20/20 Vision is in full swing across the USA Eastern Territory. To help keep you informed of its progress, check here for highlights throughout the year.
Salvation Army corps (churches) are places of worship and social service located throughout the United States and in 131 countries worldwide. Members reach out to people in surrounding communities, offering fellowship, care, and a relationship with Christ. Below are examples of what’s happening in the USA Eastern Territory, which also includes Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Meriden, Conn., Corps
23 Street, Casimir Drive
Lieutenant Claudio Cano reports that the Hispanic Women’s Group recently celebrated a ceremonious enrollment of 11 new members. “God answered our prayer to start
a women’s ministry in Meriden where there was a need for such an outreach,” said Cano. It all began in November 2018 at the food pantry. “I invited a woman who brought another friend. Today, 18 women are members of the group. Four of them attend church regularly.”
Lebanon, Pa., Corps
1031 Guilford Street
Lieutenants Marlon and Ivonne Janet Rodriguez are excited about their Second Harvest Program. “It’s a program that helps families who need food,” said Lieutenant Marlon. “Our hearts are filled with joy because we know that these families are going to have the opportunity to receive groceries and have a meal on their table.” The program happens twice a month on every other Monday. “We open the gym doors to the community, and they come with their shopping bags,” said Lieutenant Ivonne Janet. “We serve more than 300 families.”
Manhattan (Citadel), N.Y., Corps
145 East 125th Street
Captain Antonio Rosamilia and members of the corps will host a “Resurrection Sunday” event April 21 at 2 p.m. “After our service, we’ll have a ‘Witness Parade’ here in Harlem,” said Rosamilia. “This year, we’ll have the NYPD Police Band and more than 50 members of The Salvation Army.” Colonels Kenneth O. and Paula S. Johnson, chief secretary and territorial secretary for Women’s Ministries, will highlight the event as special guests.
Cincinnati (Citadel), Ohio, Corps
120 East Central Parkway
Lieutenant Felix Padilla III says the corps was scheduled to enroll an Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) beneficiary on March 17, shortly after his graduation from the ARC program. “Our corps has recently developed a great relationship with our local ARC. Beneficiaries have the option to worship with us on Sundays and our corps leads a Bible study once a week there,” said Lieutenant Padilla. Other related initiatives are also making a difference. “We have recently started a weekly community outreach where we serve meals out of a canteen. While we minister to the homeless, the goal is to have a couple of ARC beneficiaries there to encourage people with addictions to enter our program.”
Recreation is effective as 17 ARC beneficiaries are planning to attend a Salvation Army–sponsored bowling event. “We also plan to have some attend men’s camp this year,” said Padilla. So far, we have had great success.”
Bronx (Tremont) N.Y., Corps
2121 Washington Avenue
Tiffany Garcia’s testimony is amazing. As a nine– year old, she and her family came to the United States from Honduras with nothing, found The Salvation Army, and experienced the love of God far beyond anything they could have previously imagined.
Now in her teens, she says, “The Salvation Army was there when we most needed it. They didn’t treat us like everybody else treated us. The Salvationists were heartwarming.”
Garcia said her family soon learned that they could always rely on the Army. “That was our safe place.”
Video created and produced by The Salvation Army, Greater New York Division.
Akron (Citadel), Ohio Corps
190 South Maple Street
The Billy Booth Music & Arts Program, a component of the Learning Zone After School Program, offers educational support and a new Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) program. Master’s–level volunteers from Akron University and Kent State University regularly teach brass instruments, piano, timbrels, guitar, and dance. Learning Zone students explore all the aspects of theatrical production. In 2018, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “The Aristocats” were among the offerings.
Philadelphia, (Citadel) Pa., Corps
5830 Rising Sun Avenue
Majors Eduardo and Janet Zuniga have followed up their four–week spiritual formation seminar with a monthly meeting focusing on the practice of spiritual disciplines. More people are engaged in studying the Word and are developing deeper relationships within the congregation. In addition to Bible study, each small group shares in worship, fellowship, service, and evangelism.*
Philadelphia, Pa., (Tabernacle)
3150 North Mascher Street
We enrolled 78 junior soldiers and 84 senior soldiers in 2018. Attendance has increased in Sunday worship, Sunday school, corps cadets, and junior soldier meetings. Soldier Yelin Jimenez says that it has been a blessing to see men and women find the love of God and see their lives changed. Alexi Martinez, recently commissioned as the corps sergeant major, says that he has witnessed the move of God in the corps.
