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Volume 26 No. 7

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The Salvation Army USA Southern Territory

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May 05, 2009

 

 


easter
New Orleans ARC program celebrates first Easter after re-opening

Easter 2009 was a very important day for the
39 men and staff of the New Orleans Adult Rehabilitation Center, for two reasons.
“First, and most important, it is yet another celebration of the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,” proclaimed Guy Nickum, New Orleans ARC administrator. “And second, this is our first Easter Sunday service since our program was reopened a few months ago.”
In many respects the center’s Sunday worship service contained the same pulse-quickening components as Easter observances in other ARCs and corps across the Southern Territory. But on this Sunday, the New Orleans ARC was the place to be to best appreciate the work God has wrought in reopening a program that housed well over 100 men on the day Hurricane Katrina swamped the Crescent City in 2005.

“Nearly every item on this morning’s program has a double meaning for us,” Nickum told the congregation – comprised of the men in the program, staff, family members and visitors. “Christ is alive in our hearts, and we have also literally witnessed a dead ministry that has come back to life!”
Four men have graduated from the program since
the doors swung back open in October 2008. Nickum
proudly presented the graduation certificate to the
center’s latest victory, Michael Helmstetter.
“We are very proud of Michael, and of all our men
here. Our message to the world is that ‘death could
not hold Christ’ and because he lives, we live also!”
Nickum said to the audience.

When Katrina’s flood waters peaked at about four

feet in the center’s first floor, in addition to structural damage on the roof and second floor, the facility was uninhabitable. The men in the program on that dark
day were dispersed to ARCs in the far reaches of the territory.

“Much of the city’s population fled as well, and with them went our donor base,” Nickum later
explained. “So that even with repairs made to the building, we couldn’t do business until a sufficient base returned to the area that provides income for us
to operate.”
Nickum estimates that the New Orleans ARC donor
base has returned to about half of what it was pre- Katrina. He added that with 39 men in the program today, the level is about a third of what would be
considered normal.

 


image cadets

Q & A

kids


Safe from harm

Intercultural


Bonding with teens

     

 

   
Parrish

Q & A    Cadets

James & Lacy Parrish

After two years of intense training for officership, members of the Witnesses for Christ session are ready and anxious to go to work in their first appointment. Cadets James and Lacy Parrish were interviewed by Major Frank Duracher, Southern Spirit staff member, and shared about their training experience at the Evangeline Booth College.

SS: Are you ready to be commissioned, or does the thought frighten you a bit?
JP: We are so ready because we look forward to forming relationships and being able to put into practice the things we learned here at the college. We also want to teach others about Christ and help reveal what God’s power can do in their lives.

LP: Some days I’d say “absolutely, I’m ready,” and then on others I’m not so sure. It’s a mixed bag because I think that our lives will always be a learning process. We’ll never be “finished” and ready to go
without flaws or being totally prepared for whatever comes. It’s like ripping off a band-aid – you are probably not ready for it but you wince and pull it off quickly. That’s the best way. It would be nice to keep sitting in the classroom where it is safe and warm, and you don’t have to worry about mistakes you could be making in real life. But life isn’t like that and we are called to go out so here we go!

SS: What experience here at the training college do you feel has been most beneficial?

JP: I hope we have matured especially during our second year as compared to our first. In your first year of training you get a foundation on which to build – Bible knowledge, song leading, meeting planning, etc. Some of those things you may know when you arrive here at the beginning, but then there is the opportunity to learn to do it better and with confidence.

When you go to your summer assignment, you have to put what you've learned during the first year into practice.

LP: There are two items for me that I will always keep in my heart. Dr. (Bill) Ury conducted a holiness seminar that opened our eyes to a new element that we need to focus on like in the early days of the Army.
That’s what we want to impress upon our people the gift of holiness in their lives resulting from a deeper relationship with God. The other thing is a discipleship class that is teaching us to hold our people accountable. It is not enough to want to become a follower of Christ; you must press toward it and make becoming like Jesus the most important thing in your life. When we are out in our corps appointment and you come to visit us from time to time, we want to have it so that every time you come you will see something changed and improved people taking up responsibilities and bringing others along to join in the fight against sin. To say that discipleship is merely important is missing the point – discipleship is what
we are called to do.

SS: Can you imagine going into the field without that second year of training?

JP: Absolutely not. The second year of training is critical because you build upon the foundation laid for you during the previous year. You build a passion within yourself as you realize that everything you are doing and learning during these final months of training will help you be a better officer. Both years of training help you develop a deeper relationship with Christ. Officership is more than leading a song or writing a good sermon. It is the bond forged with Jesus Christ that you want to show as a pattern of living for others.

LP: Our summer assignment gave us a glimpse of what we can expect when we go out there for good. It was a great experience then, but I wasn’t ready stay out there – I needed, we both needed our second year of training!

