Salvation Army Martinsville bell ringers just want to give back

Salvation Army Martinsville bell ringers just want to give back

The Salvation Army Martinsville Corps has helped Steven and Diane Yohn in hard times, and now they want to give back by volunteering as bell ringers.

“I don’t want to be paid. We really need volunteers,” Diane Yohn, 66, said Friday as she stood ringing a bell near one of the main entrances at Walmart in Martinsville.

At another store entrance with bell in hand was Steven, 66, seated in a walker next to a red kettle.

 “For the last few years they’ve helped us, and this is the least we can do to thank them,” he said.

This is their third year ringing a bell for the local Salvation Army branch.

“I’m always happy to help the Salvation Army. They helped me and my husband through hard times,” Diane said. “They were there for us. This is the least we could do.”

The Yohns also at times have eaten at the Salvation Army’s regular meals on multiple days of the week, she said.

“Last year, if it wasn’t for the Salvation Army, we wouldn’t have had a Christmas dinner or a Thanksgiving dinner,” Diane said.

In addition, the Salvation Army kept the Yohns’ electric power on when they couldn’t pay a nearly $300 power bill,

“It just felt great for somebody to care, as they do,” Diane said “They’re out there feeding people…. They have the angel tree that helps the children that ain’t going to have a Christmas.”

The couple knows how rough finances can be for someone living on a fixed income.

“It’s a little rough for me and my husband because you get one check a month,” Diane said Steven is a retired truck driver and she worked as an office cleaner.

Diane is borderline diabetic and has a learning disability.

Said Steven of his ailments: “I’ve had 12 heart attacks. I died 12 times and they brought me back.”

He added that he sees people in need of help and he and his wife feel the need to give back.

“God has been great to my wife and me, and now since He has been good to me, I can be good to other people,” Steven said.

Steven said he enjoys bell ringing and encountering people.

Steven described the touching moments he’s witnessed as a bell ringer, such as the time a mother gave each of her children five pennies to put in the kettle, and then she put in $5.

“Tears came to my eyes, because I see them little kids. That’s the future of the churches and the future of our country,” Steven said.

Another time recently, Steven said, it was cold and a woman came up and asked if he drank coffee. He told her yes.

She then left and, roughly 10 minutes later, returned with a double cheeseburger and a cup of coffee.

“I’ve had people in the past come up and give us doughnuts and coffee and stuff like that,” Steven said. “The (bell-ringing) locations we’ve been to, workers and management would bring us stuff,” Steven said.

Lt. George Keith of the Salvation Army Martinsville Corps said the kettle campaign goal is $60,000, and donations are lagging.

Also, more bell-ringers are needed.

“We have two weeks left of our kettle campaign,” Keith said.

Anyone interested in ringing the bell can call 276-638-7259.

On October 10, 2018, hurricane Michael, one of the most powerful storms to ever make landfall in the United States, ripped through the Florida Panhandle.

Life After The Storm

On October 10, 2018, hurricane Michael, one of the most powerful storms to ever make landfall in the United States, ripped through the Florida Panhandle. A violent Category 4 storm, Michael pounded Panama City, Fla., and surrounding areas. The eye was 105 kilometres wide, winds were at 225 km/h and 1,000 tornadoes peeled back the landscape of what was once known as the Emerald Coast. The result was utter devastation and an estimated loss of $414 billion. It could take 15 years for the area to return to “normal.”

“So many lives have been changed forever,” says Florida Governor Rick Scott. “So many families have lost everything. This hurricane was an absolute monster.” Tens of thousands of homes were unlivable, businesses were turned into piles of splintered lumber, and gas stations and strip malls were crumpled. Entire roofs were torn away, trees were severed in two, and the widespread and catastrophic damage made the city unrecognizable to local residents.

Three weeks after Michael ripped through the Florida Panhandle, I was deployed for 14 days to Panama City with a 12-member incident management team from the Canada and Bermuda Territory’s emergency disaster services. While residents coped with destruction and devastation, we oversaw operations, communicated with media outlets and ensured the delivery of hot meals, cleaning supplies, hygiene kits, tarps, and emotional and spiritual care. At the height of deployment, 20 canteens were feeding 12,000 people a day.

