A New Year in New York
In this New Year, unity through multicultural and multilingual ministry is needed now more than ever. At the New Rochelle, N.Y., Corps, our goal is to build such an environment. And we’re encouraging our diverse community to get involved and to eventually join us. We believe that such ministry starts with touching the lives of children. We put an emphasis on kids because they are ready to learn. They’re at the best stage to be reached with the Gospel.
We recently sent seven young people to college, two of whom are cadets at the College for Officer Training. So we need to fill the void.
We’re attracting children to our afterschool program, which includes dance and music (piano and brass instruments). Our social service program offers a food pantry, among other things. And in the context of our overall ministry, we’re doing one–on–one evangelism by distributing tracts and building relationships. We encourage our soldiers to participate in this effort.
Our community is about 70 percent Hispanic immigrants, particularly from Mexico. Fortunately, the children attend public school and can speak English. But their parents tend to be far better at speaking Spanish.
Today, we have four Hispanic families who attend the corps. We’ve purchased translation equipment to aid them during services in understanding English. A Spanish–speaking soldier serves as interpreter (translator). And we are establishing an English as a Second Language program (ESL).
Building a multicultural corps is a huge challenge. But for me, it is a wonderfully exciting one. Just imagine how boring life would be if all human beings were of the same race, culture, language, personality, physical appearance, and mind–set. God, the Author of human diversity, was pleased to have created our diverse universe as indicated in Genesis 1:31. Scientists are astonished by His super intelligence in uniquely crafting every human being. It is interesting to observe that, while humans discriminate against one another on the basis of insignificant personality, tribal, ethnic, racial, and cultural differences, God originally created them to live in perfect harmony. He is the Author of our diverse universe.
— Captain Daniel N. Diakanwa