A ‘dream car,’ ‘Philly Sound,’ and Praise & Worship
Buffalo, NY— On June 1, Captains Raul and Wanda Rivera, Buffalo Temple’s corps officers, enrolled nine soldiers and a local officer.
Sara Hernandez was enrolled as a junior soldier, while Genesis Rivera, Samuel Beltre, Edwin Rivera, Carlos Negron, Jazmin Collins, Edison Torres, Paul Chandler, and Valeria Quinones became senior soldiers.
Marta Colon was commissioned as the corps secretary. Major Tom Applin, coordinator of Buffalo Area Services, officiated.
“We are excited because it was our first enrollment in this corps and so many teens have been enrolled following the call of Jesus,” Captain Wanda Rivera said.
Cleveland, OH—When Shaheed and Shahaad Bogarty lived with their mom in the Army’s Harbor Light complex, the brothers dreamt the family would one day have a car.
Last September, Linda Solomon, an award–winning photojournalist and author, brought her nationally acclaimed “Pictures of Hope” campaign to the Harbor Light and had children, ages 7–12, write down their hopes and dreams.
Shaheed, 12, wrote, “My hope is to help people and to take care of my mom.
“My dream is for love, help, and for a house (which has come true). My hope is to drive a car at a young age. My hope is to save people. My dream is for God.”
On June 30, Serpentini Chevrolet, a dealer in nearby Strongville, surprised the family with a new Chevy Cruze through “The Spark of Hope Award” from Chevrolet.
“Ms. Hardwick and her children were homeless and came to the Salvation Army’s Zelma George Shelter,” said Beau Hill, executive director of the Harbor Light.
Hill said that, after six months in the shelter, the family moved into a new home and Hardwick is now training to be a nurse.
Solomon said, “I was so touched by this family. Their dreams showed all of us what truly matters in life.”
SA Employee Honored
Wilmington, DE—On April 30, the state of Delaware recognized Michelene Christophe as its Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) “Employee of the Year.”
Christophe works at the Army’s Wilmington, Del., Corps. “She has been able to maintain employment for five years and has been a model employee for The Salvation Army of Delaware,” said LaTanya Harris, a quality control coordinator for the Army.
Harris said a state committee nominated The Salvation Army of Delaware as an “Employer of the Year.”
“In turn, we had to submit an individual employee for nomination and Michelene was chosen for her many accomplishments,” Harris said.
‘Philly Sound’ at Kroc
Philadelphia, PA—Since last September, the Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, in relationship with Tune–up Philly, has offered music lessons to children.
In a program called “Let’s Play,” the children spend six hours per week learning theory and application for string and percussion instruments.
“Thus far, all of their diligence has become evident during the young orchestra’s performances in a total of five recitals and public appearances,” said Deana Rivers, an assistant accountant.
In May, the children received a rare opportunity. Members of the Philadelphia Orchestra took a few hours out of their day to give the young musicians some helpful advice.
“The icing on the cake of this tremendous blessing was watching our children perform side–by–side with these prestigious musicians,” Rivers said.
For Rivers’ daughter, Asia Mosby, the occasion was even more of a dream come true. Rivers organized the orchestra’s visit as a gift for Mosby’s 10th birthday.
Rivers said when her daughter heard about the visit, she quickly printed invitations from her computer and distributed them to friends and family.
“She could hardly contain her excitement as she shared the session with quite a few of her family members, the music teacher from her school, and his wife,” Rivers said. “The memories from this birthday will surely stand the test of time!”
Planting a Garden
Rochester, NY—The Summer Adventure Program at the Northwest Corps is back and so is the community garden. Major Judy Hart, associate area coordinator, said the community garden is run in collaboration with Foodlink, a regional food bank, from June 30–Aug. 22.
“Volunteers from the neighborhood help plant the garden and will continue to weed, water, and reap the spoils,” Hart said. “The children in the summer program are also getting their hands in the garden and hopefully they will enjoy the vegetables and fruits of their harvest.” Captain Jon–Erik Berkhoudt and Lieutenant Jessica Berkhoudt, corps officers, will oversee the activities.
Spanish Praise Group
Youngstown, OH—Lieutenant Jorge E. Muñoz says when he and his wife, Lieutenant Gretchen Muñoz, arrived at the Templo de Youngstown Corps, they immediately began praying and working with the soldiers to form a Spanish praise group.
“The Lord brought the right people in the right moment,” said Lieutenant Jorge Muñoz. “We are excited because the Lord heard our prayers to have musicians to praise and worship Him.”
“The praise band was born one night following a Bible study when the group decided to play a few songs,” Muñoz said.
“This group of people came looking to praise and worship God,” he said. “From the beginning, they came with a willingness to learn, to help, and also grow more and deeper in the Lord Jesus. And they want to use the music to glorify Jesus’ name.”
3rd Block Party
Milton, PA—The corps held its third annual block party on June 14 to thank the community for its ongoing support.
“The event opened our church to the community, which hosted approximately 100 people,” said Joel Harris, corps outreach ministry assistant.
“During the year, we ask for donations at kettles, fundraisers for our youth, and when we send children to summer camp,” Harris said.
The free party included two area Christian bands: The Corner Stone Band from Montgomery, Pa., and Lauren Yost from Watsontown, Pa.