TOP

Training in the real world

 

Cadet Ricky Scruggs discusses the gospel with Insane Clown Posse members at Fort Collins, Colo.

 

Cadets spend a week in the field during the annual ‘Spring Campaign.’

By Keilah Toy, Major

Over 100 cadets descended upon 18 corps throughout the Western Territory March 26-April 2 for the College for Officer Training (CFOT) at Crestmont’s annual Spring Campaign. During this week-long field training in the real world, cadets witness and participate in The Salvation Army’s ministries firsthand in local communities, sharing God’s love in practical ways.

The hosting corps throughout the territory responded generously, welcoming the partnership in ministry with cadet brigades of 10-12 members each.

“We intentionally sent the brigades to corps where we have not conducted a Spring Campaign in many years,” said Major Tim Foley, training principal. “A soldier at the Coos Bay Corps in Oregon told me that she has been coming to the corps since 1992 and this was the first time she could recall seeing a brigade there.”

With the exception of the Alaskan brigade, each team received a surprise visit from CFOT leaders Foley and Major Cindy Foley, or Assistant Principal Major Brian Saunders, who encouraged the cadets and pitched in, joining their work.

After cooking lunch for the Puyallap Corps Senior Activities Center, Cadet Irene Castro takes a moment to pray with a woman.

“Majors Tim and Cindy Foley really show their dedication as officers for taking the extra mile to rotate visits for our brigades,” said one cadet. “It really means a lot to us when they stop by with encouraging words.”

The cadets visited hundreds of people and served thousands of meals across the territory during the week. Ultimately, 27 people made first-time commitments to God and many more recommitted their lives to God.

“It was a good campaign with many lessons learned,” said Foley, “and lots of the joy of Lord was shared.”

Reports on the 11 cadet brigades follow.

 

Puyallap, Wash.—The community of Puyallap sparkled from the “Kenosis” brigade’s extensive spring cleaning, which included waxed floors at the corps building and maintenance and gardening projects at nearby Camp Arnold. Majors Premek and Charity Kramerius led the cadets in corps activities—Home League Easter parties, cooking for social services, preparing food boxes, befriending Silvercrest residents and presenting a puppet show. At the corps’ volunteer luncheon, cadets witnessed a 98-year-old woman being honored for over 2,000 hours of volunteer service. One cadet noted, “A valuable take-away lesson is to always appreciate our volunteers and do not undermine our senior citizens’ capabilities for volunteering!”

 

Coos Bay, Ore.—Week-long wind and rains did not dampen the spirits of “The Chosen Cupbearers” brigade, who served alongside corps officers Lts. Kevin and Heather Pope. The team stayed busy at T.H.E. House, a drop-in homeless shelter; Coddington Place, a resource center for battered men and women; and Crossroads Café, where people can dine with dignity and eat a full meal for $1.50. During one meal, an elderly couple asked for prayer and expressed that if it were not for Crossroads Café and The Salvation Army, they would not have been able to eat for half of the month. Team members had fun at the “Mad Science”-themed family night, where losers Cadets Troy Cook and Matt Morrow received a pie in the face. The brigade’s motto for the week was “Even though it rained, God’s Spirit reigned!”

 

San Francisco—“The Professors” brigade experienced multicultural ministry in neighborhoods ranging from Korean suburbs to Chinatown streets, from the Castro district to the low-income Bayview Hunters Point community. In Hunters Point, the team divided into three task groups. One group handed out drinks, snacks and hygiene kits, and another group took a prayer walk in the community. The third group cleaned the facilities and talked to people who came in for free coffee. Stepping back in time, the brigade celebrated “The Spirit of the Army” in an old-fashioned United Meeting, donning traditional uniforms with bonnets and capes, while Cadet Chris Ratliff shared the message dressed as “Joe the Turk.” San Francisco (SF) Korean Corps Officers Captains David and Ellen Oh demonstrated the importance of the corps family’s daily prayer each morning from 6-9 a.m. and again from 9-11 p.m. The brigade ended its week leading Palm Sunday meetings both at the SF Korean Corps and the SF Chinatown Corps, led by Majors Thomas and Joy Mui.

 

“Laminin” Brigade members serving breakfast to Santa Maria, California, Police Department at 6:00 a.m.

Merced, Calif.—Serving with Corps Officers Captains Joel and Rhonda Harmon, the “F.I.R.E. Starters” brigade assisted with Home League, vacation Bible school (VBS) and cleaning projects that included mowing the grass and cleaning the rain gutters on the roof. The week-long “When Jesus was a Kid” VBS program ended in a grand finale event—the children went on a shopping trip to “Nazareth,” paying for toys with beads they collected for attendance and reciting Scripture verses. Three children accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. The cadets led the Palm Sunday service in Spanish and rejoiced when the parents and family of a VBS child attended worship for the first time.

 

Santa Maria, Calif.—At sunrise, Santa Maria’s finest servants received personal attention from the “Laminin” brigade (see story p. 3). Corps Officers Lts. Paul and Jennifer Swain positioned the Army’s canteen in front of the police department to serve breakfast to the officers. After listening to him speak, cadets offered a prayer for one of the police commanders. The rest of the week included open-air meetings, street evangelism, Home League, a barbecue at Waller Park and a young people’s beach bonfire. The brigade also participated in the first United Meeting for central coast corps: Santa Maria, Oxnard, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura.

