Sally's Talent Showcase

Apr 19, 2024 | by Merri Bennett

Helping to feed those in need has become a little livelier at The Salvation Army in Battle Creek. Sally's Kitchen is located on the lower level of The Salvation Army building located at 400 Capital Avenue NE in Battle Creek and is open Monday through Saturday for lunch. Last year, they decided to hold a talent show. The first show was in the summer of 2023, the second in April of 2024.

“Gospel Mike” as he is known in the community, came up with the idea. As an ordained minister he shares his message of hope on the streets and at Sally’s prayer table. “People down on their luck or with other issues, have things to contribute, and that is the purpose of the talent show,” he said. “They appreciate being shown they are important.”

Corps officers Captains Grace and Mika Roinila were thrilled when they heard about the idea. “Just because someone needs help, doesn’t mean they don’t have something to share,” said Captain Mika. “Just like all of us, they are one of God’s creatures, with God’s gifts.”

Over the past year and a half, many different talents have been highlighted. *Rob's gift were his paintings which he contributed. Though he never considered himself an artist, he says painting helps him cope with the stresses he deals with in life.

For *Patricia, her gift was playing the keyboard and singing Amazing Grace.  But for *Jennifer, it was about writing her own story.  Jennifer wrote and sang a song about the dangers she faced while living on the streets for three years. “Homelessness is about a lack of safety.” she said. “Especially as a woman, if you’re homeless, you’re never safe.” Today, Jennifer says she is living in transitional housing and going on job interviews.

And for his talent, Gospel Mike played his Native American Flute. “Everywhere I go, including Sally's, is my church,” he said. “People have been saved, healed, re-dedicated to Jesus, and such down there. It is nice to be able to interact with them and just be around them.”

Another talent show is planned for this fall.

*Names changed for client confidentiality.

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