Perseverance

As our team’s public information officer, my role was to communicate to the public and to The Salvation Army about the state of operations and how we were supporting those affected by the storm.  As I travelled to canteen locations that were serving hot meals, delivered backpacks to children and teachers at a local school, and made home visits to check on peoples’ well-being, I heard frightening stories of riding out the storm, saw so much of what people had lost, and watched in awe as they persevered in the midst of immense destruction. But even in the midst of their pain and extreme heartache, their warmth, resilience and positivity was incredible. They had lost homes, livelihoods and their lives were literally turned upside down, yet they greeted me with friendly smiles and grateful words.

“We were seven huddled together in the bathroom―the best safe room with one door and no windows,” says Jolynn, whose home was severely damaged by the hurricane. “When we heard the wind pull up the roof and drop it down many times we thought we were going to die. We heard trees cracking. Then suddenly three quarters of the roof ripped away from the house. We were under one big skylight.”

“When the eye of the storm came through, I held tight to my husband in a hallway,” explains Sherri as she tells me about her experience with Michael. “We felt the walls of our home breathe like lungs. A 6,000-pound maple tree crashed down on the side of our house. We were trapped in our collapsing home and convinced we wouldn’t get out alive.” Sherri and her husband, Rick, are now living in their camper in the driveway in front of their destroyed home.

A Tiny Light

“What can we do?” asked Lieutenant Stefan Reid, corps officer at Vernon Community Church in the British Columbia Division and our team’s planning chief, when he stumbled upon a little white church that was only half standing. “We need food. I can’t keep going,” replied Karen, the pastor’s wife. In the three weeks since the hurricane, she and her husband, Eddie, and two volunteers, had been serving 100 people a day out of four crockpots.

“There were tarps over the building and no electricity,” Lieutenant Reid explains. “In the back of the fellowship hall, with insulation falling and wires exposed, people affected by the hurricane were getting non-perishables, simple supplies, bedding, clothing and blankets.”

Calloway is a low-income neighbourhood located nine kilometres from Panama City. Most of the 150 residents couldn’t evacuate due to lack of transportation and all were left with significant damage or mobile homes that were completely destroyed. The only shelter for many were the tarps that hung everywhere.

While our team was initially overwhelmed by the extent of destruction and the demand for services, it was a privilege to bring relief and a glimmer of hope to those we were called to serve.

“We all wanted to stay and keep giving until we couldn’t give any more,” concludes Lieutenant Reid. “The Salvation Army was a tiny light in the midst of the storm.”

Article contributed by Linda Leigh is the staff writer in the territorial public relations and development department.

After becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol at a young age, R&B artist Kem, was living homeless on the streets of Detroit. Salvation Army ARC, which he

R&B artist Kem defeats addiction with help from Salvation Army ARC

After becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol at a young age, R&B artist Kem, was living homeless on the streets of Detroit. He was going from shelter to shelter until he had his first experience with a Salvation Army ARC, which he claims as a turning point in his life.

I am the eldest child with three sisters, born in Nashville, Tennessee. I’ve never met my biological father. My stepfather has been in my life since I was three years-old. When I was four we moved to the metropolitan Detroit area. First, we lived in Pontiac for about 10 years and then we moved to Southfield, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. Both my parents worked, but we didn’t know our parents were struggling. We had both parents in the home, always had enough to eat and at Christmas always had presents, toys stacked to the ceiling. In many ways, we had a normal family dynamic.

We left Pontiac my freshman year of high school for Southfield—quite a culture shock. We were one of the first African American families on our street. There was a large Jewish community and there still is. I delivered papers throughout the community and became very familiar with a lot of the Jewish traditions. We went from living in a blue-collar community to a suburban lifestyle. I was really out of my element. The kids and families in Southfield had experiences that we didn’t have. They had seen more, experienced more. I was like a fish out of water.

