A summer of service
Young people in the Western Territory’s Service Corps challenged both to bless and be blessed.
By Megan McQuade
On June 13, the Western Territory deployed its Service Corps participants—31 young people—to various locations around the world for an eight-week, short-term mission trip. This year, teams of six traveled to the Dominican Republic, South Africa, the Philippines and Billings, Mont./Virgin Islands. One team of seven served the first half of their summer in southeast Alaska and the second half in the emerging Bayview/Hunter’s Point Ministry of San Francisco.
All teams worked alongside local Salvation Army ministry efforts. Their service included leading weekly corps programs, hosting vacation Bible school, painting corps facilities, and providing music lessons to youth.
Team leaders were Ruben Cordero from the Whittier Corps (Dominican Republic), Kaylena Charpentier from Phoenix Citadel (Philippines), Elizabeth Gross from Leeward Kroc Center (Billings/Virgin Islands), Nancy Tuttle from the Grass Valley Corps (Alaska/San Francisco), and Cynthia Garcia from the Whittier Corps (South Africa).
A week before their departure, team members attended a weeklong orientation where they were challenged not only to be a blessing to their hosts but also to allow themselves to be blessed. Each team rose to the challenge. Souls were saved and hearts returned home. After only one week at its location, one team made it into the local newspaper for outstanding service.
As for “being blessed,” Service Corps team members shared their personal reflections.
“Every day here has been such a blessing,” said Carmen Ross (Modesto Red Shield, Team Dominican Republic), “and I seriously feel myself growing in Christ more and more each day.”
“We just finished leading our second church service since we’ve been here in St. Croix and let me just say that God is good!” said Jamie Taba (Kauluwela Corps, Team Billings/Virgin Islands).
“It’s only been a little over a week and hearts are changing,” said Jennifer Crowell (Portland Tabernacle, Team Alaska/San Francisco), “especially mine!”