Capts. Alan and Amanda Krueger
Couple aims to share hope, compassion New leaders take helm at Salvation Army
Alan and Amanda Krueger are aiming to put their Christian faith into practice as the new leaders of the Rome Salvation Army Citadel on West Dominick Street — and, in doing so — serve the needs of local residents.
The husband and wife team, who have both earned the rank of captain after 11 years of service in the Salvation Army, have expanded an already ambitious mission.
“Poverty is a cycle, and we want to break that cycle by letting people know they have options, that they can get an education and get better jobs, and be better citizens,” Alan Krueger said.
This includes getting people temporary work. The Salvation Army is looking to hire bell ringers for the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. They offer Sunday Morning services, feeding and clothing programs.
They also provide after-school sessions Tuesday through Thursday which teach citizenship and skills, including music education, for children and teenagers. They will partner with Mohawk Valley Community College to offer GED courses in January.
“We want to do more than feed people,” Alan Krueger said. “We will present them the Gospel message, and teach them to take care of themselves and their families, and also teach their families how to live responsibly.”
The Salvation’ Army’s number is 315-336-4260. A list of their programs is available online at www.empire.salvationarmy.org/EmpireNY/Rome.
A family vision
The Kruegers, now joined by there one-year-old son Liam, were assigned to Rome in June after 11 years of service in downstate New York and the New England region. They spent their first five years ministering in the Hudson Valley area near New York City, where they saw firsthand the effects of the nationwide heroin and opioid epidemic.
“That area is the worst part of the state for the heroin problem, and also had a high concentration of registered sex offenders,” Amanda Krueger said. “And there was a significant need among the children there. They wanted to spend as much time with us as possible because it meant less time away from bad home situations.”
The Salvation Army then assigned them to run a camp in Maine, where they served another five years. “We supervised 200 campers and 100 staff throughout New England. It was interesting,” Alan Krueger said.
They are from the Buffalo area, and Alan said they are glad to be back in the area. “We weren’t sure where Rome was at first,” Alan Kreuger said, adding they’ve been warmly welcomed to the community.
Amanda Krueger said she is grateful for the support they’ve received. “We love Rome,” she said. “We feel like we’re part of the community, and we appreciate the help we’ve been given.”
Sutherland Springs reaction
The Nov. 5 lone gunman shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, which left 26 dead and 24 wounded, challenged the faith of believers and increased the skepticism of non-believers. Can faith-based programs be trusted in the light of such events? The Kruegers offered no easy answers, but said that God can be trusted even in the worst of times.
“I had a mentor who told me that we are living on Plan B,” Amanda Krueger said. “Suffering and tragedy was not God’s original plan for us. But we are separated from him and his will because of sin.”
Alan Krueger said the blame lies within choices made by flawed individuals and because of a neglect of God.
“God has given us all free will, and sometimes that will is used for good and sometimes it isn’t,” he said. “Acts of hate are not acts of God.”
He added that God has not left us as a society, but that many have walked away from God.
“And the question is often asked ‘Where was God?’ when something bad happens,” he said. “Look at our society, which has TV shows like ‘The View’ that bleep out any spoken references to God and Jesus. God is always with us, but when people ask ‘Where is God?’ I can say that God is right where you left him.”