New adherents in Hawaii turn commitment into action
Corps and ARC partner to change lives and spread the gospel.
Excitement filled the air at both the Honolulu Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) and the Kauluwela Mission Corps, Hawaii, on April 18, 2010, as 15 ARC beneficiaries were enrolled as adherent members at the corps. The event highlighted the integration between the two programs.
The men had completed a 12-week membership class led by Major Brian Saunders, Kauluwela corps officer.
Before presenting each man with a devotional book, plaque and adherent’s pin, Saunders challenged them to Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8).
Major Man-Hee Chang, Western Territorial Adult Rehabilitation Centers commander, spoke at both the ARC chapel and the corps holiness meeting.
“The cross shapes who we are,” Chang said. “You are now members in The Salvation Army. Those Army shirts you are wearing: don’t take them off; wear them wherever you go. And if you plan to go somewhere where you shouldn’t wear them, then don’t go there.”
Many of the men had been active in the corps already, attending Bible studies, young adult and other events. ARC volunteers assist in corps fundraising, clean-up projects, and more. In addition, every Sunday after the evening worship service, they, along with other young people from the corps and the Revolution Hawaii team, head to Chinatown.
“It is the most drug-infested area of the city. The streets and sidewalks are home to some of the poorest, most desperate souls in Honolulu. The homeless camp along the sidewalks. Drug dealers, prostitutes and addicts own the streets after dark,” Rob Noland, Revolution Hawaii director, said.
The connection was not lost on the new adherents, one of whom said, “I used to be one of those men. I saw myself in their eyes. Not long ago that was me.”
For ARC Chaplain Alice Bratton, these are sobering testimonies of desperate times, “but now instead of trolling for their next hit of cocaine, meth or drug of choice these same men are handing out sandwiches, encouragement and God’s love. ”
Over the past two years, the ARC and the corps have developed a close relationship.
“The thing that is most exciting to me,” Saunders said, “is that this is not a one-time event. The integration of the two programs is ongoing and has become integral to both ministries.”
Major Edward Hill, Hawaiian and Pacific Islands divisional commander, commented on the new enrollees.
“Perhaps the most encouraging aspect of the enrollment of the new adherents was to witness the commitment to partnership between the Honolulu ARC and the Kauluwela Corps. It ought to serve as a model of cooperation for all our ministries,” he said.
Major Moses Reyes, Honolulu ARC program director, agreed. “We are pleased to partner with the corps. Finding a faith community is an important part of the recovery process.”