Cadets ‘blitz’ city by the sea

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by Jennifer Byrd – 


CADETS DISTRIBUTED THE War Cry as meals were provided to the city’s homeless.

They descended upon San Francisco like angels in waiting. Well, perhaps more like officers in training. For the first time ever, both sessions of Salvation Army cadets visited a city in a cadet blitz.

The group of 24 cadets, aptly named Preparers of the Way and Visionaries—along with nine officers—arrived on a recent fall weekend and fanned out across the city to visit with children, feed the homeless, and go door to door to pray with people. It was the first time a cadet class had been in San Francisco since the training school closed its doors in 1976.

“It was a historical event,” said Golden State Divisional Commander Major Joe Posillico, who toured the city with them. “I am encouraged by the quality of the cadets. They exhibited a wonderful commitment to their ministry and a passion of working with people. They will make fine officers.”

The group benefited from the multicultural aspect of San Francisco. They visited each neighborhood and provided a unique ministry to the people living there. In the Tenderloin neighborhood they visited with the youth who attend the day care program.

“The neighborhoods need it,” said Cadet Rachel Johnson who visited the Korean Corps and went door to door visiting people in the Sunset District to pray with them. “There is almost like an oppression in the whole city. It is kind of hard.”

They also participated in Hope, Soup and Soul, a homeless feeding program.

“We’re helping people in need,” said Cadet Matt Madsen, who along with others gave out soup and sandwiches to the homeless and needy on the sadder streets of San Francisco. “It helps because it is a reminder that what we are all about is to win the world for Christ.”

The Officer Brigade, affectionately known among the cadets as the Geritol Brigade, spent the weekend ministering to the beneficiaries at San Francisco’s Adult Rehabilitation Center.

“I am more than happy,” said Director of Field Training Major Sheila Bradley. “My brigade had a blessed time reaching people, and people came to Christ. There were those who were bold in the Lord and that emboldened others. Some found boldness in themselves that they didn’t know they had.”

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