Mesa Citadel ‘answers the call’

Corps members Jeff and Holly White lead mission team to Jamaica.

 By Heather Andreason-Howard

The new missions team at the Mesa, (Ariz.) Citadel Corps was the brainchild of corps members Jeff and Holly White. They are living proof that once God calls you, he doesn’t change his mind.

The Whites felt the call to mission work 10 years earlier, but had no idea how to respond, so life went on. They began a family and established their careers, but the call never left.

In spring 2011, Keisha Jones, wife of Mesa Corps Bandmaster Marlon Jones, was cleared to leave Jamaica to join her husband in the U.S. Keisha Jones is a teacher; Holly White is a teacher. As the two women became acquainted, Jones revealed that her home corps (Savanna-La-Mar) needed help with its youth programs. White knew that the Mesa Corps had the means to provide the help. Soon plans developed to form a team to head to Jamaica to hold two vacation Bible school sessions.

Outside the Blackness Outpost, site of vacation Bible school Photo by Heather Andreason-Howard


Jeff White, an accountant, worked on funding the trip. The team would pay for everything, with no financial burden on the host corps.

“Our first fundraiser was a flop,” White said. “We made a whopping $216.06. The next fundraiser was successful, but the one after that was a flop.” They persevered and eventually the team raised exactly the amount required.

A few months before the scheduled departure, Majors Michael and Susan Nute, Mesa corps officers, and the Savanna-La-Mar corps officers in Jamaica received marching orders, with farewell parties scheduled during the week of the trip. Another potential problem was supplies: The team wanted to leave supplies in Jamaica but worried that the items would be confiscated or taxed in Montego Bay. Despite these concerns, the team continued with its plans, fully expecting God to provide. And late on July 4, they boarded the plane.

The team included 11 members: Jeff and Holly White and their two young sons, Zachary and Isaac; Len and Katie Virtue; Daryl and Heather Howard; Lorraine Andreasen; Keisha Jones; and Major Candice Frizzell. Zachary and Isaac had a simple job: make friends with the children. Upon arrival, they immediately started playing with the kids, which made the children comfortable with the adults as well.

Many local residents outside the walls of the corps and outpost welcomed the visitors, specifically asking for prayer. One woman at a tiny craft market saw The Salvation Army shield on the shirts and said, “My name is Claudette. Please pray for me.”

The secret to a happy and fulfilling life is easy: Trust God and answer when he calls. For God’s gifts and calling never change (Rom. 11:29 ISV).

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