Reyes Stresses Latino Family Values

by Captain Hector Diaz – 

Latino families from Los Angeles and Orange Counties gathered at The Salvation Army’s Mt. Crags and Gilmore Camps for the division’s second annual Latino Family Bible Camp. This year’s retreat drew 190 families totaling 485 delegates, with 19 corps and outposts represented.

“The purpose of this family retreat is to emphasize the importance of developing the habit of praying together as a family and how to be better parents and positive role models for their children,” said Lt. Colonel Alfred R. Van Cleef, divisional commander.

Captain Mario Reyes, divisional Latino coordinator, stressed the value of family in his opening message to the delegates. In an atmosphere described as one “filled with the Holy Spirit,” many activities took place over the weekend that were filled with praise and worship. Reyes, who led the retreat, called for better Christian parenting and parents responded by dedicating the weekend for learning about the Christ-centered family.

Workshops focused on issues of communication, respect and cooperation among family members. “The family should not be a tense environment, but provide compassion and love. Families should be aware of problems and search together for a solution and dedicate a time of devotion with prayer and Bible reading,” counseled Raul Guerrero to those attending his Saturday morning workshop.

Nearly 250 youth received Bible lessons from Lieutenant Oscar and Edith Tippol, who also taught the children they can “make a difference in the family.” A talk show panel discussed issues including how to make a difference, facing pressure and temptation. Using the theme, “Carrying the Light” (of Christ in the family), Tippol explained no matter what the situation, children have hope: “That hope is found in following Christ.”

Along with the familiar sounds of families enjoying swimming and a variety of recreational games, the camp was filled with the sounds of music during weekend festivities as Capt. Pedro Delgado from the Los Angeles Central Corps led the delegates in the performance of solos, duets and group songs of praise.

On Sunday, with music provided by the Santa Ana Temple and San Pedro Temple brass bands, Van Cleef enrolled four new soldiers for the Lincoln Heights Spanish Ministry. In bringing the holiness meeting to a close, Van Cleef encouraged delegates to keep Christ as the base in their family.

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