Mexico aims for financial independence
BY OLIN HOGAN, COLONEL –
The Salvation Army in Mexico has entered into a new universe of caring and commitment. After 65 years of support by the Southern Territory (when a division of the South), along with Self Denial support, a conscious decision has been made to seek to become less of a burden on the Army world–and to become a full-fledged partner in the growing ministry of Christ in North America.
In addition, in order to support the international movement of God in the Army the Salvationists in Mexico have accepted the challenge to double the number of corps, the number of soldiers, and the attendance in Sunday school and holiness meetings by 2012.
This necessitates developing local leaders who can reach the lost in Mexico and become the next generation of leaders in the country. It requires a commitment to training and coaching for all officers in the territory. The territory must also bring on-line the most modern systems, management practices, and equipment available to accomplish the necessary changes in capacity. There is a need to have an advisory board in every community.
The United Mexican States has the 11th largest population in the world, with roughly 100 million citizens. Roughly one-third of the population is under the age of 18. Many of these children are what are euphemistically called street children — the lost generation — or many such names. But the truth is that these children need Christ. There are 19 Army children’s homes in Mexico, with 1,000 children in those homes. There are plans to develop five new homes in the future.
One of the major issues for Mexico is that many officers do not receive their salary, nor is there money sufficient to pay the retired benefits for officers in the country.
An intensive public relations program must be initiated to accomplish these goals. While this was begun with a Mexican organization and continues to be a priority, the funding for this is rapidly diminishing. Clearly, there is a need for a national fundraising effort. A generous donor gave $15,000 to help start the program. This must continue in order to under gird the development of effective programs in Mexico.
A pilot fundraising program, begun in Tijuana, has already borne fruit and is beginning to show the way to enlarge the capacity of The Salvation Army in Mexico to accomplish its work.
Bob Gregg, USA Western territorial financial development director, has been integral to this process and has provided countless hours of advice and work to the officers in Tijuana. In response to this success, the Army in Mexico is planning to roll out this program in many parts of the country to provide for the needs of the officers, soldiers, and especially the children under its care.