Houston, Texas - Only a few short weeks ago, a group of Salvation Army Cadets went about their normal routines at The Evangeline Booth College for Officer Training (EBC) in Atlanta, Georgia with little thought of severe weather, disaster recovery, or Texas. Today, these same Cadets are serving on the front lines in the Houston Area Hurricane Harvey relief and recovery efforts.
While we all pray that Emergency Disaster Services will never be needed, it is comforting to know that The Salvation Army is taking great care to prepare these future leaders to be able to step up and serve their fellow man wherever disaster strikes. "As a cadet, I have been able to experience such a wide range of experiences and see God's hand at work. God's love knows no end. I am blessed to be a part of a team that is working hard and serving those in need”, says Cadet Kelsey Meredith. Whether loading trucks and canteens, handing out meals and supplies, providing emotional and spiritual care, or supporting the leaders of the Incident Command Structure, these Cadets are here; learning and serving with joy in their hearts and compassion for those affected by Hurricane Harvey. When asked about his experience here in Houston and what was important to him, Cadet Joshua Smith replied that he was, ”Just doing what I can to make a difference.”
“The Yard” as it is affectionately known is comprised of a large parking lot that serves as a staging area for meal preparation and mobile feeding unit (Canteen) staging. Preparing and packaging meals, unloading truckloads of supplies, and hand trucking the necessary items to each Canteen are only a few of the many activities that take place here daily. Upon arrival in Houston, Cadet Chris Pachik was excited about the opportunity to get out into the community so that he could directly serve and minister to those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. He admits to being somewhat taken back when he learned that he would be serving in The Yard during his time in Houston. However, he describes a personal journey and transformation that led him to the realization that there was plenty of service and ministry to be done right in that parking lot amongst the many volunteers making this recovery effort possible. “I’m tired, sore, and wet, but so grateful for the opportunity to minister while still in school.”About The Salvation Army