I was also starting to come into being a teenager and a lot of things happened to me that set the stage for me to try to find solace in alcohol and drugs. What I discovered about myself later was that as a child I was probably clinically depressed. Because I lacked better coping skills I started using alcohol and drugs. Alcoholism is something that is present on both sides of my family: my mom is a recovering alcoholic. She went into treatment and my parents learned new tools and developed a healthier way of living.

I was just beginning full-blown drug and alcohol addiction. I could no longer be a part of my family dynamic, at least not in the house. They were trying to become the best versions of themselves and my behavior and addiction were impediments. So, I left home at the age of 19 and began my downward spiral into homelessness and addiction. I flopped around the neighborhood for a while, different friends’ houses. My friends would sneak me in and let me stay the night. I continued to drink and use drugs.

My first experience with the Salvation Army ARC (Adult Rehabilitation Center) was in Pontiac. I initially went to get off the streets. Any recovery would have been just a by-product, but I was eventually discharged for using. I went to the classes they had there. I would go for periods of time and not drink. But I was always using something and not fully coming to terms with my addiction or with what it would take to overcome it. I learned some things but I was not yet ready to get sober.

After that I went to the Salvation Army ARC in Detroit. I was discharged from there for drinking.I spent some time on the streets. I went back to that ARC after having spent the hardest week of homelessness. I was pretty beat up. I was sleeping outside on the Detroit River, on the eve of my biological birthday, when I surrendered. I didn’t know at that time that’s what happened. I gave up trying to do things my way. I became open to what ideas and suggestions that people had. I was willing to do whatever was necessary to facilitate change in my life.

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Wintry weather brings Christmas spirit during Red Kettle Campaign launch

Wintry weather brings Christmas spirit during Red Kettle Campaign launch

Snowy weather on Thursday closed schools and government offices, but it didn’t stop the local Salvation Army from holding its annual Red Kettle Campaign kickoff at Apple Blossom Mall.

About 20 people attended the event — a smaller crowd than usual — which Salvation Army Capt. Kelly Durant attributed to the weather.

Berryville Mayor Patricia Dickinson, who was slated to be the keynote speaker, was unable to attend due to the hazardous road conditions. Still, Durant was able to find a silver lining in the season’s first snowfall.

“It kind of makes it more exciting,” Durant said. “It gets the early Christmas spirit going. It’s a winter wonderland already.”

The Red Kettle fundraising campaign runs until Dec. 24. It involves volunteers ringing a bell and soliciting donations at numerous locations around the community from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday (no Sundays). Shifts tend to last four to eight hours.

This year, Red Kettles and bell ringers will be stationed at Apple Blossom Mall, Hobby Lobby, Walmart, Big Lots and the Shop ‘n Save in Berryville. The Shop ‘n Save stores in Winchester and Frederick County recently closed.

The Salvation Army hopes to raise $140,000 this year. Last year, its campaign fell nearly $18,000 short of its $150,000 goal.

“We are disappointingly probably going to make less because we lost five locations of Shop ‘n Save,” Durant said. “But we are still going to work and do our best to raise about $140,000.”

The Salvation Army currently has 60 bell ringers, but it could use about 40 more.

Money raised during the campaign will serve families in Winchester and Frederick and Clarke counties who are in need of food, temporary housing and other assistance.

The Salvation Army has a homeless shelter at 300 Fort Collier Road with 48 beds. The shelter serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.

Tara McInturff, director of marketing for Apple Blossom Mall, commended the Salvation Army during the kickoff.

“It really shows the Salvation Army’s dedication to our community that they continue to hold this event on this snowy and icy day,” McInturff said. “They are truly here for our community.”

During the kickoff, the Salvation Army Brass Band of the National Capital Area played Christmas carols such as “Silver Bells” and “Jingle Bells” while those in attendance rang small handheld bells.

Later today, Apple Blossom Mall plans to set up a tree for the Salvation Army’s annual Christmas Angel Tree program, which provides holiday gifts to local children.

People who want to purchase presents for a child at Christmas can select an angel-shaped tag from one of the Christmas trees that will be placed in public locations throughout the Winchester area. The angel will contain information about the child, such as name, age and Christmas wish list. People can buy gifts for the Angel Tree program until Dec. 20. The gifts will be brought to a distribution center, where they will be ready for pick up before Christmas.

