WOW–Gilroy wins many women

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Territorial women’s leaders conduct historic enrollment.

by Shawn Posillico, Lt. Colonel –

Gilroy’s newest Home League members gather on the front steps to the corps building. Commissioner Pat Swyers, Colonel Susan Harfoot and Lt. Colonel Shawn Posillico enrolled the 56 new members on Father’s Day. [Photo by William Harfoot]

June 21, 2009, seemed like any other Sunday in Gilroy, Calif., but on this Father’s Day the women were celebrating! With territorial and divisional leaders coming to the service for a Home League enrollment and many people expected to attend, Corps Officers Captains Roberto and Melissa Viquez set up a tent in the parking lot—the corps building was just too small!

Over 300 people arrived to worship Jesus, recognize Father’s Day and celebrate, as 56 women became members of the Gilroy Home League. Commissioner Pat Swyers, Colonel Susan Harfoot and I participated in the enrollment, praising God as many of the women came to know Jesus through this group. Recalling John 12:3, Commissioner Swyers spoke of the beautiful aroma that their lives can become as a witness to this transformation. As a reminder of the change Jesus can bring in her life, each lady received a long stem white rose.

The following week during the regular league meeting, Captain Melissa Viquez enrolled another six ladies who were unable to attend on Father’s Day—for a total of 62 new members.

During that Sunday celebration, Commissioner Pat Swyers presented the Territorial President’s Award to Captain Melissa for her work with the Home League. She had previously received the award at the Joint Divisional United Meeting with National Leaders Commissioners Israel and Eva Gaither presiding, but this recognition allowed soldiers and friends of the corps to experience the excitement.

The enrollment was the culmination of months of recruiting work—Captain Melissa had been calling her women’s ministries group to “come join our Army”! During this time, the women met for worship, fellowship, education and service—the fourfold purposes of the Home League. They initially examined self-esteem and the way Jesus values each woman, and many have seen their lives transformed.

Each week, the women get together, bringing their children with them. The ladies—over 100 of them—specifically ask Captain Melissa to preach every time, even when they have a craft or service project to do. The children, meanwhile, participate in the Moonbeam program.

For this special Sunday, many of the women prepared a special recipe for a “competition,” with Colonel Sue Harfoot and I as judges—this was the most difficult task of a day that was definitely a WOW experience!

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