Jabor Corps enrolls 7 soldiers, dedicates 4 babies
THE SALVATION ARMY Jaluit Outpost, Marshall Islands.
BY CHARLES FOWLER –
In a remote village of less than 900 residents, the strip of land is less than a football field wide with ocean on both sides.
In the midst of the lush beauty of a remote island, The Salvation Army Jabor Corps sits only a small distance from the Japanese headquarters for the area during World War II.
The Jabor Corps is located on Jaluit Atoll and, like the outpost on the other end of the island and an outreach ministry on a nearby island, the corps is filled with life.
I visited there on a recent weekend. As our plane landed, I noticed the local police starting to line up outside. Oops! Wrong plane; another small aircraft had been chartered due to the opening of a new fish base on the island.
Funded by a Japanese in-vestor and the Taiwanese government, the fish base will provide much needed jobs for the area. A number of Salvationists will be working there. On the charter plane was the president of the Japanese company investing and the Taiwanese ambassador to the Marshall Islands.
The trip was very eventful. On Sunday morning in Jabor, four babies were dedicated, seven soldiers enrolled, and a wonderful musical presentation by the children and youth of the corps was enjoyed. In the evening we attended the Jaluit Outpost, where just before the meeting was to begin, Outpost Sergeant, Benji Rakin, asked if I could perform the marriage ceremony for a couple immediately following the service. I agreed. We were planning to dedicate three children in that service, but a fourth came to the meeting with parents hoping I would dedicate their son as well. I agreed.
A traditional farewell of singing and dancing is given to every guest who comes to the Jaluit Outpost whether they come for an hour or a week. Caston John, Marshall Islands assistant for corps development who accompanied me, and I sat in places of honor as the people presented us with their gifts of love, which consisted of beautiful shells, locally made coconut candies and handicrafts.
We returned to the other end of the island where another wedding party was anxiously awaiting our arrival. The house of the corps leaders was filled with people and small decorations. Within minutes I performed my second wedding in three hours time. It was a wonderful ceremony and unusual, for both parents of the bride and groom were present and giving their support to the marriage.
Leaving on the plane the next day, I felt both joy and sadness. Life on Jaluit Atoll is very simple and relaxed. I enjoyed that atmosphere and was sad to be leaving it. However, I felt great joy to know that the ministry of The Salvation Army there was thriving. The meetings halls were full and the joy of the Lord was evident on the faces of the people. I thank God continually for the servant hearts of Envoys Hittai and Mary Rose Silk and Outpost Sergeants Benji and Rosebee Rakin.