Immigrant woman finds a home for her family with The Salvation Army of Clearwater, Fla.
By: Libia Socorro
Gladys Aboude came to this country from Venezuela in 2015, accompanied by her two children. A woman of Hispanic origin, Aboude knew little about life in the U.S. and had to find her own way.
She did not know what The Salvation Army was, and she knew nothing of its mission and work. When she saw a flyer advertising Salvation Army music classes, she checked into it. When she realized that the classes were free, she decided to register her children.
As her children became involved in the music classes, her awareness of the Army began to grow. She learned it had nothing to do with the military and was actually a non-profit Christian organization. She wanted to know more about The Salvation Army, and that’s how Aboude began attending the Clearwater, Florida, Corps and became part of that beautiful family of Salvationists.
Meanwhile, her children were not only receiving music lessons, they were learning the Word of God. Aboude said she began to realize that as her children were being blessed through their involvement at the Clearwater Corps, she was receiving a blessing herself.
“Sometimes I felt like I was in the center of an earthquake, but I felt my rock in this church. I feel safe there,” she said.
“Being an immigrant without the help of The Salvation Army is not easy. Educating children, solving problems – there are many things to do, and this church has given me a lot of help,” Aboude said. “Here, I feel relaxed. I feel safe, here I have sisters, I feel at home. A house can be anywhere, but a home is just The Salvation Army.”