Corps cadets — Work, fellowship, learn, grow

CAPTAIN DAN WILLIAMS explains warehouse procedures to corps cadets.

The corps cadets of Denver Citadel, CO, decided recently that their horizons needed to be expanded. “Usually content to hang out and have some fun, they decided together that some sort of extraordinary activity was necessary,” said Corps Officer Captain Rob Reardon. “Their decision was to travel to another Army center to see what was done there.”

They headed out across the mountains for Grand Junction, CO. There, they anticipated seeing the local operation of thrift stores, emergency disaster services, and an adult rehabilitation program (ARP).

“Once we arrived, we discovered the weekend would exceed all expectations,” said Reardon.

The corps cadets met teens from the Grand Junction Corps on Friday night for Bible study, and then ate dinner together. On Saturday morning, the two groups met for devotions and then toured the Army’s programs. Following a detailed visit of the warehouse, Captain Dan Williams, corps officer, explained the importance of emergency disaster services in Western Colorado. The young people then cleaned the canteen trailers, preparing them for the next call.

During the afternoon, Bobbie Rabideaux, youth director for the corps, took the teens on a prayer walk and handed out flyers promoting the Army’s many youth programs. After dinner and a free time, both groups went to the ARP to get to know the program and the clients. “This was when expectations were shattered!” said Reardon.

Williams and Reardon encouraged both the ARP clients and the Denver and Grand Junction teens to “get up close and personal.” Everyone did just that. During their two hours together, the clients urged the teens not to make the same mistakes they had made in life. In turn, the teens asked about the circumstances surrounding the choices to use and abuse drugs and alcohol.

After an intense but enjoyable evening, they returned to the corps for a wrap-up session. Tears flowed freely as the day’s events were discussed. Emily Ringle, Denver Citadel, made it clear that this was a life-changing event. “I rediscovered my faith this weekend,” she said. “I will never be the same.” Others tried to understand the depth of faith shown to them by the ARP clients. “They know Jesus in a way I am desperate for,” remarked Jon Tollerud.

Sunday morning’s service at the corps capped off the weekend. There, several of the teens played in the band, sang with the praise team, offered a solo, and shared testimonies. All involved were blessed beyond measure, and new friendships were made and old ones solidified. Before returning to Denver, the Citadel corps cadets joined the men and women of the ARP for an afternoon barbeque and fellowship.

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