Families who want to register their children for gifts through the Angel Tree program still have time, as the Salvation Army extended the registration deadline until 3 p.m. Sunday. Registration must be done in person at 300 Fort Collier Road.

When registering for the program, parents or caregivers must bring a valid photo ID, passport or consulate card to identify themselves. They must also provide proof of residence, proof of income, and birth certificates of all children (up to age 12) being registered, as well as custody or guardianship papers if the applicant is not the biological parent. Expecting mothers will need to a due date document from a physician if their child will be born before Dec. 25.

For more information, visit the Salvation Army’s website at virginiasalvationarmy.org/winchestervacorps or call 540-662-4777.

Hurricane Florence tracks closer to North and South Carolina, The Salvation Army is preparing to provide physical, emotional, and spiritual care

Hurricane Florence tracks closer to North and South Carolina

As Hurricane Florence tracks closer to North and South Carolina, The Salvation Army is preparing to provide physical, emotional, and spiritual care to individuals and families impacted by the storm and first responders.

Hurricane Florence Disaster Relief Overview – North and South Carolina

  • At the logistical staging location in Charlotte, North Carolina, twenty-five mobile feeding units and teams from the Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi (ALM) Division, Florida Division, and Georgia Division are prepared to deploy as soon as storm conditions allow.
  • The mobile feeding units were joined in Charlotte by twenty-five Emotional and Spiritual Care specialists who will provide comfort and hope to survivors, first responders, and volunteers who are helping with the disaster.
  • In the short-term aftermath of the storm, Salvation Army officers, staff, and volunteers will focus primarily on the immediate needs, providing food, hydration, and emotional and spiritual care to impacted individuals, families, and first responders.
  • Through coordination with local emergency management and disaster service partners, Salvation Army units across the Carolina are providing meals to evacuation shelters and emergency operations centers ahead of Hurricane Florence.
  • The Salvation Army is coordinating with numerous county emergency operations centers and serving in state emergency operations centers in North Carolina and South Carolina.

Salvation Army mobile feeding units have deployed to assigned service areas.

  • A mobile feeding unit from Clearwater, FL has been deployed to Kinston, NC and is on standby to provide support in the area.
  • Charlotte, NC mobile feeding unit and team deployed to provide support in Horry County/Conway, SC alongside the Conway mobile feeding unit.
  • Hickory, NC deployed to provide support in Washington, NC alongside the Washington mobile feeding unit.
  • Greensboro, NC deployed to provide support Elizabeth City, NC alongside the Elizabeth City mobile feeding unit.
  • Greenville, SC, and Anderson, SC deployed to provide support in Charleston, SC alongside the Charleston mobile feeding unit.
  • The Salvation Army in Charleston is serving in partnership with the South Carolina Baptist Disaster Relief. This collaboration has fed many thousands over its multi-decade partnership. The Baptist Disaster Relief cooks the hot meals and The Salvation Army mobile feeding units provide the meals where needed.

Hurricane Florence Disaster Relief Overview – Georgia 

  • A Georgia Incident Management Team, led by Disaster Services Director Lanita Lloyd, has been identified and is prepared to respond. This leadership team will coordinate the response in Georgia.
  • Additional Georgia mobile feeding units are now being prepared for activation along with teams to be deployed in the areas of need in Georgia.

Hurricane Florence Disaster Relief Overview – National Capital and Virginia 

  • Three Incident Command Posts have been created and are ready to mobilize and serve.
  • Seven mobile feeding units from Kentucky-Tennessee Division are now stationed in Roanoke.
  • The Salvation Army is prepared to serve.

About The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services

  • We have served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900.
  • The Salvation Army is uniquely positioned to support those affected by Hurricane Florence. Our national network of trained disaster staff and volunteers will be deployed to several locations, prepared to provide food, hydration, clean-up kits, hygiene supplies, and emotional and spiritual care to first responders and survivors.
  • In times of disaster, we serve the whole person – physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
  • After immediate needs are met, The Salvation Army will remain and continue to partner with impacted communities to rebuild. Rebuilding communities takes time and partnership, and we will be there as long as it takes.
  • We are there before, during, and after the storm

You can support the ongoing relief work of The Salvation Army by making a financial donation at to www.helpsalvationarmy.org, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY, text STORM to 51555.

