We arrived in Rochester on Sunday night with enough time to rest up for our busy week. On Monday we arrived at the corps to meet Majors Bob & Lisa Mueller and Cadets Wayne & Katy Benedict. We quickly introduced ourselves and jumped in the van to head to the Winona Thrift Store. Winona is one hour away from Rochester. We learned a bit about the history of the thrift store and the reasons behind have to close the store. We then we got to work. Our goal was to completely clear out the store by Wednesday. So Monday we worked on taking apart all the racks, started moving the shelves and moving the merchandise. Tuesday we split the team in half to work at the Winona and the Red Wing store. We did a lot of cleaning, organizing and lifting. Tuesday night we had a delicious dinner at Majors’ house and were entertained by Major Bob’s card tricks. We also got to meet Cadets Benedict’s kids, Katiana and Zakota.

Wednesday we were working as fast as possible to finish clearing out the store. Eri, Lucas and Carlos went to the Red Wing Thrift Store to help put the bookshelves and display cases together. Shannon, Kish and Aika went to the Winona Thrift Store and along with Andrew, Major Bob and Cadet Wayne, they cleared out the store! It was great to see how we could all work as a team and move as fast as possible to complete this task.

Major Bob also gave us a tour of the different Army facilities and shared with us about the different programs that are available to the homeless, older adults, corps members and Mayo Clinic employees. There is so much happening in Rochester and we hope that you join us in praying for the ministry that is taking place in this city.

On Thursday, we got celebrate Independence day by visiting the Mall of America and hanging out with Cadet Wayne, Cadet Katy and their kids. We had another delicious home cooked meal, and played with Katiana and Zakota while we waited for it to get dark enough for the fireworks show. We walked to the lake and enjoyed a night of celebration.

While our time in Rochester was very short, we are so happy that we had a chance to partner in ministry with the officers and summer cadets. We believe God will continue to do big things in this city and are happy that we got to see how hard Major Bob and Lisa are working to make that happen.

We are now in Chicago, preparing for our flights to the Bahamas! Please pray for our team as we travel and minister through VBS this week.

Central Team

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