So–What Is Really Going on in Pahrump?
Not only had Lieutenants Osei and Lynn Stewart never opened an outpost or corps, they were new officer as well.
Eight months ago, their orders sent them to Pahrump, Nev., an area that has had no Salvation Army presence in the past. Though surrounded by beautiful mountains and with very genial and friendly people, a town like Pahrump took a little getting used to. Through God’s strength and guidance, they settled in comfortably. Many of the people they met in town shared with them that they couldn’t wait until they got fully functional. They heard again and again the strengthening words, “The Salvation Army is needed very much in Pahrump.”
Help was indeed needed: not only physically or financially, but also spiritually and emotionally. “We have been taking every opportunity available to integrate God with our social service ministry,” says Stewart. “It gives us great pleasure to offer prayer to some individual who has come in for food or utility assistance and have him or her actually accept the prayer.” They assist approximately 150 people monthly with propane and electric bills, food, shelter and clothing.
“Pahrump is such a rapidly growing place. We have seen it grow to 30,000, and the population will probably double within a few years,” says Lt. Colonel Jim Sullivan, Clark County Coordinator. “It is encouraging that the people there seem very receptive to the Army.”
At Christmas the food and toy drives made it possible to help people in need while spending almost no additional money. The kettles brought in $16,000–$10,000 more than had been budgeted. Volunteer kettle workers saved money much needed for other things.
The Stewarts have begun some programs to bring people of the community into the church. Currently there is an adult Bible study with about eight people, and youth activities (Girl Guards, Sunbeams and Adventure Corps) with about 20-25 children.
The donation of a building gave them their corps office and sanctuary, and the good news/bad news is that it is getting crowded as numbers grow. Sunday services average 30-40, including children. Two people are on the way to becoming new soldiers. Seven people have come to the Lord since attending the corps. The Stewarts feel that God is working through them to reach the lost of this town.
Women’s fellowship averages about eight women weekly. A wonderful monthly ministry at the senior center gives them an audience of 149 seniors and about 10 staff.
Three weeks ago, they began the ministry of serving the elderly and disabled in town by providing transportation locally and to Las Vegas for medical appointments. Calling it the “Helping Hands of Pahrump,” they have already transported 53 people, with 10 volunteer drivers. Without a local hospital or public transportation, this fills a real need. They hope to expand this in the future to include running errands to the post office, drug store, supermarket, and so on.
“Without the Lord and our committed bunch of corps people,” says Stewart, “All that has been accomplished would not have been. We praise him because he is good!”