Early last month I received an email from Stacy, an employee at The Salvation Army in Alton, IL. She had come across our website and was intrigued by the Urban Mission Center and wondered if we'd make a visit to her corps. Stacy runs a Thursday night outreach program called Crossfire. It's a group of about 30 to 40 young people - mostly high schoolers. They come to The Salvation Army on Thursdays to have dinner and fellowship with one another. Through this Thursday night gathering, Stacy has seen a number of young people come to know Jesus!
Excited about an opportunity to spread the word about the Urban Mission Center and the possibility of encouraging a fellow youth worker, I presented the idea to our Temple House dwellers. They were all quick to say yes! That's the joy of working with a group of young adults who are passionate about serving others.
We weren't really sure what to expect, other than that we would have a Thanksgiving meal with the group, followed by a time of fellowship and sharing. We were surprised to be greeted at the door with hugs and many familiar faces. One young lady immediately yelled "I know you! I used to stay on Iowa!" She attended youth programs at the Temple Corps last year, but moved to Alton a few months ago. Her mom found The Salvation Army in her new town, and they were quick to welcome her. Several of the young people at Alton attended camp or youth councils, so we'd met many of them earlier this year.
One young man who attends Crossfire is deaf. Elysia, our newest Temple House dweller, is a high school teacher to deaf students. As you can imagine, they were fast friends. It was a joy to see the excitement for both of them, knowing that they could communicate with ease.
We ended the night with a fierce game of spoons and then said our goodbyes.
We're looking forward to visiting again.