A marriage, a ministry, and a message
Love for God and each other is the priority for Lieutenants Yuco A. and Danielle J. Hall. This newly married couple and leaders of the New York (The Temple) N.Y., Corps also maintain a realistic expectation of what a loving marriage will require. “We work very hard to make sure things are working between us and in doing that work, we’re happy,” says Danielle. Yuco agrees, “Our best quality is that we’re always able to find a middle ground.”
On October 24, 2020, the couple married amid much fanfare and good wishes from family and friends at the Salvation Army’s New York (Manhattan Citadel) N.Y., Corps. The brief and socially distanced event was nonetheless attended by an enthusiastically supportive and loving gathering of family and friends as well as others who watched the festivities online.
A message to them from the congregation read:
“To our dear Lieutenants Danielle and Yuco Hall. Thank you for your work of love. Your faithful service and caring teachings are far greater than you could ever know. The Manhattan Citadel family prays that your faith remains strong as you embark in your new journey. We will miss you. (Psalm 121: 8).”
“There is that whole chapter 13 in 1 Corinthians that says there’s nothing love cannot defeat. My love for my Lord and for Danielle comes first,” says Yuco. Danielle relies on 1 Samuel 7:12 where it reads, “Thus far, the Lord has helped us.”
“When I reflect on the journey that both Yuco and I have been on even before we got together, I remember a lot of highs and definitely a lot of lows. But just thinking about how we got to this point, helps me to know that God is going to continue helping us in the future.”
Love and respect
Today, Danielle offers her advice to people who are looking to get married but who struggle with sadness and disappointment from past relationships. “God wants them to focus their energy and vision on Him,” she says.
“There was a period when I was so impatient. I wanted so badly to be married. I wanted to stop doing this officership alone. I allowed some people to treat me in a way that was unfavorable because I was just happy that they were there.
“But when Yuco came along, he treated me with such love and respect. So, be willing to push away the things that are not good for you and accept what you deserve.”
Patience is a virtue that Yuco believes plays an important role in his relationship with Danielle. “I’m naturally a patient person. I think that is a spiritual gift the Lord has blessed me with. I think its realizing things are not just about me, but also about Danielle. It’s about checking my ego so I can understand where she is coming from.”
Walking with the Lord
Their marriage ceremony was officiated by Lt. Colonel Raphael C. Jackson, assistant chief secretary and racial diversity and inclusion secretary, and Lt. Colonel Sandra J. Jackson, the territorial secretary for program.
“The Jacksons are special to me,” says Yuco. “When I started working at the Salvation Army’s Harlem Temple, they were the corps officers. I got to know them. That’s where I also came to know the Lord and became a soldier and then went into training. They never crammed the Bible down my throat, they just invited me to come to church. They always supported me during my journey. They were good mentors all through training. Harlem Temple became my home.”
Danielle’s relationship with the Jacksons go back even further. “They’ve known me since I was a baby,” she says. “Ray probably held me in his arms when I was just only months old.”
The response to the Hall’s wedding was reaffirming. “Along the journey of our relationship, we got engaged and right up to when we got married, everybody was super supportive,” says Danielle.
“Even in Bible study just this week, the idea came to me that, When God puts something in your heart or when you get a calling, other people can confirm that calling. That’s what happened in our relationship; We started dating in late March or early April and got engaged in July. Things happened quickly in the eyes of the world. But during that process, we didn’t hear one voice of opposition.”
Yuco remembers, “We didn’t want to wait another year to maybe see if the coronavirus would blow over because the reality is, we love each other; we want to spend the rest of our lives with each other. From the first day, I knew in my heart that she was the woman I wanted to marry.”
The Halls believe their momentum toward marriage was a step in faith. It represented a divinely inspired and courageous vision to see beyond the past. “Both Yuco and I come from parents who divorced when we were older,” says Danielle. “So, we have a weight on our shoulders to be the first children from both those families who are getting married. So, when I think of role models, I look outward at other people who are close to us.”
Those people include the Lt. Colonels Jackson as well as Majors James W. Betts III and Major Sue–Ellen Betts. “The Betts actually did our premarital counseling, ” said Danielle. “During our counseling, we learned a lot more about how they interact with each other. It was really cool to see them do that.”
Yuco says, “For me, the Jacksons have obviously had a great influence in their relationship, how they operate administratively, and in their personal life.” He has fond memories of times when he would spend a week of his vacation with them. “Just seeing how they are at home has been a positive image for me in terms of what marriage should look like.”
Health challenges have threatened to distract the couple, but they remain steadfast. “My dad isn’t doing well right now,” says Yuco. “He’s actually in the hospital.” Over the years, the Navy veteran who also struggles with alcoholism has suffered multiple health complications.
But even in the midst of that, Yuco sees God’s hand in his relationship with his earthly father. “Because he’s a veteran, he’s also a patient at the VA hospital on 23rd Street—where we are assigned to visit. That’s crazy!” Yuco says with a broad smile.
What the future holds
Anticipating the future is probably the hardest thing for anyone to do, but the Halls have a vision of how they’d want their future to look in five years. “I feel like my heart and passion is toward what we’re doing as corps officers, so I wouldn’t necessarily put any other appointment as a goal,” says Danielle.
“It’s a hard question because I feel like we’re living the dream already,” she says. “It sounds super cheesy, but there are times when I’m driving home, and I get just how my life is so blessed.
“Even at times when I’m so extremely annoyed with Yuco, he’s so patient with me and we deal with things so well. So, I have such a relationship, to have it amplified in five years from now, would be amazing!”
Having been born into such a large family, Yuco would like to visit the Dominican Republic, his home country, as well as raise a family of his own. “I have some friends and family whom I haven’t seen for a long time,” says the avid ancestry.com genealogist who has meticulously traced his roots from Africa to the Caribbean to the United States.
by Warren L Maye