Oakland Chinatown keeps busy
A lot has been happening at the Oakland Chinatown Corps, under the leadership of Capt. Grace Tse. Many from the Chinatown community participated in programs this summer and fall, enriching both the corps and the community.
One hundred plus children attended summer day camp, held for six weeks in July and August. The camp staff consisted of four teachers and twelve volunteer assistants; all were youth from the corps and the Chinatown community.
Morning activities included VBS and group activities, and afternoon outings included museums, the fire department and a seminar on health education. About 30 children accepted Christ as Savior –a special blessing since most of these children come from Buddhist backgrounds.
Another summer program was the SAT preparation course, with classes held from June to August. Fifteen high school students attended–ten from the Friday Youth Fellow-ship. The corps will continue the program and encourage more to attend.
In September, fall activities resumed. The after school program has 40 children enrolled; the corps recently began holding a Sunday morning service in English to meet the needs of more people.
Oakland Chinatown recently held its annual bazaar. Sales of food and other items raised $2,800, which will go toward the self-denial drive.
Value of programs
The value of these programs can be seen in the lives of people. This summer three young people found $200 in the streets of Chinatown. The oldest, 17-year-old Wilson Tam, is a volunteer at the corps’ after school program. His original idea was to keep the money, splitting it with the corps. He talked it over with Captain Tse, who convinced him that the right thing to do was to turn the money over to the police.
The young people turned in the money. In six months, if not claimed, the money will be returned to them. Wilson said if the money is returned to them, they will still donate half to the Army. “That’s what I wanted to do in the first place,” he said. “But it’s not the right thing to do.”
Thanks to the influence of the corps and Captain Grace Tse, a challenging situation was met with the right decision. The community is strengthened and lives shaped by corps programs like those at the Oakland Chinatown Corps.