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Volume 24, No. 19

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The Salvation Army USA Southern Territory

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Nov 6, 2007


Comm. Feener | Maj. Satterlee | Maj. Duracher


Making friends
in Dallas


Building
new beginnings



Multicultural
worship

The Broome family is honored with a special cake on Pastor Appreciation Sunday at the Northside Corps in Mobile, Ala. (Right) Peggy Everette's outreach has led four families into the Mobile Northside Corps since its resurgence last year.
Reborn
Emphasis on visitation breathes
new life into Mobile, Ala.,
Northside Corps

On the north side of Mobile, Ala., a corps by that name experienced decline for a number of years. The corps relocated several times over the past few decades, alternating its official name to correspond with the section of town in which it operated: Prichard, Saraland, and now Northside.

A faithful group of soldiers had dwindled down to four in number by the time Captains Thomas and Tammy Broome arrived in June 2007. The Broomes brought with them a practice of regular visitation three afternoons each week, like clockwork. They visit and do pickups in areas normally deemed unsafe. They visit ex-soldiers, families coming for worship for the first time, even men at the Army's shelter downtown. The Broomes even bring their two children along, Jacob and Dakota. » Read More


Reborn

Emphasis on visitation breathes new life into Mobile, Ala., Northside Corps

By Major Frank Duracher
Southern Spirit staff

On the north side of Mobile, Ala., a corps by that name experienced decline for a number of years. The corps relocated several times over the past few decades,
alternating its official name to correspond with the section of town in which it operated: Prichard, Saraland, and now Northside.

A faithful group of soldiers had dwindled down to four in number by the time Captains Thomas and Tammy Broome arrived in June 2007. The Broomes brought with them a practice of regular visitation three afternoons each week, like clockwork. They visit and do pickups in areas normally deemed unsafe. They visit ex-soldiers, families coming for worship for the first time, even men at the Army's shelter downtown. The Broomes even bring their two children along, Jacob and Dakota.

"We visit as a family, to all of our corps family," Captain Tammy Broome said. "We have an opendoor policy and often have soldiers at our homes needing to talk in the middle of the night.

"People have been saved in our living room!" she said.

Apparently it's all working. Attendance numbers for Sunday worship and weeknight programs have been taken off of life-support, and a new attitude seems to be growing each week as new families and visitors are grafted into the fellowship - according to those faithful holdovers who were praying for this day.

"There is a new energy," beams Peggy Everette, a Northside soldier for 16 years. "I can't explain it. I feel the Holy Spirit's love here, and it makes you want to be involved! Now it's all about serving God by loving others."

Everette is the Home League secretary and Corps Cadet counselor. She is one of the catalysts for bringing new blood into the corps fellowship. Four families have been
brought to the corps since its resurgence in as many
months.

Ashley McGee and Tori Salva are among an expanding group of young adults who are enjoying fellowship and Bible study geared to their interests and concerns. A Sunday school class formed for young men and women to age 35 is the fastest-growing group in the corps.

"Our class has an outing every other Friday night, where we do something fun together," McGee said. "We call it YPL (Young People's Legion)."

Lorraine Pope, whose soldiership dates back to the mid-1970s, has experienced many trials both in her corps family and in her personal life. Pope testifies that much prayer has been lifted up regarding health, both personally and in the life of her corps (see related story).

"God is answering prayer," Pope said. "Our corps is being revived, and as long as I feel the power of the Holy Spirit, I'm coming!"

Captains Thomas and Tammy Broome know the value of visitation, but they are not content to invite people in and see them leave. Their recurring message is to be faithful to what God has given to us.

"We know we can trust God," Captain Thomas Broome explained, "but the question really is: Can God trust us? How are we using the gifts He's already given to us?

God owns everything, and we are only His managers. When we manage well what God has given to us, then He will entrust us with a little more."

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New friends at the Army

Grammy Award winner Kelly Clarkson recently announced that she would perform at halftime of the Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game to launch The Salvation Army's Red Kettle campaign. She recently visited a group of teens from the Army's community centers. Major Mark Brown, Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex commander, introduced Clarkson to the teens who participate in Project Tomorrow, an Army program that provides the students with a full scholarship to Tyler Street Christian Academy, a private school with one of the highest SAT score averages in Texas.


1,300 New Homes and Counting

By Major Frank Duracher
Southern Spirit staff

Well into the third year of rebuilding the Mississippi Gulf Coast, The Salvation Army and some 50 partner agencies have provided 1,300 new homes to residents who lost their dwellings to Hurricane Katrina. And they are just getting started.

"These are well-built homes, and in many cases the structures are nicer and more functional than the homes that were lost in the surge brought ashore by Hurricane Katrina," said Major William Cundiff, Southern Mississippi area commander.

All of the agencies partnering with the Army are nonprofit organizations. They provide countless volunteer hours, eliminating high construction costs.

The new homes are designed to withstand hurricane force winds of up to 140 mph The houses are also propped up on stilts on properties located in the area susceptible to storm surge. Each home costs the Army $20,000 - which includes $10,000 for building materials and the other half for specialized labor, such as electricians and plumbers, as well as furnishings and appliances.