 



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Safe From Harm

Saliie

Harm wears many faces

As we speak of the thousands of children who are not kept “safe from harm,” there are many facets of neglect, abuse and trauma. Harm wears many faces, and it is our moral duty to protect God’s most precious resource, his children. As adults and spiritual leaders we must understand what abuse and neglect looks like and how the traumas of the aforementioned manifest in children.

Most abusers are members of the victim’s
family (a parent or relative) or a caretaker. Types of abuse include physical, emotional, and sexual abuse and child neglect. Ninety percent of confirmed physical abuse and neglect cases involve caretakers of children. Surprisingly, among all abused children, those abused by their birth parents were about equally likely to have been abused by mothers as by fathers (50% and 58%, respectively), but those abused by other parents, parent-substitutes, or other non-parental perpetrators were much more
likely to be abused by males (80% to 90% by males versus 14% to 25% by females).

There is no cause of abuse and no specific
profile of abusers; many factors contribute and make abuse more likely to occur. Pressures on the family, alcohol and drug abuse and social isolation can all lead to parental stress and increase the chances that a parent will strike out at their child. With the stress of the economy and job losses at an all-time high, we must be even more diligent to protect the innocent. Two major forms of abuse are child neglect and child sexual abuse.

The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect defines child neglect as: “failure to provide for the child’s basic needs.” Neglect can be physical, educational or emotional. Physical neglect includes refusal of or delay in seeking health care, abandonment, expulsion from the home or refusal to allow a runaway to return home and inadequate supervision.

Educational neglect includes the allowance
of chronic truancy, failure to enroll a child of
mandatory school age in school and failure
to attend to a special educational need. Emotional neglect includes such actions as marked inattention to the child’s needs for affection, refusal of or failure to provide needed psychological care, spouse abuse in the child’s presence and permission of drug or alcohol use by the child.

Specific examples of abuse include: not
meeting a child’s need for cleanliness, clothing, emotional support, love and affection, education, nutritious food, clothing, adequate shelter or safety; leaving a child unwatched or in an unsafe place as well as not seeking necessary medical or dental attention for a child; not having a child attend school or not seeking special services for children who need educational support. Each state has, in its child protection laws, a definition that is often more specific than this.

Children and adolescents who have been
sexually abused can suffer a range of psychological and behavioral problems, from mild to severe, in both the short and long terms. These problems typically include drug and alcohol dependency, eating disorders, poor self-esteem, victims of domestic violence, gambling addictions, pedophilia, neglectful and abusive parents themselves, promiscuity and lack of moral character.

I think that the most damaging effect of
child sexual abuse is how it has harmed and skewed its victim’s views of and relationship with God. The children I have interviewed over the years have problems understanding a loving heavenly Father. They ask the question “Why me?” They have love and trust issues with God. These children feel unworthy and of no value.
We can help these victims understand that
God did not cause the childhood trauma. God is there wanting to comfort them and provide security. They can find refuge in him. The Salvation Army can help prevent the traumatic abuse of children by embracing the Safe From Harm program and understanding the longand short-term effects of neglect and abuse.

For more information contact Alesia Adams,
territorial services coordinator against human and sexual trafficking at 404-728-1300 or by email: Alesia_Adams@uss.salvationarmy.org.

Social Services Department rolls out new child safety program

This month marks the first phase of rolling out a new child safety program, Safe From Harm, in the USA Southern Territory.

A comprehensive child/adult safety abuse prevention program, Safe From Harm is designed to assist corps and social service institutions in their efforts to implement The Salvation Army’s National Policy Statement on Sexual Abuse of Children.

The SFH roll-out will span the next two years: In 2009 the primary components will be training Salvation Army employees, officers, volunteers and local officers how to implement the national policy as it specifically relates to children; vulnerable adults will be the primary focus of the 2010 roll-out phase.

An interdisciplinary territorial SFH coordinating committee has been established, and divisional child/adult safety coordinators in each division will be identified in 2009. Each division will also have a SFH coordinating committee.
In addition, SFH trainers will be chosen from each division to deliver training to employees, local officers, volunteers and Emergency Disaster Services personnel either in person or through web-based modules. Between March and May 2009 face-to-face training will be provided for divisional child/adult safety coordinators and designated SFH trainers. The goal is to train all officers, divisional leadership, field personnel and direct service staff through
the end of 2009 and into 2010. Training for local officers and volunteers will begin during this time and continue through the coming years.

Oversight of the SFH implementation – provided by territorial director for social services Kevin Tomson-Hooper and Joseph Mole, territorial child/adult safety coordinator – will be supported by
representatives from several departments through the territorial SFH coordinating committee.

