayer lives vary, and sometimes we are unsure where to begin. Teresa of Avila’s metaphor for prayer as described by the Lord’s garden is detailed in a way that makes understanding the work we put into prayer. It does not always come easy or naturally, but there is assurance that God only desires to meet with you. Are you searching for a practical resource to engage in the four prayer levels described by Teresa of Avila? Online Resource: A resource has been created to guide you through your journey. Draw Near is a resource based on the book When the Well Runs Dry by Thomas H. Green. This simplified resource helps you prepare, practice, and reflect on your prayer journey. The Spiritual Life Development Department has this resource available in hard copy or download in the SLD link on Detailed Reading: Are you looking for a more detailed reading? Check out When the Well Runs Dry: Prayer Beyond the Beginnings by Thomas H. Green. Green analyzes the nature of prayer by guiding those experiencing difficulty in their prayer journey with the works of Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross.




Income for life at an attractive Rate* A tax deduction Tax-free income The joy of helping those in need Peace of Mind because we’ve never missed a payment

*e.g., at age 75, the payment rate is 5.4%, and at age 85, the rate is 7.6%. The State of New York requires lower rates but our Gift Planners will suggest other options.


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What is


PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life–threatening event. It’s normal to have upsetting memories, feel on edge or have trouble sleeping after this type of event. What are the 4 types of PTSD symptoms? They may not be the same for everyone. Each person experiences symptoms in their own way.


Reliving the event Unwelcome memories about the trauma can come up at any time. They can feel real and scary, as if the event is happening again. This is called a flashback. You may also have nightmares. Memories of the trauma can happen because of a trigger—something that reminds you of the event. For example, seeing a news report about a disaster may trigger someone who lived through a hurricane. Hearing a car backfire might bring back memories of gunfire for a combat veteran.

may be hard for you to feel or express happiness or other positive emotions. You might also feel guilt or shame about the traumatic event itself. For example, you may wish you had done more to keep it from happening.

WHAT CAN CAUSE PTSD? Any experience that threatens your life or someone else’s can cause PTSD. These types of events are sometimes called trauma. Types of traumatic events that can cause PTSD include:  C ombat and other military experiences  Sexual or physical assault  L earning about the violent or accidental death or injury of a loved one  C hild sexual or physical abuse  Serious accidents  Natural disasters (fire, tornado, hurricane, flood, earthquake)  T errorist attacks. During this kind of event, you may not have any control over what’s happening, and you may feel afraid. Anyone who has gone through something like this can develop PTSD.


Avoiding things that remind you of the event You may try to avoid certain people or situations that remind you of the event. For instance, someone who was assaulted on the bus might avoid taking public transportation. A combat veteran may avoid crowded places such as shopping malls because it feels dangerous to be around so many people. You may also try to stay busy all the time, so you don’t have to talk or think about the event.


Having more negative thoughts and feelings than before


You may feel more negative than you did before the trauma. You might be sad or numb and lose interest in things you used to enjoy, such as spending time with friends. You may feel that the world is dangerous, and you can’t trust anyone. It


YOU are not alone! Feeling on edge It’s common to feel jittery or “keyed up” and difficult to relax. This is called hyperarousal. You might have trouble sleeping or concentrating or feel as if you’re always on the lookout for danger. You may suddenly get angry and irritable and if someone surprises you, you might startle easily. You may also act in unhealthy ways, by smoking, abusing drugs and alcohol or by driving aggressively.

Going through a traumatic event is not rare. At least half of the people in the United States have had a traumatic event in their lives. Of the people who have had trauma, about 1 in 10 men and 2 in 10 women will develop PTSD. For more information and resources, visit the National Center for PTSD website at





ears ago, in the middle of his decades–long fight with alcohol and substance abuse, Charlie Kerr sat in New York’s Port Authority bus terminal and prayed for one thing. “I asked God to let me die. But He had another plan for me,” says Kerr. For most of Kerr’s adult life, he had gone from addiction to temporary recovery and back again. When he was sober, he worked as an electrical contractor, had a family, and even coached local children’s sports teams. However, during his substance misuse, he was an absent father and husband who was in and out of jail and living on the streets. In 2008, after enrolling into the Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) in Newark, N.J., he made a phone call to his wife, Valerie. Kerr had been away from her and the children for about nine years. This was his sixth time to enroll in an ARC. “Val, I’m in trouble,” Kerr said. “Don’t come back here and don’t call again; the kids and I are done with you!” she replied. As Kerr looks back on that moment, he says, “I remember crying as I walked into the Army’s chapel. I prayed to Jesus and said how sorry I was for the mess I had made of my life. This time I asked


Him to come unto my life, not to take it from me, but to be my Lord and Savior.” Accepting Christ was the start of Kerr’s true recovery. He finished the Salvation Army’s ARC program and moved into a “sober” house. He also reconnected with his family, who saw the change in him that could only come from God. “Addiction is sin in a sinful heart, and my cure was Jesus,” he says. Nine years ago, Kerr reconnected with Ralph Capoano, another former addict who had turned to Christ. Capoano had come to talk to ARC beneficiaries in Staten Island, N.Y., where Kerr was at the time. Capoano asked Kerr if he would be interested in joining him in speaking to former substance misusers. Kerr agreed. At these meetups, which today take place in ARCs across the Salvation Army’s Eastern Territory, both Ralph and Charlie talk about their experiences and their paths back to God. They offer men who listen to them an opportunity to accept Christ in their lives, just as Kerr had done. “Since we made those invitations a part of our meetings in 2019, at least one person has accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior every time,” says Kerr. “Over 200 souls have come to Him.” “We develop a relationship with these men, many of whom think that being in the ARC is God punishing them. For years, I thought that too,” says Kerr. “I tell them that being here isn’t a punishment, but rather a rescue mission. God allowed all those things to happen in their lives, as He did in mine, to bring them to a point where they had no other place to turn. In that brokenness is where freedom starts.” Kerr passes around a prayer request sheet to the men. After they fill in their requests, the sheet goes to the Calvary Evangelical Free Church where Kerr is a member. The congregation has been supportive of his ministry. Kerr’s pastor invited him to take college–level courses on how to write expository sermons. “He said to me, ‘Charlie, I can give a beautiful sermon on recovery, but it comes from a different place when it comes from a guy like you,’” says Kerr. “So, I sat in classrooms with pastors, to learn when to touch upon certain points in my sermon, and how to explain what I wanted to say more clearly.” “I love this ministry, and I love every person who I meet at the Salvation Army ARCs. When no one else wanted me, the Army opened its doors for me many times over, and now I’m giving my time back to them.” Kerr wants to remind every beneficiary that just as God had a plan for him years ago at the Port Authority, He also has a perfect plan for their lives. “God’s Grace is deeper than any sin that they have committed,” says Kerr.

Charlie Kerr and Ralph Capoano visit Salvation Army ARCs and share the love of Christ. For a detailed account of one of these visits, scan the QR code to read Ralph and Charlie: Preachers on a Mission on

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