Envoys Phil and Nancy Bogle have done a great deal for hungry children in their area. Tillamook County, Oregon, has a known listing of 800 children whose family income dips below poverty level, warranting free or reduced price school meals.
Through linking funds with Oregon Food Bank, they were able to establish a first year route to feed 312 of those children during a Summer Food Service Program. Having watched a congregation dwindle from the devastation of the recent floods, the couple rallied, regrouped strategies and used the food program to initiate new contacts, helping fill the People Count! Cards of their remaining membership.
Finishing a summer of feeding children, the Bogles conducted a central county vacation Bible school. Invited to use the facilities of St. John’s United Church of Christ in downtown Tillamook, they mini-vanned the children from apartment complexes and trailer courts where they had made their July and August lunch runs.
“What a job!” sighed Bogle. “As the group got bigger, my wife had to teach more songs and memory verse games to keep the growing numbers of attendees busy while I shuttled them to and from the building in the corps’ six-passenger vehicle. Some of the kids, worrying they were going to miss part of the program, bicycled as much as a mile to arrive in time to help us set up.”
Lunch was no problem. With the efforts of donation gatherer Jeanine Upshaw, the children enjoyed meals of king-size burritos, chicken nuggets, jumbo hot dogs and, on chili day, three-flavor ice cream sundaes.
Twenty-one children followed Bogle to the quiet room when hands went up for a call to holiness. From those who made a decision for Christ, 14 eligible children have stepped forward asking to join the ranks and work of The Salvation Army…proof again that People Count! when prayer is the key to unlock hearts in troubled communities.