Though change can be difficult, perseverance will bring joy and serenity. It is an important part of all of our lives, and recently we have experienced a change at The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC). We are excited to announce that Captain Johnny and Captain Kerry Bartsch have accepted the call to serve as Administrators at the Grand Rapids ARC.
As Administrators the Captains will be taking on a host of responsibilities, which includes working with The Salvation Army Family Stores. Our 8 Western Michigan Family Stores fund our 6 month Adult Rehabilitation Program in Grand Rapids. They will also be working alongside men and women in the program, encouraging them in daily growth, sharing the gospel with them and leading worship and devotion during Sunday morning chapel services.
Captain Johnny expressed his thoughts about the opportunity to help and encourage people during his journey at the ARC:
"I think it's happening right now. Coming alongside and encouraging one another and seeing the Holy Spirit work in people's lives."
Captain Johnny and Kerry Bartsch have served a combined 10 years with the Salvation Army and have been officers for the past 6 years. Most recently, they served 2 years together at The Salvation Army Corps and Community Center in Michigan City, Indiana. They first served as officers in Wichita, Kansas for 4 years, making this their third assignment as officers, and their first assignment at an ARC.
The Salvation Army played an important role in Captain Johnny and Captain Kerry's lives--even before they committed to making service their vocation, according to Captain Kerry.
"I grew up going to The Salvation Army youth programs and going to their summer camp every year . . . we got married at The Salvation Army camp in East Troy Wisconsin . . . so The Salvation Army had this huge theme in our lives."
Married when they were each 21, Captains Johnny and Kerry will be celebrating their 16 year anniversary on August 17th. They have 3 daughters who are 13, 11 and 4, and their names are Gracie, Selah, and Chloe. Captain Kerry explained that she enjoys a variety of family activities such as biking, kayaking, campfires and picnics. Captain Johnny enjoys anything that involves working with machines, particularly welding/fabrication and working with cars. They both agree that most of their free time, however, is best spent enjoying outdoor activities as a family.
When answering a call to serve somewhere new, it is hard to imagine what may be achieved, improved or accomplished. Captain Johnny and Captain Kerry conveyed, however, that seeing men and women graduate the program, and make lasting change, is something they wish to encourage and be a part of while they serve here:
". . . coming alongside each individual and encouraging them as they're on that journey. I just want to make sure that
can to help someone make it all the way through, and assimilate back into life outside of this place."
The beneficiaries and staff at the Grand Rapids Adult Rehabilitation Center are excited to work and grow with Captains Johnny and Kerry Bartsch. We are eager to see what God's mighty power will accomplish within them and through them. We also want to say thank you to Captain Johnny and Captain Kerry: Thank you for your work with The Salvation Army in the past, and thank you for your willingness to follow the Lord and go where he has led you today. So from all of us here at the Grand Rapids Adult Rehabilitation Center:
Welcome to the family!