Another Kind of Beautiful

by Warren L. Maye

Captain Bersabé Vera is the new divisional commander of the USA Eastern Territory’s Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Division. Originally from Mexico and the daughter of Salvation Army officers, Vera has been an officer herself for 26 years and has served as divisional secretary for program in the Kansas and Western Missouri Division and director of Hispanic ministries in Kansas City, among many other appointments. 

“I’ve been in this appointment for just three weeks,” Vera said during her welcome remarks at a festive dinner for a gathering of the National Advisory Board (NAB) in Puerto Rico on April 25. “But already I can see the possibilities of growing the services and accomplishing the mission of The Salvation Army.” Vera, who holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration, continued, “It is exciting to see the National Advisory Board, officers, employees, soldiers, and volunteers working shoulder-to-shoulder to bring hope to the least, the last, and the lost.” 

Vera said the Army’s work has caused her to see that the true beauty of the islands of Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, and St. Croix goes far beyond the typical scenes of crystal waters, brilliant skies, and exquisite beaches. “I can also take you on a tour of a lifetime to see the work that is being done inside our buildings, which is also amazing,” she said to the NAB. “It’s just incredible.” 

For example, Vera said, as many as 150 hungry, homeless people can come to the Army every day and receive a satisfying meal. “Every person is being touched by The Salvation Army.” Having earned a master’s degree from Asbury Theological Seminary, she also brings an informed spiritual aspect to her missional work. 

In a recent interview with News Is My Business, Vera said she hopes to see growth in the number of Salvation Army volunteers serving these most vulnerable members of the community. She also hopes to increase the amount of funding available to support the work.  

This divisional commander is aware that hurricane season is fast approaching and wants to have enough caseworkers on hand to address recent flood victims, and those still needing assistance in the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona. “Fiona happened two years ago and we’re still helping.”