September 2007 was our biggest month to date, Cundiff explained, with 250 homes going up at a cost of $1.8 million.

"Seventeen thousand families are still in FEMA trailers, just in south Mississippi," Cundiff said. "There's still so much to do, and we still need volunteers to help us build homes for people who've lost everything."

Cundiff estimates that perhaps 20% of those affected by Katrina have some normalcy back in their lives. Most do not. In addition, many who relocated would like to return but cannot because of a severe lack of affordable housing.

As for Salvation Army programs, Cundiff said that there's much to do as well.

"The Southern Mississippi Area Command is unique because it stretches over 70 miles wide - from the Pearl River which borders Louisiana to the Alabama state line," Cundiff said. "It also reaches far inland, encompassing six counties."

An interim advisory board is operating, with four main goals in place. The anticipated Kroc center will house the new Harrison County Corps. The construction of a transitional housing complex will shelter men, women and families. A functional thrift store system will extend Salvation Army services in all six counties. A domestic violence center in Pascagoula is also a priority.Cundiff said that although the general outlook in the community is positive, much still needs to be done.

"Since 1969 people around here recalled Hurricane Camille, which also devastated the coast. There is now a new high-water mark with Katrina," Cundiff said.

From west of Waveland to the eastern part of Jackson County, every home left standing after the wind and ocean surge is irreparable.

"The spiritual and emotional toll is inestimable!" he said.

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Get On Board

NCV Division kicks off the Regional Intercultural Conference

Every human being is called to get on board in the celebration of many cultures that exist in modern society. It's not enough to observe from a distance what is going on with the church and with The Salvation Army today. This world, this Army, is multicultural; that fact cannot be changed, but it can be made better - by every person getting involved in multicultural worship. Captain Henry Morris, American consultant at THQ, has invited everyone to come and join every culture in one worship of one God.

At the Regional Intercultural Conference at Camp Happyland in the NCV Division delegates were treated to a taste of what each ethnic group presented to God as part of their worship. Saturday night's Culture Fest included a range of expressions from country music, Korean drum dance, African music, mime and interpretive dance. To enter the chapel at Camp Happyland, it appeared as though it was an international party in which everyone dressed the part. Nearly 300 Salvationists gathered from the NSC, MWV and NCV divisions to celebrate the diversity God has created, with which He has blessed The Salvation Army.

"This is the first time I attended a gathering like this, and I was truly blessed by the richness of the different cultures. Although I did not understand some of the languages, I was drawn into the true spirit of worship by their expressions of worship," said Major Diana Blevins from the New River, Va., Corps. Delegates also enjoyed the teaching of six distinguished officers who spoke about drawing closer to God. Special guests Colonels John and Valda Bate were exceptional and timely in their messages. There was also a children's track which enabled the young ones to learn more about Jesus. Lt Colonel William Crabson enrolled a number of soldiers, junior soldiers and one adherent.

It's such an incredible thing to be a part of today's society, with its multicultural background. The Regional Intercultural Conference delegates came from different cultures and backgrounds, yet there was common strength which brought unity. That's what living in harmony looks like.

When Jesus found an entirely different people group coming from different places with all kinds of traditions and cultures, He used all the differences to encourage the people to live in harmony.

The fervent desire of the first Christians was to live in unity, and that is why they sold their property, shared their food and took care of each other - because of their concern for their fellow man. Jesus was no longer in this world after the day of Pentecost came, but He had already sowed the seed in His disciples about unity and sharing His message to the world. Acts 2:1 says, They were all with one accord, in one place. They worshipped together regularly at the temple each day (Acts 2:46).

The Southern Territory has the same duty to maintain the true spirit of peace, harmony and Christian love among one another. Each person, no matter what color, culture or language, is waiting for Him because He will come for His Church and He will not see skin color or judge by what languages are spoken or by how a person dresses. Instead, He will look upon every human heart to see the true motives behind each person's actions, commending those who are faithful to share His Word.

September 27-30, the NCV Division hosted a conference to celebrate the South's diversity and participate in faith-strengthening activities while enjoying fellowship with every culture group represented. Even with so many different faces, in Christ there is only one face because the Word of God is right and true. Ephesians 2:14,18 says, For He himself is our peace. Second Corinthians 5: 18 says, Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.

The Regional Intercultural Conference was a memorable time for all participants. The intercultural divisional secretaries had the opportunity to meet during the conference, and excitement is growing about continually pursuing unity of the faith among all cultures in the future.

Major Nancy Martinez

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Territorial Prayer Victories

Our Territorial Prayer Initiative is as active as ever. Not only are corps praying during the week they selected, but many are continuing to pray far beyond their commitment. Best of all, God is faithfully answering prayer!

A Sunday school teacher in Cambridge, Md., has been praying for one student who had not been attending the corps. Just a few weeks ago the child came to Sunday school and has been attending youth activities during the week with his sister.

