Miracles on Turk Street

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It was an average weekday morning at the San Francisco Turk Street Corps, located in the midst of the Tenderloin district.

As the corps officers attended to the needs of those visiting their corps, an older man came in off the street. After he was given a cup of coffee, he asked to speak to someone. Those serving him thought he needed help. “No, no,” he said, “I want to give help.”

He then shared his story.

In 1946, he visited a Salvation Army center and was given a cup of coffee and loaned $6. “I wanted to pay The Salvation Army what I have owed for many years,” he explained, and presented the corps with $400 in cash. He then left, but soon returned and gave the amazed recipients another $100. Then he vanished.

When a couple of people rushed out a minute later to give him a receipt, he was nowhere to be found.

“It was as if he just disappeared. You never know when you are feeding an angel of the Lord,” said the captain. “The best thing we ever gave this man was a cup of coffee.”

The corps received another blessing when a formerly homeless woman showed up, presenting the Army with a $200 check and thanking them for their help.

One unique ministry of the corps has been to walk the Tenderloin streets every other Friday, giving words of encouragement while passing out spiritual tracts and bag lunches. The idea began months ago during a Men’s Fellowship meeting and became a biweekly event.

Members young and old have taken part in this important and fulfilling outreach. The corps plans to continue and expand this important work as part of its Caring Ministries program.

Said one soldier, “It is about showing people that God has not forgotten them no matter what their circumstances, and we are out here to show God’s love.”

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