by Craig Dirkes
Recently more than 70 men from the Minneapolis, Minn., Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) came to the Noble Worship and Service Center in Brooklyn, Minn., for an event titled “This is My Story” which included breakfast, small-group Bible studies and a worship service.
The event’s goal was to encourage men in recovery to share their life stories with members of the corps in order to foster a greater sense of community and support while they’re in the ARC program and after they graduate.
“As a church community, we want to be intentional about reaching out to people,” said A/Captain Josh Polanco, who leads the Noble Corps with his wife, Jennifer. “We want men at the ARC to know that we value them and that we desire to share in their journeys for the long haul.”
After breakfast, everyone participated in small-group Bible studies led by ARC Command leaders Majors Randall and Charlene Polsley, Northern divisional leaders Lt. Colonels Lonneal and Patty Richardson and Colonels Steve and Janice Howard, chief secretary and territorial secretary for women’s ministries. All of the leaders also participated in the morning worship service, the highlight of which was the enrollment of four ARC beneficiaries as soldiers: David Schroedl, James Leavens, Mark Knipping and Michael Blake.
“Being a soldier in The Salvation Army to me means being a part of something larger than myself, doing what I can to share the gospel and help others,” said Mark Knipping.
Men at the Minneapolis, Minn., ARC receive six months to a year of meals, housing, counseling, spiritual guidance and other transformative support which is funded by sales at Salvation Army thrift stores in the Twin Cities.
Envoy Trudi Canfield, who leads the ARC with her husband, Tom, attended the corps event and was thrilled by its outcome.
“Integrating these men into a church outside of the one in our rehabilitation program gave them a broader view of The Salvation Army and allowed them to see what ‘regular’ church is like,” she said. “It was a great experience for these men as they get acclimated to seeing what living a healthy, positive, Christ-centered life looks like.”
The Canfields and Polancos are committed to an ongoing partnership in mission integration through quarterly events that build healthy relationships and support structures for men at the ARC.