If You Renovate It, God Blesses, People Come

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A Field of Dreams in Anaheim

The Army’s latest expression of service to Orange County, Calif., the newly renovated Red Shield Center, is the product of faith, effort, and an almost audible message, “If you renovate it, God will bless!”

When renovation became a must, program plans were drawn up to meet the needs of people from 1 to 99 years of age. Budgets were forecast and prayers were offered up seeking the necessary $500,000 with which to accomplish the job.

With 75 percent of the renovations completed and six months into the full operations of the Red Shield Family Activity Center, God has blessed! First, consider the programs for seniors.

Most programs address the need for physical conditioning, both muscular and cardiovascular. Special classes are offered for those suffering from arthritis (Twinges in the Hinges) and those looking for a social club (Geritol Kids). The Anaheim Home League meets between two of these programs, adding a spiritual element to the overall seniors program. After seven months of operation, the seniors have 310 members ranging from 55 to 93.

For non-senior adults, the fitness center, with its piped-in music and up-to-date equipment, sees busy use. Basketball leagues for both men and women are operating four nights a week, with three indoor hardwood racquetball courts running five days a week. The pool is busy also with “Hydro-Aerobics” and “H2O Workout.”

Programs such as Overcomers, Promise Keepers, and adult Bible studies are also available weekly. This growing segment of membership currently numbers 201.

As for the hard-hitting teens…Each week begins with the “FCA Huddle” (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) teen Bible study, followed by basketball and volleyball. “Pumped Up Teens” couples a devotional time with weight training on the nautilus system. Throughout the summer months, ten high country backpacking trips are conducted for “at risk” teens. These physically tough trips provide excellent opportunities to break down thick walls of defense and to present the Gospel of Christ in the open environment of God’s creation. While teens are most difficult to program, God has blessed the Red Shield with 148active teen members.

Batting in the “clean up” position are kids 5 to 12 years of age. Their week starts with “Totally Tuesday,” a high energy Sunday school style assembly where the Gospel is presented in a simple, clear and concise manner.

There is a room where they are encouraged to complete homework assignments before participating in recreational activities. Specialized tutoring is also available for those who are “off track” and performing below grade level (Discovery Trek). After homework, swimming is the most popular activity, followed by organized games in the gym.

There are also arts and crafts, game room activities, and jazz and ballet classes. There are 529 active members in this age group. In the “In Line Skating” program, a retired NHL player instructs in the fundamentals of skating and hockey.

This October, the organized hockey league begins, sponsored by Hyper Wheels and Mission Roller Hockey, among others. Here come the Red Shield Warriors!

Says John Covert, Orange County director of youth services, “We were faithful. We renovated. God has blessed and they have come. And true to the Army’s calling, we have served them all. Our prayer now is for continued guidance and faith to continue the good work he has begun here in Anaheim.”

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