Florence

National Capital & Virginia Division Readies Response to Hurricane Florence

The Salvation Army National Capital and Virginia Division is closely monitoring weather conditions as Hurricane Florence continues its path in the Atlantic Ocean. Most recent reports indicate that the Hurricane may make landfall to near Category 5 strength Thursday night along the North Carolina coast. Mandatory evacuation orders were issued yesterday for coastal areas of Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

“Together with our emergency response team in the Carolinas and our national disaster teams, we are closely monitoring the storm. We are ready to respond locally in coastal areas and beyond, where heavy rainfall and potential flooding may impact wide areas in Virginia,” said Major Chris Flanagan for The Salvation Army National Capital and Virginia Division. “We pray that the impact will be light, but we are ready to provide relief to those affected by the storm and support our emergency management partners.”

The Salvation Army is uniquely positioned to support those affected by Hurricane Florence, with trained disaster staff and volunteers and specialized equipment deploying to several locations. As in past disasters, The Salvation Army coordinates with community agencies and emergency management officials to provide food, hydration, clean-up kits, hygiene supplies, and emotional and spiritual care to first responders and survivors. The Salvation Army National Capital and Virginia Division has 8-10 mobile feeding units ready for disaster response throughout Virginia. Most of those units are on the road today and tomorrow, establishing staging areas in locations believed to be most impacted in the arrival and aftermath of Hurricane Florence.

Trained Emergency Disaster volunteers and corporate partners played a key part in the massive response efforts of The Salvation Army after Hurricane Harvey.

The Salvation Army Pays Tribute to Harvey Volunteers and Corporate Partners

Trained Emergency Disaster volunteers and corporate partners played a key part in the massive response efforts of The Salvation Army after Hurricane Harvey. At the peak of service, hundreds of Salvation Army staff and volunteers tirelessly prepared and served meals each day from more than 100 mobile kitchens active in affected communities along the Texas coastline. For many survivors and response teams, the hot food and snacks provided by The Salvation Army’s committed volunteers were the only meals they could count on each day for several weeks.

“We left Austin on Saturday, August 25, right after the storm made landfall and spent the first few days serving meals in Victoria and Seadrift, before moving to La Grange,” said Bruce Peterson, a longtime EDS volunteer from Williamson County. “Victoria was devastated. There was no power at all. All six of our team were able to stay with a friend of mine just outside the city. Incredibly, her house was the only one in the entire neighborhood that had power. We were able to cook 150 breakfast tacos in the morning and delivered breakfast to the entire street,” said Bruce.

Bruce and the EDS volunteer teams from Williamson County were deployed for four weeks. “We typically are out there for 14 days at a time and then our second team will rotate in,” said Bruce. “I got home after about a month and then got a call asking me to help set up a Salvation Army warehouse in Houston. I ended up being gone another 17 days.”

Bruce’s dedication is typical of The Salvation Army trained disaster volunteers who are crucial to the success of our emergency relief efforts. The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) operates a robust and comprehensive volunteer training program. Trained and certified Salvation Army volunteers are the first to be deployed during times of disaster. Available courses include classes in incident management, mobile kitchen operations, food service, emotional and spiritual care and basic first aid and CPR training, among others.

Another volunteer team, all members of The Salvation Army Women’s Service League in Granbury, served in Victoria for a month. “I was part of the second team deployed. By the time I arrived in Victoria, the power was back on and people were beginning to start recovery efforts,” said Linda Dowell, EDS volunteer. “Our team was a praying team. We would pray in the truck that God would guide us, pray as we prepared the food, and were always ready to pray with those who came to us for help. We would deliver food, speak with the survivors for a few moments and then our Emotional and Spiritual Care team would meet with the families,” said Linda. “It was a beautiful thing.”

Beyond the delivery of meals, Emotional and Spiritual Care is a unique aspect of The Salvation Army EDS. Motivated by Christian faith, The Salvation Army deploys specially trained individuals, often ordained Salvation Army Officers (pastors), to offer emotional and spiritual care to rescue workers and disaster survivors.

