Corps increases in numbers and splendor
The Del Oro Division’s Tri-Cities Corps in Newark, Calif., has lately been transformed—both in its physical appearance and in the extent of its ministry to the community. Corps officers are Captains David and Ellen Oh.
Volunteering long hours, corps members completed a project to upgrade and beautify their facilities. They repainted the building and installed new fences along the sidewalks and walkways. They planted flowers. The potholes once found in their driveway and parking lot—the result of severe winter weather—were filled and repaired. Now the location has a bright, clean and polished appearance.
People are responding to the changes at Tri-Cities. On May 5, the corps enrolled 12 new senior soldiers—five from the English congregation and seven from the Korean—the corps holds an English service at 10 a.m. and a Korean service at 11:30. Each new recruit completed six weeks of soldier training before becoming eligible for membership.
Through service to the community, corps members have been exhibiting the love of Jesus. Monday through Friday, Tri Cities provides food assistance for their neighbors. Staples such as bread, milk and eggs are collected daily from local grocery stores, while produce items are procured on Thursdays from the local food bank. The corps serves over 100 people daily and over 200 on Thursdays.
To help the seniors in the community—who are often isolated, friendless and lonely—monthly one-day trips are planned, which are open not only to corps members, but to anyone who wants to go. The program—which started in March—has been an effective tool for bringing unchurched elderly to the corps.
For the young people, volunteers come to the corps every Sunday afternoon from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. to provide free cello and violin lessons to all interested youth. Some of the kids would not otherwise have an opportunity to take music lessons. Not only are the students exposed to reading notes on a page and playing an instrument, they are also taught discipline, good practice habits and teamwork.
“We are so grateful and excited to see the new shape of Tri-Cities Corps. I believe the church should be a place to experience God’s presence and love,” said Oh. “The beautiful new flowers provide a bright and peaceful environment. When we painted the faded doors and walls, it changed our feeling to be in the house of the Lord. We also changed old carpets on the stairway, which made the hall smell cleaner. Another grateful thing is that most of the work and funds were provided by our corps soldiers’ volunteer work and donations. We recently received a donation of a ping-pong table, which will allow us a fellowship time for both congregations.”