Missions Cruise 2020

“On January 25, 2020, we returned from leading a group of 41 former and new friends on mission shore excursions in Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Dominican Republic and Nassau, Bahamas.  Following our first full day at sea, we arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where we visited The Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Center where we toured the facility and enjoyed a meal together with the Divisional Leaders, Majors Eric & Yolanda Rodriquez and the ARC Administrators, Captain’s Bryden & Zoe Swires. The ARC program rehabilitation program is a long-term (6-12 month) for 36 men with the goal of transforming their lives to becoming independent, productive members of their family and community. In Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, we met with Majors Steven and Hermas Pearl for a morning of helping their team sort clothing for sale in their Thrift Store, as well as assisting in the daily luncheon feeding program for 75-100 people that operates five days a week. The next day, we docked in Samana, Dominican Republic. We joined with the United Methodist missions group at a beautiful church built in the early 1800’s. We enjoyed presentations by The Salvation Army Regional Leaders, Captains Ovalles and four of their staff who drove to meet us from their headquarters in Santo Domingo. We also were blessed by a presentation from the United Methodist group concerning amazing “solar ovens” that are given to rural families. Our united group then enjoyed a delicious local lunch provided by the church. Our final port of call was Nassau, Bahamas where we met with the Divisional Leaders , Majors Clarence & Karen Ingram, who are officers from Canada and for the past 7 years have administrating the Army’s work throughout the Bahamas. We toured the Erin Gilmour School for the Blind – a comprehensive educational facility for blind and visually impaired primary and secondary aged children. Before lunch together, we visited the Army’s Mop Factory, where the visually impaired students learn vocational skills. In each of the four Salvation Army sites visited, the group gave a Love offering that was over $1,000 for the programs in each island.

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