Fort Collins embraces diversity

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Multiculltural group builds unity while serving others.

The Interntional Fellowship is an outreach of the Fort Collins, Colo, corps. [Photo by Barry Goldman]

Recognizing the multicultural character of her community, Soldier Kirindi (Dee) Goldman—of the Ft. Collins, Colo., corps—developed a plan to reach out to all by creating a neighborhood group to share ideas, cultures, foods, and community service. With the help of her husband, Soldier Barry Goldman, Ft. Collins music director, she formed International Fellowship (IF).

After beginning with seven Chinese women, the group now has a committed core of 12—nine women and three men. Some are non-Christians; all share the common goals of developing quality friendships and becoming better people by broadening their lives through conversation and service.

Monthly meetings begin with short talks on life goals and how to achieve them spiritually, emotionally and physically. Topics explored include “Why does God allow suffering?” “Stress/depression management,” and “How to take care of your brain to increase memory power and avoid Alzheimer’s.”

From the first meeting community service has been a priority. Recently, the group held a Care-and-Share-a-Meal outreach at one of the member’s homes. A collective effort went into making and posting fliers about the event. The meal was a success—many people signed up and even more attended. After the dinner the group distributed plates of leftover food—along with notes of blessing from The Salvation Army—to nearby homes.

“Dee has taken this ministry and really expanded it even to the point of having it at outside locations, Captain Michael Halverson, corps officer, said. “This gives her the opportunity to meet people where they’re at instead of always expecting them to come to her.”

As their relationships and numbers continue to grow, IF looks forward to increasing their influence in the neighborhood by connecting clients of various social services to the corps, starting an Alpha Course, and developing into a mobile evangelistic team ready to serve.

Captains Mike and Nancy Halverson are corps officers in Fort Collins.

Submitted by Kirindi and Barry Goldman

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