“Our emergency disaster services volunteers are among some of the most hardworking and committed people I have ever served with,” said Alvin Migues, EDS Director for The Salvation Army in Texas. “This was never more evident than during Hurricane Harvey response. Our registered volunteers know that there is a good chance they’ll be deployed to support relief efforts and, true to form, our people were prepared, available and ready to answer the call when we needed them. The Salvation Army simply couldn’t have responded on the scale that we did, and help so many people, without our volunteers.”

Corporate partnerships also are important to the success of The Salvation Army disaster response efforts. With established long-term relationships with many community-minded businesses, The Salvation Army can count on these partners to step up and support our work in times of disaster.

“The Salvation Army is grateful for our corporate partners who come alongside us in times of need. Whether it be through financial support, gifts in-kind, or perhaps donation of infrastructure and volunteers, they make it possible for us to respond effectively and efficiently on a large scale,” said Migues. “Even today, ongoing partnerships with JCPenney, Ashley Furniture, Good360, Rooms To Go, Mattress Firm and many others are making it possible for The Salvation Army to deliver very practical help to individuals and families still working to put their homes and lives back together.”

To support the ongoing work of The Salvation Army in Hurricane Harvey recovery or for more information go to www.salvationarmytexas.org/harvey/  

Maj. Tim Grider was in the middle of leading a Salvation Army building campaign in St. Angelo, Texas, when he got the call from the higher ups asking him to take over the chapter in Fayetteville.

New leader of Salvation Army chapter has ambitious plans for Fayetteville

Maj. Tim Grider was in the middle of leading a Salvation Army building campaign in St. Angelo, Texas, when he got the call from the higher ups asking him to take over the chapter in Fayetteville.

He said he was surprised, but pleased to come back to a state that he considers home.

Grider — who has led Salvation Army chapters since 1990 in Florida, Alabama and now North Carolina — has taken over the helm of the Sandhills Chapter of the Salvation Army, which includes Cumberland, Hoke, Moore, Robeson and Scotland counties.

He moved here with his wife, Cheryl, who is also a Salvation Army officer. They have been working in Texas for the last 12 years.

“I’m a Carolinian. Born and raised in the Carolinas,” he said. “My wife and I are thrilled to be home. Texas was fun, interesting, great. We saw Western America. We would have never been able to see that, our kids as well. But we are thrilled to be back in the Carolinas.”

The Griders are replacing Matt and Christina Trantham, who have been transferred to Maryland.

The Griders are both children of Salvation Army officers. Tim Grider is a graduate of the University of Kentucky with degree in business management and accounting. Cheryl Grider was born in Winter Haven, Florida, and is a graduate of Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky, with a degree in music.

Together they were commissioned and ordained from The Salvation Army’s College for Officers Training in Atlanta. They have three children — Nate, Kevin and Chloe. Chloe is a freshman at Cape Fear High School; Nate and Kevin serve in the military.

Tim Grider has laid out a methodical plan to evaluate every aspect of the Salvation Army’s operations in the Sandhills.

The first step is to develop a strategic program and business plan for the local chapter, which he calls STRAT. He said it will evaluate every facet of the Salvation Army’s operations, including whether buildings should be rented or purchased, whether programs should be scaled back or expanded and whether new programs should be adopted.

“The strategic plan vets every detail and facet (of the organization), from staff to property to budgets,” he said. “There are many other things that we would normally do that we’re not doing here. There are some other things we are doing but we need to kind of update the methodology of it to today’s standards and technology. We have a few computers that need to be upgraded. We need buildings. We need property. We need land. That is our number one priority.”

The Salvation Army operates a thrift store at 433 Robeson St., a social services office at 310 Dick St. and a community center at 220 Russell St. He said there could be a need for another thrift store in Fayetteville, as well as a new one in Lumberton. He said the evaluation will look at the need to possibly add services, such as a senior housing program.

He said the community center is bursting at the seams and doesn’t have enough space.

