Finding the ‘missing peace’

The Salvation Army received its first missing person inquiry—from a mother looking for her son—in February 1882 in London, England. Since then The Salvation Army Missing Persons Services has expanded its ministry to many of the over 120 countries in which it operates today.

Western Territory’s Missing Persons department helps reunite family members.

The “missing peace” is not as easy to find as it may seem. The Salvation Army received its first missing person inquiry—from a mother looking for her son—in February 1882 in London, England. Since then The Salvation Army Missing Persons Services has expanded its ministry to many of the over 120 countries in which it operates today. Through the years, this outreach program has maintained its original focus.

While staying true to its mission, the program has had many names: Private Investigators, Detective Agency with a spiritual mission, a ministry of family reconciliation, God’s Private Eye; Sanctified Sleuths, and the title of a recent book, No Longer Missing.

The mission of The Salvation Army Missing Persons Service is: “In the name of Jesus Christ: to seek to restore family relationships by tracing relatives with whom contact has been lost; and thereby to bring reunion, reconciliation and renewed hope to families.” This mission relates scripturally to the story of the Prodigal Son.
Today we look for children, parents, siblings and other relatives who have lost contact with each other. The Salvation Army Missing Persons staff does not just locate family members but helps to work through the process of reuniting them. This takes time for the research, and patience while family members decide whether or not they want to be reunited. The staff takes the time to talk with the individuals, helping them work out their concerns—often from years ago—that affect the potential reunion. It often takes some time for family members to decide how to progress with a possible new person in their lives.

Many people have helped our search ministry—through assistance in locating people, sharing this ministry with others, or with financial donations. We thank you for your contributions. Only through the kindness and generosity of others are we able to continue this ministry.

Look to future issues of New Frontier for stories from the Missing Persons ministry.

Major Douglas Peacock is the director of the Western Territory’s Missing Persons department.

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