by Joseph Cisneros –
Dina Cisneros distributes clothing to migrant workers.
This fall, the Woodburn Temple Corps, Ore., received a donation of about 210 bags of clothes from the Kiwanis in the Canby, Ore. area. Our Home League sorted the clothes for distribution in our community.
We decided to go the migrant camps in the surrounding areas to give the clothes to those in need. Many corps members got involved. One member, Juan, got the addresses for the camps, and 16 people went on the visitation, using two vans and a truck. We visited about five camps and distributed clothes to about 25 different families along with cookies, the War Cry and an invitation to our church services. When the families at the camps realized that the clothes were free, they were pleasantly surprised.
We used the time that we had with them to share the good news about our savior Jesus Christ.
After the visit to the migrant camps, we still had lots of clothes left over. We tried selling them, but that was not what God had in mind. We decided to announce on the local radio that we had free clothes. That Friday and Saturday we were able to give clothes to around 100 families.
These experiences opened a door of understanding for Felix, one of our corps members. He was able to see the holistic nature of the Army’s ministry and the importance of reaching out to others in Christ’s name. Felix has since become active in the church and is now the first to volunteer.
Felix’s brother and nephew from Mexico recently stayed with him for two months. He was the only brother who had not accepted Christ, and the nephew had been away from church for over 10 years. This visit turned out to be the most important visit of their life—within three days of their arrival Felix brought his relatives to my office and after speaking and praying with them, they received Christ as their savior.
Praise be to God! During their time here, they came to most of our corps activities. Only God can do such a thing in the lives of people—if we are his willing vessels to be used and if we remember why we are where we are, at any particular point in time.
And only God can make so much good come from a humble donation of clothes!
“Day of the Child”
Joseph and Dina Cisneros have been working hard for nearly two years in a new Salvation Army facility, where every year they enthusiastically celebrate the Day of the Child.
This year a big party was prepared with help from young and old alike; everyone cooperated in one way or another. Some donated things, others did artwork, and the little ones were in charge of decorating, based around drawings of Bible stories popular among the children; they also helped get the word out around the community.
The big day began with Sunday school and a worship service, in which the children participated with various choruses and verses that they had memorized.
After the Sunday meetings, the church became a beautiful place filled with balloons and festive decorations where even the adults became like children at the party.
Even though the weather conditions were not very favorable, we were able to share a beautiful time with the brothers and sisters of the congregation, with more than 50 children in attendance plus adults. Despite the cold and the rain most of the day, God gave the children the gift of a few hours of sunshine, which they made the most of with their parents, playing sports such as volleyball and basketball.
There were not only games, but also a series of raffles in which the winners received haircuts in a prestigious hair salon and hamburgers from McDonald’s and Burger King. After the raffles, they had piñatas filled with candy.
Apart from the raffles and piñatas, children and adults enjoyed delicious hot dogs accompanied by salad, delicious “Jamaican water” and, for dessert, ice cream. As if this were not enough, every child who attended the big party received a bag of candy, toys and stuffed animals.
It was a wonderful celebration in which all of the members of the congregation got involved, and which neither the cold nor the rain could stop either the children or the adults from the joy, harmony and fun.