Tucson Amphi Corps—something for everyone
Corps expands outreach through creative ministry.
by Rachel Southard –
Striving to touch the lives of as many community members as possible in an ever-growing city has led Captains David and Erin Kauffman of Tucson’s Amphi Corps to become quite creative in their ministry and in the diverse programs the corps offers. “We strive to reach out to those less fortunate in our community,” said Captain David Kauffman, Amphi corps officer. “Because of this, we have sought out ways to touch the lives of people of all ages and with different interests.”
From financial management and parenting classes, senior computer classes, and its annual musical concert (by Azusa Pacific University students), to its Tuesday night recovery Bible study (focused on helping individuals recovering from addiction), the local adult population has options that cater to any interest. For area families Amphi offers a Harvest Festival and concert each fall, and family night every Thursday.
“For the kids we have the largest number of programs,” explains Captain Erin Kauffman, Amphi corps officer. “We hold vacation Bible school twice yearly and teen Bible study every Tuesday. In our after-school programs we not only help the children with their homework, but also try to create a camp atmosphere with special events one day a week.” The camp activities include bobbing for chicken feet, pudding eating contests, dress-up relays, etc.
For those with competitive and athletic spirits, the corps offers leagues in recreational sports such as basketball and kickball. “These leagues offer children a chance to work together in a team atmosphere,” said Captain Erin. “For those who desire a more individual sport, we have a fantastic Tai Kwan Do program.” With an increased interest in the study of martial arts, Amphi’s volunteer instructor, Andrew Mutchler, a 3rd degree black belt, shares his time with the corps’ youth twice a week. Beginning with 15 participants three years ago, the program currently enrolls 80 children, 40 of whom are instructed each night. “We are extremely excited about the growth of this program,” said Captain David. “The program not only instructs its participants individually, it teaches the children how to help one another, as part of passing from one level to the next is dependent on the children’s ability to instruct those in a lower level.”
Touching the lives of over 600 community members each week has left the corps with many challenges, but the captains are excited for everything the start of Amphi’s new advisory board will bring. Each day at the Amphi Corps brings new faces, more smiles and lasting memories, but for Captains David and Erin Kauffman, knowing the positive impact its many programs have on participants makes all the challenges worthwhile.