Hamodava created the espresso slushy, Shieldy crowd surfed, and the pop-up Family Store touched lives, as The Salvation Army joined the party at a sold-out Festival One.
The crowds came to grab a bargain at the pop-up Family Store, which was front and centre at the Festival One marketplace—New Zealand’s premiere Christian Festival—for the second year in a row.
Held in early January, the festival was an opportunity to share the Family Store message of ‘donate-sell-help’, says National Family Store Manager Gareth Marshall. ‘It’s a win-win model of helping communities through donating or buying at Family Stores, and showed in a very practical way that anyone of any age can support what The Salvation Army does in our communities—all while grabbing a bargain.’
The Salvation Army joined in the party atmosphere during the festival. At one stage, Shieldy went missing for several hours, only to be found crowd surfing at the main stage. ‘I got caught up in the moment,’ reflects Shieldy. ‘But I was proud to represent the Army in the mosh pit.’
Next door to the pop-up shop, Hamodava coffee hosted its annual dance party. As the sole purveyor of coffee for the weekend, the Hamodava cafe served well over 10,000 barista beverages. Its signature iced coffee—a delicious caffeine hit with the consistency of a slushy—was the perfect remedy for the sweltering heat.
‘You’ve got to love seeing people engage with the fresh parts of the Army through expressions like Hamodava,’ says Captain Jordan Westrupp, Hamodava Project Development Officer. ‘Every year we come away from the weekend with many moments where our crew have been able to engage with the public and hear their stories,’ he says.
‘We have a great platform to raise awareness of Fair Trade values, and to open dialogue about sustainable practices and how these are right at the heart of The Salvation Army world view.’
The laid-back atmosphere of the festival meant there was plenty of time for meaningful connections. A special ‘God moment’ stands out for Wendy Lobb, from The Salvation Army PR team, who volunteered at The Family Store throughout the weekend: it was the final evening, and as the heat of the day cooled, an older woman came to the pop-up store seeking out a warm layer. Wendy helped her find something, and then took a handful of warm clothes to the woman’s husband, who had mobility issues and was sitting nearby.
‘Then they discovered that they had no way to pay for the items. So I made a decision on the spot not to charge and said, “Don’t worry because the items you chose are free!”
‘I didn’t think anything more about it, but then, 10 minutes later, the woman appeared again with tears in her eyes and asked me for a hug, saying she hadn’t experienced such kindness in a long time. It brought tears to my eyes as she hugged me tight and I realised that it was Jesus in that embrace, not me.’
It was just one of many special encounters, as The Salvation Army shared its mission through the Family Store, coffee and even the mosh pit.