WODONGA’S new Salvation Army captains Russell and Gillian Anderson have been moved by the warmth and friendliness of the community since their arrival in the city.
It has enabled them to settle in quickly as they start a new chapter in their service to God.
They have taken up their new posting after their predecessors, Michael and Elizabeth Johnson, left last month for Alice Springs.
“We’re settling in really well,” Russell told NewsWeekly.
“We’ve been really pleased and surprised with the warmth that we’ve received from not only the Salvation Army folk here, but the community.
“It’s made it easy for us to fit in.”
The people of Wodonga have quickly and warmly embraced the Andersons.
Russell and Gillian spent the last seven years as officers in Melbourne, based at Altona-Williamstown, about 15km out of the city.
“People have come up to us when we’ve been in shopping centres and things like that, just welcoming us … people we don’t know,” Russell said.
“It’s just different in a little community like this than where we’ve come from in Melbourne and it’s really just made it easier.”
The move from the metropolitan area to a regional centre still represented the same challenges.
“It does because we don’t know what the needs are,” he said.
For those people who are down on their luck and don’t know where to turn, Russell and Gillian encourage them to walk through the doors at the Wodonga Salvation Army in Lawrence Street.
By PAT KOOPMAN