"Although it may seem insignificant that one child came back to the corps, it was a reminder to me that each child is important and that each one needs prayers," the Sunday school teacher writes. "I am now resolved to pray for each of my students as part of my weekly lesson preparation. I believe that prayer is important because I am only with my students for about one hour each week, but God is walking with them through every situation. Only He can change their heart and strengthen their resolve to live for Him!"

Captain Stephen Story adds that the Cambridge Corps had many area churches join during their prayer campaign - all because of a newspaper article placed by one of our dear retired officers.

Captain Ruth New told us of a "prayer labyrinth" they employed during their week of prayer in Clarksburg, W.Va.

"The attendees were very open to this new experience, and it was so rewarding and amazing to see them go through each of the prayer stations, opening their hearts and minds to God. Many came out with tears in their eyes. They had been in touch with the Lord!"

Finally in Hot Springs, Ark., Major Geraldine Dancer reports that the 24/7 Prayer Initiative has helped the soldiers feel more comfortable in using the chapel for prayer during non-meeting times. The Dancers presented this as an opportunity to "grow closer to God."

A nucleus group of 12 soldiers took the challenge and soon realized that prayer is more than using "thee" and "thou," but rather it is a personal experience. After their week of nonstop prayer, many have asked that the chapel remain open.

Captain John Dancer happily announces that "the chapel will be open for prayer: no appointment necessary!"

It is clear that God is being honored and people throughout our territory are deepening their personal experience and intimate relationship with our loving Heavenly Father.

Keep on praying!

Back to top.


Thankful

When I was still a very new and inexperienced officer, I was assisting at the corps in St. Petersburg, Fla. The officers were Brigadiers Oscar and Frances Eckstein, as wonderful a set of officers who ever graced the Southern Territory. Brigadier Eckstein was a quiet, thoughtful person, the picture of a Christian gentleman. He was dynamic in the pulpit, a true student of the Word, my earliest and best model of what a preacher should be. His wife, a devoted Bible student, gifted teacher and preacher, was also one of the most colorful people I have ever met. She had an opinion on nearly everything and a sparkling sense of humor sharing both liberally. Like her husband, Mrs. Eckstein was absolutely gracious. I am not ashamed to say I loved them both. I would allow nothing to be said in my presence that was critical of them. Although both told me I could call them by their first names my respect was so deep that I could never do it.

So it was while serving with them I witnessed their oppsite when another Army officer came to visit for the weekend. Demanding all their attention and complaining about nearly everything, the time with him seemed interminable. When the officer was leaving, Brigadier Eckstein was embarrassed that he hadn't a gift to thank him for coming. Quickly he went into his office and found a new Cross pen that he had just gotten for himself. Thanking the officer for his contribution (an exaggerated assessment in my opinion), he handed him the pen. The officer looked at it, grunted and jammed it in his pocket. Not a word of thanks.

Many years later I was standing in an Easter sunrise Service in Papua New Guinea. We were to leave later that week to return to our home country. In my car I carried a small Good News Bible, a version I did not care for but which fortunately had only cost me a couple of dollars. I decided to find someone to give it to. Looking around in the near darkness I saw a barefoot boy in a tattered tee shirt and shorts who I guessed to be about 12. Stopping him, I presented him the Bible and told him to read it. His look was one of utter surprise. He looked at me, looked at
the Bible and then looked again. He thanked me profusely. At the end of the sunrise service he came up and showed me what he had written, "This Bible was given to me by Major Allen from America." He then asked me to sign it, promised he would read it and thanked me again.

A few months later I was back in Papua New Guinea for a visit to launch the Army history book that I had written for the territory. After one of the meetings from the crowd a boy came, the boy I had given the Bible to. He was already taller and more muscular than when we last saw each other. He held up the Bible now showing considerable wear. "I carry it to the corps every Sunday and I read it during
the week. Every time I see it I think of you." Now it was me who looked at him, looked at the Bible and looked back at him. Then we hugged.

Thinking of these two very different experiences I pray that the Lord would help me to see the grace behind a gift given and a gift received.


When October Goes

This is my favorite time of the year. I'm looking out over a sea of autumn colors: leaves of amber, scarlet and auburn. Still present are the greens of pine trees, creating a mix I always thought of as similar to a vegetable soup.

The air is crisp and the sky is azure. Autumn even has a smell to it, bittersweet. I love sports, and it seems that October is the one month when everything is happening: football, the World Series, basketball - it's all there.
Yes, I hate to see October go.

But I know what's coming.

When October goes, a long line of holidays will follow: Thanksgiving, my birthday, Christmas and New Year's Day. Don't get me started on Christmas; that is my other favorite time of the year.

Daniel 2:21 reminds us that God is in control of the seasons. He changeth the times and the seasons. It's all a part of the Father's plan. If every month were October, none of it would be special.

The seasons have long been a metaphor for man's lifespan. Spring is his childhood, summer is his middle-age, and autumn is when he is old. Winter, of course, brings death, followed always by the resurrection of another spring. For every believer, the future holds something beyond winter. We look forward to eternity with Jesus, when every day will be Christmas.

I don't reckon I'm old yet, but I'm getting there. Maybe I'm somewhere in October. I'm very happy and I don't want to see it end.

But I know what's coming.

 

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