The Army shows its colors around the world
By Rosalie Peddle, Commissioner –
Well done, good and faithful soldiers! We’ve passed the halfway mark of The Whole World Mobilizing campaign and it has been amazing up to this point. It has been so exciting to see how Salvationists around the world have embraced this initiative and have been getting out there.
We’ve seen flags “marching” via motorcycle, snowmobile and canoe, and for miles on foot, over rough terrain. But that’s not all. Prayer walks, coffee outreach, little chef classes for children, football tournaments for community involvement, cleaning dilapidated buildings, distributing care kits and Scripture on the streets and in hospital, and so much more. Salvationists around the world are spreading the good news and love of Jesus to our neighbors who so desperately need him. It’s beautiful and humbling for us to see, and we’ve been inspired by the enthusiasm, courage and resilience of our people to move “out of their comfort zones” and into their neighborhoods, communities and cities.
Christians are in the minority in a number of the territories that have fully embraced this campaign, but that hasn’t stopped them from taking their flag, their faith and their Salvation Army out into the streets, publicly declaring that Jesus is alive. God continues to do a new thing as more Salvationists respond to the call to mobilize, for “the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few” (Matt. 9:37).
We’ve seen many wonderful images, videos and articles about mobilization. One highlight was seeing people in Peshawar and Kohat, Pakistan, come together and march out in the streets, singing and carrying their flags. Or watching the flag being run through one of the offices in Japan and then out into the busy streets. Southern Africa Territory did a great video with a new theme song that gave us all a good giggle, and has encouraged more of the same. And a corps in Mexico made a video of stopping traffic at busy intersections to dance. It has been so much fun to watch!
Our app and website have been key tools in this campaign. Salvationists are standing together in prayer for one another and for our world, sharing their testimonies on our blog, reading “Words of Life” to build their faith, and reaching out to others in creative ways by trying our “reach tips.” We hope that seeing the activities of others both encourages and spurs people on. If you haven’t yet downloaded the app, please join us (sar.my/twwmandroid or sar.my/twwmios).
I am personally engaging in the “Read, Pray and Mobilize” sections of the app every day, and I am also finding the blog contributions on the website inspiring. It is my prayer that many Salvationists around the world would feel that they are not only connected to our global Salvation Army world, but to God.
I am grateful to be able to pray for specific needs that are being posted on our website. Another favorite activity is prayer walking. I decided in March that I would turn my 30-minute walk to International Headquarters (IHQ) in the morning into a prayer walk. It has transformed my prayer life. I pray for a number of concerns on my heart for our international Salvation Army, our friends who need our prayers and our family concerns, but I have also taken time to be aware of the people around me as I walk. The Lord always helps me to focus on certain people. I don’t know them or their needs, but God does, and I always pray that some time throughout the day, they would have reason to think about God. I sometimes wonder what they would think if they knew a stranger was praying for them. I would love to hear their stories, but I will leave that for God to enjoy.
The campaign is achieving outcomes far greater than we could have imagined. For example, 57 countries participated in our live blog during the “Mobilize: Go Children and Youth!” weekend, and many more reached out to report their activities in the weeks following. Youth and children took part in mobilizing activities that involved outreach and evangelism.
From painting parties, sports events, neighborhood cleanups and praying God’s Word over people on the streets, to leading worship and preaching sermons, the youth of The Salvation Army stood up and made some noise for the kingdom of God—and their voices were heard. The outcome and engagement of the weekend was so powerful that IHQ has declared a second annual international children and youth weekend for March 23–25, 2018. We are grateful to all territorial and divisional youth secretaries who worked to make this weekend a memorable event for their territory.
There have also been challenges. The Salvation Army now works in 128 countries, so developing a website and app that could connect the global Salvation Army was a great step of faith and courage. It has not been an easy journey, but we are very pleased where we are today. We pray that God would continue to open doors so we can celebrate victories won for the kingdom together.
We’re now looking forward to our “Mobilize: Go Forward!” event at Regent Hall in London, England, on Oct. 8, hosted by IHQ with the General. We’ll be broadcasting the event live all day and celebrating the amazing work going on in our territories throughout the world.
Finally, our hopes are being realized every day as we hear stories of people coming to know Jesus and lives being transformed by his grace. I don’t think we will ever be able to capture all of the campaign, but we will celebrate what we are aware of, and God will celebrate the rest. This is a campaign that has no ending. The international Salvation Army has experienced a fresh wind from the Holy Spirit, and with holy boldness and courage, we are showing the world what God has called the Army to be—a mobilizing force for good, visible in a world that is in desperate need for the hope found in Jesus.
As a result of this campaign, we want to see the Army grow—enlisting new soldiers and attracting new candidates; colleges filled with cadets training for mission; families finding refuge and a home at The Salvation Army; and God’s kingdom growing as men, women and children find and follow Jesus.
See more from The Whole World Mobilizing campaign at salvationarmy.org/ihq/wwmsocial.
With Ester Ellen Nelson
From Salvationist (Canada and Bermuda Territory)