Lynn LaPalme, assistant secretary for the Risk Management Department, is a standing member of the committee. “Over the past several years, Risk Management has worked in conjunction with Social Services to get this program off the ground. We are very excited to see this program truly encompass our motto of ‘doing the most good,’” she said. “The education will help provide practical solutions and a guideline of how to deal with these issues.”

There are six objectives of the SFH training program: Educate leaders and workers about prevention of abuse or accidental injury; enable leaders and workers to develop procedures and practices that reduce these risks; protect adults from mistaken or groundless allegations; reduce liability for Salvation Army units; build parental confidence in Army programs, and prepare Army representatives to respond should an incident or accident occur. Mole said it’s important that training happens on several levels throughout the territory. “It is expected that all officers, corps leaders and program directors receive training and go back to their respective appointments and provide training to others in their corps/institution. SFH will be successfully implemented when all policies and principles are fully integrated into each area of The
Salvation Army’s work. Ultimately, the SFH program will become the Southern Territory’s standard of care for all work with children and vulnerable adults,” he said.

The Two-Adult Guideline

A youth cannot be in the primary care of only one adult. Teams of adults will supervise activities.

This guideline has three purposes:
1. It ensures appropriate levels of supervision. 2. It protects adults from unfounded allegations.
3. It reduces the likelihood of an adult having undue influence over an individual youth.

Six Month Guideline Where feasible, no person can volunteer who has not been actively involved at the corps (or another corps) for at least six months before applying for youth or children’s ministry volunteer positions. This guideline gives leaders and co-workers time to get to know applicants and guards against possible child predators.


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Doraville, Ga., teens staying linked to corps through sports program

intercultural

 

One of the challenges all churches, including Salvation Army corps, face is how to help teenagers continue to grow in Christ as they enter adulthood.
The Doraville, Ga., Corps has partnered with Sports Serve and Perimeter Church in an effort to create young leaders who stay connected to corps life. The Doraville Corps is the first in the U.S. to provide youth leadership training through Sports Serve’s international program called TeenGames.
Perimeter Church hosted a oneday TeenGames workshop called Youth Sports Leadership Training for teens in the Doraville community, some of whom had come in contact with the Doraville Corps through its soccer outreach. Others were invited through visitation in apartment complexes surrounding the corps.
The one-day YSLT workshop facilitated by Doraville associate corps officers Captains Kelly and Regina Durant, Doraville Corps volunteers and Perimeter Church volunteers – was a forerunner to the three-day TeenGames outreach this summer. The aims of TeenGames are to create an environment in which youth can strengthen their relationship with Christ; equip young people with leadership skills necessary for serving their community and give teens the opportunity to practice leadership skills they have learned.
About 15 attended YSLT, which was broken into five modules. The first module gave teens the opportunity to learn about teamwork while building structures out of plastic piping. After each module, teams discussed their strengths and weaknesses.
Jonathan Kim, 16, learned that accomplishing a task means thinking ahead. “We had to think about what we did before we did it.” Another module involved a ropes course to teach listening skills and asking for help. “The thing I enjoyed most is challenging each other to do the ropes course,” said Crystal Weatherspoon, 14. “It showed we had to use teamwork to work together.
”Teen participants represented several nationalities, hailing from countries such as Uruguay, Mexico, Brazil and China.
Major Kelly Igleheart, territorial youth secretary, said sports are a uniting factor for teens from diverse
cultural backgrounds. “The Territorial Youth Department applauds the efforts of the Doraville Corps and others who seek to reach out to youth in the context of sports ministry.
Sports ministry breaks down many social barriers that sometimes prohibit youth of all ages and nationalities from participating in sports. The Salvation Army Sports Ministry seeks to introduce the faith aspect into the life of a young person through all types of sports,” he said.
Dan Williams, president and founder of Sports Serve, serves in any capacity he can as requested by Majors Durant. “The Durants are the drivers for KidsGames and TeenGames in Atlanta. Each city owns the strategy, and I serve them in their desire to train others and multiply,” he said.
At the YSLT Williams used the subject of each module to incite faith discussions in which students were challenged to look at Jesus’ example. Williams talked about Colossians 4:2 and the way Jesus served others as a framework for learning how to work together.
“TeenGames works within the teens’ attention spans, so the devotions are at the end of each activity – more of a learn-as-you-do model,” said Captain Kelly Durant.
“It gives teens the experience of discovering Biblical truth for themselves.” Durant added that one of the main benefits of TeenGames is that it’s a Christ-centered curriculum, is easy to facilitate and operates with very little preparation or money.
He said the corps is already drawing teens from surrounding neighborhoods through TeenGames, which will help soldiers and local officers build relationships in the community. Durant sees those relationships as a foundation for The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club
planned for the Doraville area in the future.


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