 

Sun City, Ariz. – The “Transformers” brigade visited the National Social Service and Disaster Management Conference in Phoenix, attended a Kiwanis meeting, and participated in activities at nursing homes. They held senior breakfasts, Bible studies, pastoral visits and a carnival. The cadets led youth nights, and at the corps’ first Family Night, they welcomed 54 seekers and two people who accepted Jesus as Savior. During the prison/asylum visitation, Cadets Jonathan Woollin and Michael Stack entered a maximum security psych ward, where a prisoner immediately requested prayer. Carl, their escort and prison ministry leader, promptly complied, praying and placing his hand on the prisoner’s window, mirroring the inmate’s hand placed on the other side. This simple hand gesture illuminated the importance of presence and connection. The brigade enjoyed an informal meal and fellowship with six retired officers, who answered questions and shared from their experience. Finally, the words of Corps Officer Major Tom Ford resounded in their hearts, “What you do in front of the pulpit is just as important, if not more important, than what you do behind the pulpit.”

 

Albuquerque, N.M.—Corps Officers Majors Donald and Joyce Takeuchi welcomed the “Aftershock” brigade to the “Land of Enchantment” and immersed them in corps programs, including the “Quinceanera” youth program, a carnival and a food box project for the community of “Pajarito,” where families live without running water or electricity. The cadets led multiple services and Bible studies in English and Spanish and worked alongside adult rehabilitation program beneficiaries and employees at the warehouse to sort and price donations. By listening to the beneficiaries’ stories, sharing Scripture and praying with them, the cadets deepened their understanding of the need to build bridges with others, the commonality of all people to surrender to God, and the belief that miracles still happen with God.

 

“Aftershock” Brigade members prepare food boxes in Albuquerque, N.M., for 300 families living in “Pajarito,” a community without basic utilities.

Juneau, Alaska—The “Carriers of Hope” brigade offered prayer daily at the Alaska State Capitol at both the State Senate and House of Representatives meetings. Captain Don and Lieutenant Kim Warriner led the cadets as they helped prepare the Advisory Board luncheon and participated in a Women’s Auxiliary meeting. As they worked with the officers on corps cleaning and repair projects, the cadets witnessed firsthand that an officer’s job can range from pastor to corps janitor. Corps family fellowship was rich over meals of reindeer sausage spaghetti, moose stew and homemade fry bread. The cadets will never forget the weekend carnival—especially the example of servant leadership demonstrated by Majors George and Jeanne Baker, divisional leaders of Alaska, to tear down the carnival and set up for worship service the next day.

 

Sacramento, Calif.—The “Turning Hearts” brigade, working with Majors Edward and Cynthia Lowcock, Sacramento Citadel corps officers, took responsibility for multiple youth activities, including preschool classes, after-school tutoring, family night, and participating in the divisional children’s event “Kids Alive!” The “Blacklight Glow Party” teen night with its glow mold, glow face paint, glow bubbles and glow painting, illustrated that Sacramento’s youth culture needs to be God’s light to others. During the event, the brigade gave a  “Devotion in Motion” performance to the song “Who am I?” by Casting Crowns. While at Walmart, the cadets witnessed a woman break her foot while loading groceries; they aided and prayed with her. When a second woman witnessed this act of kindness, and spotted the Army uniform, she said, “The Salvation Army! Well, they really are everywhere helping those in need!”

 

Cadet Nathan Darling prepares for open air at Lodge Grass Crow Reservation in Montana

Sheridan, Wyo., and Fort Collins, Colo.—The “Others” brigade’s mission in Sheridan, Wyo., under Corps Officers Captain David and Major Geraldine Leonard, began with a local radio broadcast featuring Cadets Clint Trimmer and Megan DeLapp sharing about life at the CFOT. Advisory Board luncheon presentations, nursing home visitations, a children’s program at the YMCA and a food and clothes distribution, along with a children’s open air at the Lodge Grass Crow Reservation rounded out the ministry responsibilities in Wyoming and Montana. En route to Fort Collins, the brigade was surprised by the airplane announcement, “We would like to welcome the wonderful folks in uniform from The Salvation Army who are flying with us today. We are very proud to have them on our flight and would like to thank them for all the good work they do.” Fort Collins Corps Officers Captains Michael and Nancy Halverson turned over leadership to the brigade for the corps’ family night dinner and quiz show, and participation in the community carnival, which included a live concert and the distribution of 1,000 pairs of new shoes to over 400 people.

 

Southern California—The “Mamas and Papas” home brigade served at seven different Southern California locations. The brigade began the week with fellowship at the Leisure World Retirement Community in Seal Beach, and then ministered at three Torrance nursing homes. After praying over a supply of 70 Bibles, which two cadets personally purchased, the brigade distributed them to grateful Bell Shelter clients. One recipient scurried away immediately after receiving the Bible and returned later with the Bible and a yellow highlighter, saying, “It’s been so long since I had a Bible.” The next day, the brigade distributed food in Los Angeles’ downtown Skid Row. They also conducted a “Tea Party” in Santa Monica, then gave out sack lunches in Venice Beach. The cadets held a Silvercrest senior program in Redondo Beach, and provided support for the first Compton Corps Basketball tournament. On Palm Sunday, they led worship in Whittier, celebrating in the evening with a pizza night party at CFOT for the caregivers and children of all the cadets.

 

For more information, watch the Spring Campaign Rewind at https://youtu.be/3OSBfGKveY8.

Sharing is caring!