“We do not have enough offices for the administration,” he said. “We’re taking over classrooms that we need for a community center, which by the way is our summer day camp and our after-school program and our seniors program on top of our church.”

Grider said the Salvation Army board will be active in the organizational review process, which also includes a “mission planning study.”

“We’ll do probably 250 to 300 interviews with people in the five-county area. We’ll have all the statistical and data analysis done,” he said. “It is the research component that says, ‘Yes, you do need this program. No, this program is covered by X,Y and Z agency. You don’t need to continue doing that.’”

Grider said it will take at least six months for the STRAT study to be completed.

“It’s going to take a while,” he said.

Salvation Army Launches in Samoa

Salvation Army officially launches in Samoa

The church and humanitarian organization Salvation Army is now in Samoa.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi and other guests attended its commissioning at the Samoa Tourism Authority Fale on Saturday.

Describing the arrival of the church and humanitarian organization in Samoa as another opportunity to spread the Gospel and do its humanitarian work, the Prime Minister said he welcomed their arrival.

“I am informed that Samoa is the 130th country in the world where the Salvation Army operates. It would not have been possible without the Church’s farsighted vision to establish in Samoa, and the hard work done by Rod and Jenny, your missionaries for Christ and all those involved from the outset of the planning and negotiations,” he said.

“Caring for people, transforming lives and reforming society constitute the mission of the Salvation Army, and you have been offering assistance in those key areas since 1865. Alcohol and drugs are challenges of this age and time. I am very happy to see that the Salvation Army will be offering assistance for a credible and professional alcohol and drug treatment program, in partnership with Government Ministries, civil society, and non-government organizations.”

Salvation Army’s rehabilitation services targeting alcohol and drug addiction were highlighted as the type of services that would compliment the efforts of the Government.

“Government welcomes this assistance to coincide with its programmes to bring the victims of alcohol and drugs out of addiction, and to equip them to become responsible citizens of this country. More importantly is to bring their lives to the Lord,” said the Prime Minister.

Commissioner Andrew Westrupp, representing the Salvation Army, said Samoa follows in the footsteps of New Zealand, Tonga and Fiji to welcome them.

“We have had a long extending invitation by the Samoan government to be here. I want to thank the Prime Minister of Samoa and all our fellow churches for your warm welcome and as the scriptures said ‘unusual kindness and liberal assistance’ we promise that we will return your good will with staying true to our mission, preparing people, transforming lives, with God’s help,” he said.

We need to be more intentional than ever in reaching out and serving people in need who do not agree with us theologically, even when doing this may not be.

We Need To Be More Intentional Than Ever Before

We need to be more intentional than ever in reaching out and serving people in need who do not agree with us theologically, even when doing this may not be an easy road. Jesus constantly ministered to people regardless of their background; two examples being the Samaritan woman and the lame man at the pool at Bethsaida. By “letting our light shine” just as he did, people who would traditionally never stop to hear the gospel message may do so.

As National Commander, Hudson leads a network of more than 3,500 officers, more than 65,000 employees and nearly 3 million volunteers serving in more than 7,500 centers of operation throughout the United States. He also acts as chairman of the national board of trustees and presides over triannual commissioners’ conferences which bring together the key executive leaders of The Salvation Army’s four territories in the United States.

Commissioner Hudson has been an officer (ordained minister) in The Salvation Army for 43 years. Prior to coming to National Headquarters in Nov. 2015, Commissioner David Hudson was the Chief Secretary for the Western Territory of The Salvation Army, U.S.A. The Hudson’s have a wide range of experience as Salvation Army officers, including several territorial and divisional appointments. Prior to those appointments, the Hudson’s were corps officers for 14 years, including appointments in Oregon, Idaho and Southern California.

Commissioner David Hudson has a Business Management degree and a Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership.

Partnering with organizations throughout the country helps leverage our resources to meet human need. One example is the Army’s partnership with the Urban League, Lutheran Hope Center and the University of Missouri in opening the Ferguson Community Empowerment Center on the site of the QuikTrip that burned during protests a few years back. We’re working together with these partner organizations to bring healing to a community, as well as much needed services.

Read The Full Article…https://outcomesmagazine.com/an-enduring-vision/