The quiet appearance of the Cadence brick building just off Broadway in Englewood does nothing to indicate the facility houses a 61-year-old faith-based agency with a focus of reaching out to members of the military services and their families around the world.
Englewood resident David Schroeder is president of Cadence and he took time to talk about the organization and what they do.
Just what is Cadence?
We are a mission agency with more than 200 staff members stationed at about 50 military bases around the world. We raise about $9 million a year to be able to bring a touch of home and share the Gospel and our lives with military men and women and their families.
How does Cadence reach the military?
Our primary way we reach out is through our open home ministries. We go to a military installation, find a large, adequate home we either buy or rent. Then a family that raises its own financial support moves in and opens their home to the members of the military and their families.
We feel this is very effective way to allow the members of the military to get off the base or off the ship and spend time in a warm, welcoming home environment.
What is an open home ministry?
We call our open home ministries hospitality houses. We know that many young men and women now in the military didn't experience a solid home environment. So our families welcome the military men and women as family members. There are home-cooked meals and times to relax away from the base or the ship. Some even can bunk with our families overnight. Our families include the military men and women in all kinds of family activities including doing the dishes and playing volleyball in the back yard. All this is done as a Christian outreach. The Bible says let the testimonies about the Gospel be lived as well as spoken.
Talk about the history of Cadence
Cadence, like a lot of ministries, was born out of World War II. Our founder, Jesse Miller, went through the Bataan Death March. He swore to do something for members of the military service if he survived and the result was he helped found Cadence, which originally was called Overseas Christian Servicemen's Centers. Dick Patty, my wife Joyce's dad, was one of the first members who helped found our organization. Joyce grew up in the ministry and, when we met in Bible college, I had never heard of it. We became a couple, OSCS was working to reach out to the 100,000 children of military personnel in Europe, and my future wife and I were part of a musical group that went to Europe for four summers. During those trips, Joyce and I fell in love, and I fell in love with the military and the Christian outreach to military personnel and their families.
Are the hospitality houses all alike?
If you visit a hospitality house, there might be 20 people or 100 people there that evening. At some locations like outside a training base, you will find primarily young single men and women. However, at some of the other hospitality houses, you will find a mixture of military personnel and their families. We want to help all military personnel and their families. We have a separate ministry reaching out to the children of military families. We have hospitality houses near overseas bases because the military personnel are away from home and their culture. But we also have hospitality houses near bases in the United States and the mission is the same, as they seek to minister to our military personnel and their families.
What is the future of Cadence?
We love military personnel and their families and our ministry is very fruitful, as we seek to help those who are interested connect with God and the spiritual side of their lives.
My wife grew up in Englewood and she and I have made a number of trips to Europe and Asia. All four of our boys went through Englewood schools and we have been able to take them with us on several of our overseas trips.
Most of the time I am in the office handling the duties of Cadence president because we know our mission is important and plans are to keep it going. But we also want to witness to the world. We have a training center in Thailand for our people who then reach out to the people of that country. We also have a ministry to members of the military of both Thailand and Cambodia and we have found they are eager to hear our message and learn about our faith.