Cadets’ autumn blitz a success
Cadets of the College for Officer Training at Crestmont participated in programs at four corps in the east bay area of Del Oro Division and at the Torrance Corps (Southern California). Although the activities, such as youth meetings, Sunday school, Sunday morning services, and fall carnivals were similar, each brigade had unique experiences and opportunities for ministry.
At the Oakland Chinatown Corps the cadets conducted a youth fellowship and carnival. Cadet Darlene Staneart shares that “as the carnival began, children came—shy, expectant and smiling; having fun, competing, rubber band shooting, cookie walking, hoola hoop spinning, eating, coming back for more.” She adds that by the conclusion of the weekend, “Cantonese and Mandarin were no longer just languages but were being spoken by individuals—Captain Grace, John, Eva, James, Polly, Winne, and many others.”
Oakland Garden Street was the scene of a breakfast with the children from the on-premises shelter followed by a carnival in the parking lot where face painting was popular with both children and adults. Cadet Marianneke Summerfield reports: “One small girl exclaimed, ‘This is my greatest day ever!’ Regardless of age or language, the kids had fun and so did the cadets!”
At the Tri-Cities Corps in Newark volunteers from the community came to help the cadets and corps members prepare for the fall harvest carnival. By the end of the day over 275 people had visited; eight new bicycles were given for best costumes and a coloring contest. A highlight was a watermelon-eating contest won by the cadets.
The cadets assigned to the Hayward Corps visited the farmers’ market and went from door-to-door inviting people to the children’s meeting and open house on Saturday. As Cadet Mark Davey shares, “Next came the waiting period, everyone anxious for people to walk through the door. Soon, one person walked in, followed by another, and then another, until the hall was filled with the sound of talking and laughter.”
The four brigades joined for a united meeting at the Garden Street Corps. Cadet Deborah Breazeale relates: “All the cadets did outstanding jobs with their assigned parts. Even the cadet choir finished their song acappella when the music stopped right in the middle.” A special blessing was a gentleman who came into the service from the street, answered the altar call and gave his heart to the Lord.
The Home Brigade, assigned to care for the cadets’ children, shared God’s love at the Torrance Corps through programs at the children’s day care, adult day care, neighborhood visitation, Sunday morning service, and the fall carnival. Cadet Elaine Mansoor reports that a woman they spoke with in the park attended the carnival with her two boys. “We’ve been looking for a church,” the woman said. Adds the cadet, “How many others did we reach in the one weekend?”
The cadets were busy with programs throughout the blitz. However, they can summarize their experience in the words of Cadet Marianneke Summerfield, “The blitz weekend…was about being a servant of God and showing his love to all—because it might be the first time some have seen it.”