Service extension helps in hard times

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Northwest Division

Service extension units play an important role in providing services and extending The Salvation Army’s ministry in locations far from the public’s eye. The following stories provide insight into the impact of these units.



(L-R) BOB TWITCHELL, service extension director of field operations, Sylvia Batton and Mina Twitchell.

In time of need

She resides with her husband in a remote rural location at the heart of Eastern Washington’s Okanogan Valley. Sylvia and Carl have seven children and are self-sufficient as are many others who live in the wilderness region. While never divulging their troubles to neighbors, God knew and began intervening in a personal way as Sylvia responded to the gospel message through The War Cry, inviting Jesus Christ to be her savior and Lord.

Sylvia and her mother, age 80, have both spent much time at The Salvation Army’s Port Angeles Corps for Sunday worship services. But trouble and sorrow have never been far from this family. Sylvia’s mother was recently diagnosed with colon cancer and Sylvia and Carl lost a 13-year-old son to leukemia.

Sylvia is also suffering with cancer and has already undergone two operations with two more scheduled. The family has no medical insurance and Carl was injured earlier this year, unable to work. But even in trials, Sylvia’s countenance continues to radiate, and her faith in Jesus Christ remains intact.

Through the resourceful efforts of the Army’s service extension unit, Sylvia was supplied with gasoline for weekly trips to the doctor in Spokane, Wash., (a 350-mile round-trip journey) and several warm garments obtained from a local clothing store to keep her comfortable. Contact with Sylvia will continue through the weeks and months to come, along with the many prayers from Salvation Army staff. Sylvia’s tears of joy will always be reflective of her gratitude to The Salvation Army for this personal touch of love, compassion and caring, during her time of deepest need.

No longer alone

With anger in his voice and a tear in his eye, Jim lashes out at God and the world for all the hurt, pain and loneliness he is experiencing. Jim’s wife was murdered a few years ago; he has been robbed recently of most of his goods, has no money to pay his rent and his last brother just passed away.

Now Jim is on the edge and threatening to take his own life as Salvation Army Field Director Bob Twitchell responds through a White House inquiry to be a source of strength and help in Jim’s time of need. They sat and talked for the longest time about life, death, eternity and the importance of knowing Jesus Christ as savior. Bob held Jim in his arms as they wept…and Bob prayed.

Jim is 72-years-old, and all alone. He felt no one cared about him until The Salvation Army supplied the means for Jim to be able to keep his home and also attend his brother’s funeral. Now, for the first time in a long time, Jim realizes he is not alone any more. God does care and The Salvation Army became that instrument of caring that he needed, to sense his own worth and dignity once again.

Jim no longer wants to take his life, he wants to live it…but will never forget that sense of emptiness that he felt before The Salvation Army “came to care” and helped him put his life back together again.

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