McMinnville’s “Bridgers” build relationships

Corps develops innovative ways to reach out to others.

 – by Dennis Trimmer, Major

Volunteers Arlis Woodland and Martha Hunking are “Bridgers” who work with Family Services clients. [Photo by Megan DeLapp]

The McMinnville (Ore.) Corps recently began a program called the “Monday Freebie Bazaar.” Because our corps building is small, we do not have space to display the hundreds of items—mostly clothing—that are donated to us each week. Without a local thrift store, we have no way to use the donations, so on Monday mornings corps members display the items on tables in our fellowship hall and allow clients to come from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. and take whatever they need.

Additionally, we have begun a program called “Bridgers,” made up of corps members who develop relationships with clients who come to our Family Services for assistance. The concept is that volunteers will learn about the clients’ families, their interests and their needs and offer them prayer and hope. Once the relationship is established—perhaps over several visits—the “Bridger” will invite the clients and their families to corps events and programs, such as Home League, youth programs, men’s group, etc. The goal is that those without a church home will eventually attend worship services and become exposed to the good news of the gospel.

Arlis Woodland, one of the Bridgers and soldier of the corps said, “I am looking forward to new people, adults and children, coming to our programs and eventually helping them to know the Lord.”

The Bridgers are not only involved in the Monday event but have volunteered to come in on other weekdays to build relationships with those who come to us for assistance.

“I think it’s a wonderful program,” added soldier Martha Hunking. “I know God will help me to reach out in this way to inform our clients of our corps programs and leading them to the Lord.”

Sharing is caring!