Women’s ministries impacts multiple generations
Caldwell transforms the future through children and youth.
by Kory Acosta, Captain –
As we think about the Home League turning 100 this year, I have been confronted with a jaw-dropping truth: All the youth currently attending our “Fire Starters” youth group and the “Cross-Eyed” Girl Guards troop at the Caldwell, Idaho, corps have come to The Salvation Army through a Women’s Ministry outreach!
What a wonderful reflection of the potential our women have in transforming the future through our children and youth.
One such woman was Ruby Baber. She was promoted to Glory last year, but for 24 years she was a faithful member of the Home League, along with her daughter, Marie. Through the years, she began to attend the Sunday Holiness meetings and soon invited her then very young grandchildren, Brian, Kevin, Tera, Corina, and Allison Manzanares in 1997 to attend the corps.
Soon enough, their mother, Connie began to attend. Today, this family is a trophy of God’s grace; every year they volunteer a combined 400 hours, and are faithful soldiers of the Caldwell Corps. Tera Manzanares, a senior soldier, Girl Guard, CCM member and Sunday school teacher accepted her call to serve God full time as a Salvation Army officer at our last Youth Councils. “I would be so lost without God and without the Salvation Army; it is my other home.”
The Arredondo family is another trophy of God’s grace. In 2004, Maria Arredondo began attending the monthly women’s coffee break, held under the leadership of then-Children’s Ministries Director Ligia Ambriz and Captain Claudia Ruiz. Maria had been going through a very difficult separation from her husband and was looking for guidance. Most importantly, she was searching for the love of God.
She attended church with her children, and in 2005 I began to develop a relationship with her teens. One—Ines—had “hit a wall” with the family, turning to drugs, alcohol, and self-inflicting abuse. But Maria and I knew that God had a definite purpose for Ines, and we couldn’t give up. Then in 2006, she reaccepted Christ as her Lord and Savior and now is one of the corps’ most dedicated soldiers. “The Salvation Army has helped me get closer to my family, and has given us a new sense of family and unity. I love my church family, and I now have an urgency to share God’s message with the world!” said Ines.
Ines has also declared her call to serve as a Salvation Army officer after she finishes school. She and her sister and brother dedicate many hours to the church through volunteering and helping in the programs as members and leaders.
Women’s Ministries has been a vital and incredibly life-changing program at the Caldwell; God bless The Salvation Army and the Women’s Ministries program!