Our table at Cracker Barrel this New Years Day morning.  Urbana 12 in St Louis closed at midnight.  Headed back to Chicago we stopped for breakfast.

Cracker Barrel New Years Day breakfast

Gail’s purty smart.  Enjoying my grits I watched her leave only two tees in the game board.

Yesterday in the America’s Center Gail also talked with the youth ministry department head of a small Christian college in Ohio.  The professor is interested in the Good Soil Initiative sponsored by The Salvation Army.  GSI is in the process of placing youth development workers throughout the Midwest.  This professor is seeing possibilities for his students finding their place in GSI.Good soil initiative

GSI hopes to create a good fit of youth development workers in underserved communities.  That’s practically anyplace you find a Salvation Army corps.

Throughout the week Urbana delegates stopped by exhibit 617 to find out about GSI, Servant House, Temple Houses, STOP-IT, Promise Initiative, mission trips, camps.  And about Salvation Army.  2,000 of those delegates are also now wearing bright red Salvation Army scarves.  Many more stopped by to ask questions and learn a little more about us and our mission of preaching the gospel and meeting human needs.

We have hope that we’ve sown good soil at Urbana 12.


Majors Bill and Sue Dunigan were back in the Midwest, this time on duty at Urbana 12.  They spoke to delegates about Salvation Army opportunities in urban ministry and particularly about the Servant House which they have opened in Camden NJ.

Dunigans New Years Day 2013This morning in St Louis I took this picture of Bill with son Matt as they were loading their minivan for the drive back east.  It’s always great to be with the Dunigans and we wish them the best as they pioneer another urban ministry initiative.

Last night Bill shared about the need for self-care of urban missioners.  Ministry is always stressful but even more so when in urban settings.  Bill takes time to be outdoors, biking and hiking.  Solitude restores balance to his life.  Bill and Sue live right where they serve in Camden.  Some people call it incarnational.  It’s the kind of intense ministry living that requires time apart and away from its demands.