Serving a Needy World
“We Give Because We Care”
“O BOUNDLESS SALVATION”–Opening exercises at the Army’s College Verena in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, include 1,000 students singing the national anthem and “O Boundless Salvation” as Haitian and Salvation Army flags are raised.
by Commissioner David Edwards –
I rather believe that the most widely known slogan associated with The Salvation Army is the one which says “Sharing is Caring.” Salvationists are people committed to caring. It is the principal mark of our ministry.
We often have to remind people that we are not a social service organization with a churchgoing membership.We are instead members of Christ’s Body, the Christian Church, ministering to the whole person.What we do is in consequence of who we are. We care because Christ calls on us to care.
One of the ways in which we show how much we care is through the support given to the work being done by fellow Christians and Salvationists in other countries. This is done first of all by the release of personnel for service in countries where the need exists. There are currently 22 reinforcement personnel, officers and laypersons from the USA Western Territory serving in 9 countries around the world–serving in places as far apart as Russia and Chile. They serve at great sacrifice and in some instances under difficult and dangerous conditions. We show how much we care by supporting them with our daily prayers, our frequent letters and our gifts from time to time.
Support is also given through the annual Missionary Appeal of The Salvation Army. In the USA this is known as the World Services Appeal. There are other names used in other countries to refer to this appeal such as the Self-Denial or the Red Shield. Its primary purpose is to raise money to support the various ministries of The Salvation Army around the world. And in particular in countries where the demand for such services outstrip our ability to financially maintain them.
This issue of New Frontier highlights several countries around the world where The Salvation Army is at work and where such financial assistance is greatly needed.
During the latter part of January 1999, New Frontier Managing Editor Sue Warner visited several of these places to bring us back reports of the tremendous work taking placing there. She witnessed firsthand the great needs, the dedicated service of Salvation Army personnel, and noted the ability of the people to make the most with the little that they have with which to work.
Last year, the USA Western Territory gave in excess of $7,111,112 in support of ministries around the world. The territory supported some 143 projects in 43 countries. It was money from this territory which helped to provide housing for refugees in Bosnia.
Other projects included: purchasing a mini-bus for a Salvation Army boy’s home in Brazil; providing a clean supply of drinking water in Hulu village, Hunan Province, China; providing computer development and training in Pakistan; and obtaining bicycles for the Jessore Corps in Bangladesh.
This year we want to do more. We realize that it is becoming more difficult to raise funds, but the demands are increasing and we need to do more.
The Salvation Army is at work in 106 countries around the world. In most of these countries the work is difficult to maintain. It costs a lot of money, and it is difficult finding the money. I do not think that the work of The Salvation Army in these countries would die if its source of international funding dried up, but I know that it would certainly not be able to do as much as it now can without the help we give. Let’s give because we care enough.