New beginnings at the “End of the Road”
Homer (Alaska) Corps dedicates new building.
by Jenni Ragland –
Scripture from Isaiah 43:18-19 that states, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” has special meaning for soldiers and friends of the Homer (Alaska) Corps. After several years of dreaming, praying and planning, they recently celebrated the completion of their new corps building. Captains Mark and Michelle Thielenhaus welcomed Commissioner Philip Swyers, who led the dedication celebration, accompanied by divisional leaders, Majors Doug and Sheryl Tollerud. Also attending were Majors Michael and Jennifer Bates (Fairbanks), who opened the Army’s work in Homer in 1992.
Additionally the corps celebrated the enrollment of Emily Thielenhaus and Michaela Franklin as new junior soldiers. A special prayer was offered for Jessica Franklin, who will travel from Homer to Argentina this summer as a member of the Western Territorial service corps team. Following the morning holiness meeting guests enjoyed a spaghetti dinner before the service of dedication.
With the fellowship hall and kitchen in the new building about the same size as the old trailer (which housed the corps during construction), the extra space for classrooms, offices, a food pantry and the chapel is significant. A compelling sight in the chapel is the rough-hewn spruce timbers that form a cross behind the pulpit. CSM Ray Steiner, who was also the contractor for the construction project, stated, “I want people to be reminded of the old rugged cross and Christ’s sacrifice for each of us.”
An air of excitement exists for the Army’s ministry in Homer. According to Captain Michelle, “Now that I have my own office, I am better able to minister to the needs of our social service clients, even working with some to develop better budgeting skills.” The ladies’ group is busily planning a mother and child tea, and the corps will host the ministerial association’s pastors and elders dinner in May. Captains Thielenhaus are grateful for God’s goodness in providing this opportunity, stating, “We have worked to build relationships in the community, be good stewards of God’s money and continue to spend much time in prayer, seeking God’s vision for Homer and our ministry at the ‘end of the road.’”