New leaders in place at Salvation Army

Published 1:33 pm Thursday, August 21, 2003

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Dan and Amy Voss have only lived in Niles for a month with their four children.
But the couple from Petoskey, who have been running the Niles branch of the Salvation Army since they moved here, already feel welcome in the community.
The Vosses replaced the Crydermans, who were posted to work for a different Salvation Army church earlier this year.
She said United Way of Greater Niles, the USDA and others all came forward and offered advice and directions at a time when the area was unfamiliar to them.
Having just finished serving Wednesday's soup kitchen meal, which consisted of chicken, mashed potatoes and beans, Amy added: "We found that we have been very welcome."
But the Voss's background is not all Salvation Army.
Dan worked as a paramedic for nine-and-a-half years in the Petoskey area. Amy also has a background in emergency services, in addition to her experience with Head Start and early childhood education.
The couple became Salvation Army church members six years ago.
For the last four of those six years, the couple worked for the Salvation Army's Petoskey branch; as core helpers, or seconds in command.
They belive their work for the Army is everything but a coincidence.
Dan said the most important thing about the Salvation Army is ministry and evangelism.
Although, helping people in need with food and shelter is, and always will be, a key aspect of what the Salvation Army does, he said the Salvation Army was created and founded on going into the streets to meet and talk with people in need.
The Vosses, however, have taken a somewhat irregular path to their first Salvation Army posting.
The couple, whose children are between five and 11 years old, and will be students at Niles Community Schools, will before becoming Salvation Army captains have to undergo 22 months of training at a Chicago college.
They currently plan to start that training in August of 2004.
Dan said other Salvation Army workers have told them, "You are learning the field work first and then you are going to learn why."
Dan, who was a social worker for the Petoskey branch, said the Niles branch is busier than the branch in Petoskey.
And, more of the core volunteers here come from the Salvation Army's own church, he said.
Dan also said members of the Salvation Army congregation more readily communicate what the church here wants.
After a month of working in Niles, the Voss have their work laid out for them.
Dan said a lot of internal organization needs to be done, such as building more shelves in the food pantry and making better use of already existing storage space.
He said the Salvation Army here will also be having youth activities.
In addition, The Voss' are also trying to find churches and businesses in the are who are willing to provide meals once a month for the soup kitchen.
So far, AALFS Service Inc/Phillips 66 of Buchanan and Jack's Satellite of Niles, have provided meals.
But for Dan, who while living in Petoskey was used to waking up with a view of Traverse Bay every morning, driving past Barron Lake in the morning isn't quite the same.
But not letting the lack of view shade for his time as a Salvation Army worker with his wife here in Niles.
Any church or business who once a month would like to provide a meal for the Salvation Army in Niles can call 269-684-2660.