Rader Challenges Nearly 900 ARC Beneficiaries
by Sue Schumann Warner –
LA Congress Hall exploded with worship and witness during the “Greater Rehabilitation Rally,” attended by adherents, officers and soldiers, as well as international, national and territorial leaders.
“Hang on tonight,” said Major Dan Starrett, ARC commander, as he greeted the enthusiastic audience of nearly 900. “Tonight isn’t just for the General–if Jesus Christ is in your life, this is your moment.”
Filled with testimony of God’s powerful saving grace, the evening resounded with praise and thanksgiving.
Commissioner Kay Rader spoke on the importance of allowing God to lift us up in “down” moments and encouraged the crowd to “look up to God. Cast all your cares upon him. He cares for you!” she stated.
A video portraying Richard Mericle’s battle over addiction and his subsequent graduation from an ARC program was a moving tribute to the Army’s commitment to saving lives–one at a time–and to the power of God in rehabilitating broken lives. At the conclusion of the video, Mericle and his family were introduced to the audience.
Patty Fox, Fresno ARC, and Robert Brill, San Diego ARC, gave testimony to the changes God had brought into their lives through ARC programs.
Music played a key part in the evening, bringing about a spirit of joy and of worship. The Canoga Park ARC Corps’ worship team, composed of three graduates, five beneficiaries, a mother and family members, blessed the audience with a lively rendition of “Road to Recovery.”
Lt. Michelle Newman, ARC administrator trainee and ARC graduate, set the stage for the General’s message with her solo, “Wonderful Healer.”
Rader encouraged the audience to see God as a loving, welcoming father who waits for us with outstretched arms. Using the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11 as his text, he explained “the only way back for the son was admitting failure and accepting his father’s forgiveness. It’s the same for us.”
At the evening’s conclusion, the altar was lined with those praying and seeking God. “Don’t give up on yourself,” said Commissioner David Edwards to the men and women. “God will not give up on you. Trust God. Let him have first place in your life.”
Special guests Commissioners Robert and Alice Watson, Colonels Bill and Gwen Luttrell, and Lt. Royston Bartlett supported the event. Commissioner Doreen Edwards read the Scripture and Major Helen Starrett led in prayer. Major Neil Saunders gave the closing prayer and benediction.