Hamilton, Ohio, Corps
235 Ludlow Street
Brenda came to the Army looking for an opportunity to do community service in order to receive state benefits. She had been a radiology technician in Puerto Rico. We invited her to worship with the women’s small group and attend church worship. Recently, she led a part of the program. She has brought her mother and son into the corps. She works full time and has moved into a new apartment.
Canton, Ohio, (Citadel) Corps
420 Market Avenue South
The Canton Corps has developed a Health & Wellness Program. Fitness classes include cardio drumming, bar flow exercises, and yoga. These classes are offered to the public, to staff, and to participants of the Learning Zone, Senior, and Summer Day Camp programs. A diverse group of 25 people attended a “Pamper Me Day” event, which included class demos and healthy snacks.
Newport, Ky., Corps
340 West 10th Street
A downtrodden woman called the corps seeking assistance. She had a job, but lived in her car. The receptionist invited her to the women’s program. They prayed for her, encouraged her to return, and referred her to social services. The women called her regularly. She recently entered a new apartment. She now attends the corps, the women’s program, and the Bible study.
Brooklyn, N.Y., (Bensonhurst) Corps
7307 18th Avenue
The seniors program serves 200-250 mostly retired people, ages 55–99. Some are new immigrants and others lack English skills. The program helps them meet friends, exercise, and resolve daily problems. The Chinese New Year, the Thanksgiving luncheon, and Christmas Angel Tree programs are just some of the offerings.
Rochester, N.Y., Temple Corps
915 N. Clinton Avenue
Members of the Rochester, N.Y., Temple Corps have found a way to reach out to and help kids in their community by providing backpacks full of school supplies.
Captain Dolores Minaya, Rochester Temple’s corps officer, said local businesses donated the first 50 backpacks. When more were needed, the Home League held a garage sale to buy 60 more. “This was a fun and wonderful activity that gave us the opportunity to reach some families for the Lord,” Minaya said. “We are excited because the community was eager to see the Army at work in their favor.”
Toledo, Ohio, Temple Corps
620 N. Erie Street
The Toledo, Ohio, Temple Corps and beneficiaries from the Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) teamed up for a fall festival that reached out to the neighborhood.
“We came together as a corps body and worked together to make this a great event for our community,” said Captain Angie Smith, the associate corps officer. “This was a way for us to be outside of our building and provide a wonderful opportunity for the children to experience a safe, fun atmosphere—free of charge.”
The corps used funds from the Divisional Headquarters to rent a bounce house and provide cotton candy, snow cones, and hot dogs in the parking lot.
“The children even had the opportunity to have their pictures taken alongside a parrot,” Smith said. “For some of the children, this was the first time they had been so close to such a bird.”
Blue Point, N.Y., Corps
211 Blue Point Avenue
People in nursing homes sometimes live lonely lives, particularly if visits from family members are rare. Lt. Charmaine Romano and Lt. Frenie Antoine of the Blue Point, N.Y., Corps know that all too well.
Recently, the officers visited 14 women at Cabrini Gardens Senior Citizens Housing. “They were happy and excited,” Romano said.
“They were laughing, smiling, and enthusiastic to share their stories with Lt. Frenie and me,” she said.
The group also sang praises to the Lord.
“We decided that delivering food boxes to the residents was not enough,” Romano said. “Although we love that we are able to provide assistance to the residents by way of food, we wanted to also go out and meet with them.
“We thought the ladies would love to do a craft. So we thought of a great craft they can enjoy, which was making edible arrangements. The women made pretty fruit baskets.”
The Blue Point Corps is located on New York’s Long Island.
Tonawanda, N.Y., Corps
46 Broad Street
Commissioners G. Lorraine and William A. Bamford, territorial leaders and authors of Vision 20/20, helped enroll 11 new senior soldiers at the Tonawanda, N.Y., Corps recently.
“As part of Vision 20/20, we are excited that God provided us with people— new souls, new hands, and new feet—serving the Lord as soldiers of The Salvation Army,” said Major Celestin Nkounkou, the corps officer.
Nkounkou said some of the new soldiers teach Sunday school, serve in the band, and take part in Home League and youth activities.
“Our new soldiers are now excited to be part of the Army and serve others through the different avenues of service we offer,” he said.
Testimonies of the new soldiers included a wide range of responses:
“This is my family.”
“I found a church home.”
“I’m glad to serve in the band.”
“I’m happy to help out whenever I can.”
Nkounkou said, “We are on a path to equip and empower people through our programs to fulfill the Great Commission.”