Tustin Ranch goes country
by Darlene Palermo –
OVER 400 PEOPLE gathered for fun and fellowship at the eighth annual Tustin Ranch country fair.
Transformed into an authentic country fair, The Salvation Army Tustin Ranch campus was the place to be on Sunday afternoon, July 11.
Following the Pledge of Allegiance, the Tustin Ranch Band sparked everyone’s anticipation with a rousing arrangement of “The Star Spangled Banner” and children from the pre-school sang “God Bless America” prior to CSM Warren Johnson opening the event with prayer. Even on a hot summer day, 400 plus people joined in the fun and fellowship at this eighth annual event. And many of the participants were not soldiers or regular attenders at the corps.
Planning began immediately after last year’s country fair as discussions at corps council affirmed the importance of this event in the corps’ outreach ministry. Consequently, preparations included coordinating an evangelism team to greet visitors as they arrived on campus. Along with a warm welcome, the team shared a packet of information about The Salvation Army Tustin Ranch as well as various evangelistic materials. In addition, Bibles were distributed at the welcome center to anyone desiring to have one.
The enticing aroma of grilled hamburgers and hot dogs and fresh corn on the cob wafted over the courtyard while families and friends enjoyed the shade of umbrellas rising above the red and white checked tablecloths. They listened to the upbeat music of a country bluegrass gospel group who sang and played throughout the afternoon. Every half hour, a drawing was held and winners received various prizes. Along with the prizewinners’ announcement, Major Lee Lescano shared brief quotes from the scripture and an invitation for anyone interested in making a commitment to the Lord.
A special children’s Gospel hour was held several times during the afternoon in the sanctuary so that every child could hear the gospel from “James and the Professor,” a unique, entertaining and uplifting ventriloquist performance.
By the time the last participant had left, more than 100 people from the corps had been involved in planning, preparation, serving and clean-up.
Was the country fair a success? Only heaven will reveal the eternal return on the investment of time and energy, since The Salvation Army Tustin Ranch’s follow up team will be visiting 27 new families as a result of this exciting outreach!