Amazed by God’s Provision During the Pandemic
Major Mark Martsolf, who leads the Rockford Temple Corps Community Center with his wife, Major Teri Martsolf. recently shared this encouraging update.
Major Teri and I remain healthy, and God is watching over us and protecting us as we are busy with many things. Our social service staff continues working on the front lines each Monday through Friday during regular hours. They are continuing to serve many people in need by providing pre-packaged food boxes. Recently, Major Teri and I drove to the Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) warehouse where we picked up another 750 boxes to bring back to Rockford to pack and distribute in the coming weeks.
Several of our staff worked on a recent Saturday in connection with the Northern Illinois Food Bank to distribute 1,200 food boxes as well as fresh produce in about five hours. This took place at the old Circuit City building, which has become a warehouse for the Winnebago County Emergency Operations Center. This is the collection site for the county for all personal protection equipment for our first responders, medical personnel, and front-line service folks as well as for tons of food to help restock area food pantries. Jacob Heiser, one of our staff, is serving as the warehouse manager.
The Army is one of the lead agencies helping with COVID-19 efforts. Nancy Jenkins, our development director, is on the staff at the Winnebago County Emergency Operations Center (EOC). In this capacity, Nancy coordinates all the volunteer efforts for the EOC. For instance, Nancy helped to get all the volunteers for the COVID-19 testing sites that opened in Rockford recently.
I recently received a lovely letter from Mayor McNamara thanking The Salvation Army for all our assistance during these COVID-19 relief efforts. I am so proud of our staff and the great work they are doing in our community during these extraordinary days.
I continue to be amazed and blessed at how God provides for the Army and our work in the Rockford community. Two weeks ago, we received an emergency grant for $12,000 – $2,000 to purchase more food for our pantry and $10,000 to help with rent and utility assistance. This week, we received another grant – in the amount of $40,000 – to help with food, rent, utilities, medications, and COVID-19-related services. You can see the hand of God in all his great provision for his children.
I recently received a call from a long-time friend of the Army. He asked, "Major, what does the Army need?" Our walk-in cooler at our social service warehouse, which is from 1967, quit working about a year ago and we have been without one ever since. Our ice machine stopped working about 15 months ago, so we have been without that too. I submitted a proposal for these items, and the next day he called and said there would be a check ready for us that Friday so we could purchase them. Praise God!
These items will allow us to receive more donations because we will now have a way to refrigerate them, which enables us to serve more people. God has been so good to us. Within a couple weeks, he supplied about $72,000 worth of new funds and equipment.
All this to say, God will take care of us through this crisis and will supply our every need. One day this will all be over and we will look back on these days and see how we have grown in our love for the Savior and each other.
Learn about all the ways The Salvation Army is responding to the coronavirus – as well as how you can help – at salarmychicago.org/coronavirus.
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For tax purposes: The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division EIN is 36-2167910.