By Emma Sharplin
Ted Kim and Aram Kwon are recently appointed officers at the Pukekohe Salvation Army, and while they are new to the area, they have already fallen in love with the Franklin community.
The husband and wife team were appointed earlier this year, after completing their studies at Booth College.
Ted and Aram completed two NZQA approved tertiary level diplomas, a Diploma in Christian Studies in conjunction with Laidlaw College and a Diploma in Salvation Army Mission and Ministry.
"After we finished our studies, we didn't know where we were going to be placed. But we are glad that we were appointed to Franklin, as we are really enjoying the community," says Ted.
The couple agreed that they soon realised that Franklin was not like Auckland as they had originally thought.
"It is very different, it is actually better," laughs Ted.
"The people here are very passionate about the town they come from. We feel very blessed," said Aram.
Following the motto of love God, love thy neighbours, the couple welcome the community to come and visit them at the Salvation Army.
"We would like to help support those in need, emotionally, physically and spiritually, and help create a space they can feel comfortable to be in," he said.
"From counselling and advising, to the foodbank and the second hand shop, there are many services that we can assist with. While we can't guarantee to meet everyone's needs, we will do our best to accommodate them to the best that we can," said Ted.
This year, the Pukekohe Salvation Army is turning 125 years old, and Ted and Aram are looking forward to the celebrations in September.
The couple agree that while the form of ministry and services that they offer has changed dramatically over the last 125 years, the purpose has remained the same.
"We are here for the people. However, we cannot be here today if it wasn't for the support from the community and from our dedicated volunteers. They are really the heart of this place, and some have been committed for many, many years. We are so lucky to have such amazing people involved," said Ted.
"We feel so blessed to be part of these celebrations, and to share this important part of the Salvation Army's history," Aram said.
While the dates and programme are yet to be confirmed, Ted and Aram hope that the community will join them in the 125 years celebrations, as they see it as a way of giving back for the many years of support.
CAPTION: Ted Kim and Aram Kwon feel very blessed to have been appointed as officers at the Pukekohe Salvation Army.