Serving others, sharing Christ

Omaha youth volunteer their time and talents for ministry

What’s better than hanging out with friends and enjoying a shared interest? According to the youth at the Omaha Citadel, Neb., Corps, it’s combining those with serving others in the name of Jesus.

“I love doing things such as volunteering and playing in the band,” said Maddie Walter, who attends the corps with her family. “I get to grow in my faith, and all the while my best friends are doing everything with me.”

The teens are a close-knit group, but they are not closed off. Members maintain an open invitation for others to join. Git Gatluak, corps program director, said that as more teens show up, the existing group warmly accepts them.

“We have a lot of new people coming in,” he said. “It’s good to see the group’s example to them and how welcoming they are so the new kids don’t feel alone.”

Highlighting Git’s observations, youth group member Nyamal Chut said, “What motivates me to be active at the corps is sharing God’s Word with my friends and peers; that’s what I love to do.”

Despite busy schedules with school and extracurricular activities, the corps’ youth dedicate a significant amount of their time and energy to ministry-related activities from participating in corps cadets and character-building programs to playing their instruments in the senior band on Sunday morning. They also volunteer to assist with the younger children on youth nights.

“They are giving their time and effort to serve God any way they can,” said Git. “Their dedication and willingness to serve is incredible.”

Throughout the year, the teens volunteer their talents in Omaha Metro area events as well as at divisional and territorial gatherings. Last spring they played their instruments at the Western Division’s annual D.J.’s Hero Award luncheon which congratulated 16 high school seniors who received scholarships from the foundation through the division. Many of the corps’ youth also participate in the Territorial Youth Band and were honored to play with the Chicago Staff Band during the commissioning 2023 weekend.

During the holiday season, they traveled to several corps to play familiar holiday tunes at the kettle kickoff events. They also participated in community care ministries, visiting care facilities to distribute gifts and spread joy through music.

Tyler Thiede concluded, “I love to play my instrument at the corps because I get to have fun while worshipping God and spreading the gospel and awareness of the good things The Salvation Army does.”





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