As soon as the General Conference of November 1950 resolved to sponsor its own voluntary service program, arrangements were made for such. As the drafting of soldiers to the army went on, the home tension toward the COs grew so much that soon something had to be done to move some of our brethren somewhere.
After investigating several different projects, hospital service work was considered as the most appropriate. Soon an opening took place at the Roseburg Veteran’s Hospital at Roseburg, Oregon. Brother Arverd Wiggers, of Galva, Kansas volunteered to assist in hospital work and was chosen as a leader for this service. During this time Brother Laurence F. Becker was busy working with the various governmental officials, dealing with classification problems, and counselings young men where and how to report for work under the Selective Service regulations.
Later the forestry service work in Oregon and California was also looked into by the committee and Brother J. G. Loewen of Creswell, Oregon, but because of a lack of volunteers that work was shelved for the time being.
With a great need in our mission stations for an agricultural and livestock development program, several young men were sent to Cuauhtemoc, Chihuahua, Mexico, Camp 45, and one to Tucumcari, New Mexico for voluntary service.
At the same time, while the committee was investigating voluntary service work, or service for Christ, a great need was seen because of the prospect that our brethren would be leaving home for 1-W service for the first time. Now they would have to witness, testify, and give an account of the hope, or belief, within them, and also need to know fully what the meaning is of serving in Christ’s stead. Thus the preparatory class project began in 1951.
While the whole voluntary service program sponsored by the MCC and individual Mennonite groups may have been too little and too late, yet there is every indication that it helped to open the way for a liberal alternative service law drafted by the government which finally became effective in the summer of 1952.
Currently CPS has 9 boys units and 5 girls units.