For Jack Hakala, a soldier at the Lakewood Temple, Minn., Corps, men’s ministries is a place for connection, friendship and building faith.

Jack met The Salvation Army when a neighbor invited him to church more than 20 years ago. That first Sunday, he felt welcomed and at home as he was greeted by the officers and members of the congregation. He’s been attending ever since.

“I went because my friend told me about having coffee and donuts during Sunday school,” Jack said. “I liked the worship service, so I kept going back.”

Not long after Jack’s first visit to the corps for Sunday services, Envoy Walter Peck, who leads men’s ministries, invited him to attend the Wednesday morning men’s fellowship. Jack gladly accepted. “Now I go over early every week to make the coffee,” he said.

According to Jack, the weekly fellowship with other men has been uplifting. He has formed strong bonds of friendship and built a network of support with several of the men who look out for one another. These friends recently helped Jack obtain hearing aids, assuring that Jack—who cannot read retains that important sense for communication. Jack enjoys the teaching videos and discussion and continues to develop his faith by listening and interacting with the group.

“One of the things we are able to work on is helping Jack learn Scripture through hearing God’s Word,” said Lt. Adam Hines, corps officer. “It’s an opportunity to be reminded that we can teach God’s Word in different ways that reach people.”

Jack appreciates the intentionality and depth of the group which provide him a comfortable place to belong and grow in his faith.

“I’m quite sure I’m learning more about God,” he concluded. “It’s really nice to be here.”




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