Service Corps 2010

Service Corps 2010

Team Fiji

Young adults from The Salvation Army’s Western Territory spent part of their summer doing missionary work; brief reports from each team follow.

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The team divided its time among four corps and three social service centers. When they arrived, the local people met them with smiles, handshakes and “welcome home” greetings.

“As a team and as individuals, we wanted nothing more than to serve the people we were about to meet,” Lauren Estill said.

Realizing that the youth were their main ministry focus, they set out to form relationships. When the combined meeting came around, they knew most of the kids in Suva by name.

The team members—who supported and encouraged each other throughout the mission—were Samantha Neal (Clovis Corps, Southwest Division), Lauren Estill (San Francisco AAYB Corps, Golden State Division), Joseph Ostby (Salinas Corps, Golden State Division) and Ruben Cordero (Whittier Corps, Southern California Division).

Team Mexico spent two weeks in Veracruz (Alvarado Corps) and two weeks at the Tampico children’s home. Their fifth week was in Acapulco to attend the Territorial Youth Congress. They served their final week at the Cuernavaca children’s home and the Xochitepec Corps.

One of their most memorable sites was Ciudad de Madero—a city built on a landfill, previously the town dump for a larger city called Tampico. Although torrential rains flooded the city and plagued their entire stay in Madero, the team refused to let the rain interfere with the mission as they packed bags of rice, beans, pasta and sugar to take to Chispoos, an even poorer village than Madero.

“Most of them did not have shoes and half of them weren’t wearing shirts, even in the rain. We handed out what little food we had to every family and they were so grateful. It was an experience we’ll never forget,” Nancy Tuttle said.

Team members were Nancy Tuttle (Grass Valley Corps, Del Oro Division), Brittni Jarvie (Oceanside Corps, Sierra del Mar Division), Alexandr Solis (San Pedro Corps, Southern California Division), Gabriela Lima (L.A. Central Corps, Southern California Division) and Jessica Stennett (Boise Corps, Cascade Division).

The hot, humid air failed to deter Team Philippines. Splitting their time between the Central Philippine Division and the Northern Luzon Division, they led children’s programs in the Bethany and Joyville Homes—both houses serve abused and street kids. They also visited the Community for Evangelism Ministry.

Going to a total of 15 corps, the team painted one entire facility, visited and prayed with 75 families and led and preached in holiness meetings, Sunday school and young adult fellowships.

“As soon as we got off the plane we were submerged in ministry for The Salvation Army,” team member Meagan Hawk said. “This continued until we got back on the plane. We were blessed to serve the Army and local officers in the Philippines. Mabuhay!”

The team was Meagan Hawk (Phoenix South Mountain Corps, Southwest Division), Steven Hughes (Mat-Su Valley Corps, Alaska Division), Jordan Allen (Pasadena Tabernacle Corps, Southern California Division), Krystina Macias (Whittier Corps, Southern California Division) and Rikki Ortiz (Grass Valley Corps, Del Oro Division).

The team visited six different locations in Southeast Alaska. Their work with children at each site reinforced the fact that spiritual hunger is a major factor in Alaskan Natives’ lives.

“I was astonished by the way Native people live. They live simple lives. They were humble and grateful for all they had. They were about community, helping one another in times of trouble. Jesus was about community and loving one another,” Brisa Fregoso said. “My heart was broken so many times…it changed me!”

Team members were Brittany Mathews (Riverside Corps, Sierra del Mar Division), Matthew Oldham (Great Falls Corps, Northwest Division), Isacc Flores-Vega (L.A. Central Corps, Southern California Division), Xiomara Reyes (Los Angeles Central Corps, Southern California Division) and Brisa Fregoso (Visalia Corps, Golden State Division).

Pohnpei/Marshall Islands
The team spent half their time in Pohnpei and the other half in the Marshall Islands. In Pohnpei they conducted two vacation Bible school (VBS) programs at an outpost and a corps. Although they worked tirelessly, the also had a chance to see some of the sites when their new friends took them to local ruins and a waterfall.

Arriving in the Marshall Islands, the group was excited about the possibility of building a home for a family. Before they worked on their home construction project, they worked around the corps cleaning up trash in the streets and painting a wall around the basketball courts.

In their final week they met Jonathan and Joyce, the couple who needed a new house.

“The fact that five American young adults took the time to drive a nail into a piece of wood so they could have a real home spoke to them,” Cynthia Garcia said. “There may not have been time to really sit down and talk about the Bible or what great things God has done in our lives, but I know they could see God’s love in us.”

Members of the team were Jose Soto (Salinas Corps, Del Oro Division), Ashleigh Hale (Redding Corps, Del Oro Division), Deryn O’Brien (Seattle Temple Corps, Northwest Division), Cynthia Garcia (Whittier Corps, Southern California Division) and Stephen Hartt (Flagstaff Corps, Southwest Division).

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