Micronesia welcomes Bond
Members of the Guam and Chuuk corps welcomed Commissioner Linda Bond with smiles, leis and lots of Pacific sunshine. Corps Sgt. Maj. Karuo Oster escorted her through customs, where she was met by Captains David and Linda Harmon, Guam Corps officers; Envoy Hermes Otis, envoy in charge of the Chuuk Corps; and Rufina Otis, Hermes’ wife and the Chuuk Corps program assistant.
While in Chuuk, Bond toured a possible new location for a permanent center for the Chuuk Corps, enrolled new soldiers, and met with the acting governor of Chuuk State.
She also visited the office of the Chuuk Corps, where she gave an impromptu lesson to Envoy Hermes Otis on PowerPoint presentations. Then she met with the acting governor of Chuuk State, who treated the entourage to lunch and presented the state’s master development plan, called “2020 Vision,” of which he hopes The Salvation Army will play a significant role.
She also met with Linda Mori Hartman, a local businesswoman and chair of the Chuuk Corps Advisory Board. At the evening worship service, Bond gave the sermon to about 80 people. The Chuuk Corps enrolled 21 new soldiers that day, all of whom received personal greetings and blessings from the commissioner.
The young people of Chuuk had a special effect on the commissioner, and she left the archipelago with hope that The Salvation Army could help provide more opportunities for these children in the future.
About 12 young people from the Guam Corps were on hand to greet the commissioner on Guam, including Chrissy Swanson, the spiritual ministries director.
Guam, a territory of the United States, has a population of 155,000. It lies in the Western Pacific, about three quarters of the way from Hawaii to the Philippines, and is about three times the size of Washington, D.C.
On Sunday, Bond led worship services at the Lighthouse Outpost and at the Guam Corps Community Center. The Lighthouse Outpost is associated with the Lighthouse Recovery Center, a residential treatment facility for homeless men with substance abuse problems.
The Guam Corps Advisory Board met with the commissioner during a special meeting, and then hosted a reception for her that included all of the Guam Corps staff and many of its donors and volunteers. During the reception, the Guam Board of Realtors presented the Guam Corps with a check for $10,000 for typhoon relief. The island has yet to fully recover from last December’s super typhoon Pongsona.
Captain Linda Harmon said it was critical for the commissioner to see this part of the world, and this part of The Salvation Army, firsthand, for this region to develop. “You really have to see it for yourself to get a good understanding of the work we do out here,” she said. “Commissioner Bond is personable and really easy to be with, but at the same time she has a unique way of commanding your respect. It was our good fortune to spend so much time with her here in our island homes.”