Fight for rights
ADVOCACY WORKS IN PAKISTAN
Photo by Tom Godec
A place of safety in ARGENTINA AUSTRALIA’s Chinese ministry Responding to Super Storm Sandy
VOL 51 NO 1
Astronauts invade SNAPSHOTS!
Visit ALL THE WORLD at: www.salvationarmy.org/alltheworld
UPFRONT From the Editor
USA When Super Storm Sandy hit New York
AUSTRALIA Ministry to the Chinese community
HOME AND AWAY Reflections from here and there
PAKISTAN Changing lives and attitudes
FACTFILE Vital statistics from Argentina
ARGENTINA Meeting local needs
GHANA In for the long-term
SNAPSHOTS News from around the world
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FROM THE EDITOR
Quite incredible Kevin Sims, Editor
in Ghana are benefiting from an Australian Salvationist who, WELCOME to 2013, which is likely to be a troublesome year for year after year, gives her time and energy. In the USA, people triskaidekaphobics – people with a particular fear of the number affected by extreme weather are being helped to get their lives 13. It strikes me as odd that there can be an ‘unlucky’ number, back together. In Argentina, a community has a place where its but most cultures have them. For much of the world, 13 is children can be safe. the ‘unlucky’ figure, while east Asian nations have problems By their practical ministry, representatives of The Salvation with 4 and Italians avoid 17. The exact reasoning behind the Army are doing more than providing goods and services. They ‘unluckiness’ is unclear but the fear is real – even down to may not always use the words – indeed, in places such as avoiding the number in floors of high-rise buildings or on car Pakistan they can be barred from voicing such sentiments – but registration plates. every bottle of water, every hug, every piece of advice comes Most Christians may laugh at the idea of lucky or unlucky with the same unspoken question: ‘Have you numbers but some don’t move far from such superstition in the ever stopped to think how God loves you?’ way they view God. Maybe it’s just me, but I find it irksome when someone says goodbye, arranges to meet again but then adds ‘God willing’ or even ‘DV’ (an abbreviation of the Latin for ‘It’s easy to blame God ‘God willing’ – Deo volente). when things go wrong – For many it’s a habit – and don’t get me wrong, I’m all for putting things into God’s but not so easy to stay hands and trying to follow his will. What I aware of his loving care don’t like, however, is that behind ‘see you soon – God willing’ can be an attitude that in good times and bad’ if everything goes OK, I’ll see you again. If I don’t, then it’s down to God – basically, it’s God’s fault! THIS issue of All the World is the last It’s easy to blame God when things go to be published under the guidance of wrong – but not so easy to stay aware of his Editor-in-Chief Lieut-Colonel Laurie loving care in good times and bad. Robertson. As he and his wife, Lieut-Colonel One of my heroes of the faith, former Simone Robertson, head home to take up General John Gowans – who was promoted appointments in Australia I want to thank to Glory in December 2012 – penned a Laurie for his caring nature and also for his deceptively simple song about appreciating energy, his enthusiasm and for the way he has God’s love. ‘Have you ever stopped to think pushed me to make All the World the best I can how God loves you?’ he wrote. ‘It sounds quite make it. God bless you Laurie and Simone. incredible, and yet it’s true. Nothing on this earth or in the heavens above is as sure and FINALLY, you will have noticed that the price of All certain as God’s love.’ the World has gone up. Not allowing for postage, a copy All the World features many stories of now costs £0.80, a 40 pence rise. We are sorry to have to people for whom life is tough, but who find increase the price but it’s worth noting a couple of points: a their situation improved because of the whole year’s-worth of All the World costs less than a cheap work of The Salvation Army or individual takeaway meal (and will leave you less prone to indigestion!); Salvationists. This issue contains also, this is the first time the cover price has gone up since the some prime examples. In Pakistan, early 1980s. Allowing for UK inflation, the price would have women in rural areas are being risen to £1.12 so, effectively, you save 32 pence on every issue. empowered through learning about What a bargain! their rights. Disabled children
EDITOR Kevin Sims
FOUNDER William Booth
DESIGN AND ARTWORK Berni Georges
GENERAL Linda Bond
EDITORIAL OFFICE The Salvation Army International Headquarters 101 Queen Victoria Street London EC4V 4EH, United Kingdom
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Lieut-Colonel Laurie Robertson
© The General of The Salvation Army 2013
Tel:  (0)20 7332 0101; fax:  (0)20 7332 8079
Published by Linda Bond, General of The Salvation Army
Printed in the UK by Lamport Gilbert Printers Ltd
J A N UA RY – M A RC H 2013 | ALL THE WORLD |
Filling the gaps THE SALVATION ARMY’S RESPONSE TO SUPER STORM SANDY
by John Berglund
N late October 2012, Hurricane Sandy made landfall as a category one storm near Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA. It was the largest Atlantic hurricane on record, spanning 1,100 miles. The effects of its 85 miles per hour winds, storm surge and widespread coastal flooding severely impacted New York City, its suburbs and Long Island, resulting in a second disaster – a prolonged urban blackout. With its divisional headquarters in Manhattan completely shut down, The Salvation Army ran its emergency response operations from the New York City Emergency Operating Center of the Office of Emergency Management, adjacent to the Brooklyn Bridge and with a perspective that provided a mesmerising view of an apocalyptic New York City skyline. Within hours of Sandy – now being referred to as a ‘super storm’ – passing over New York City, a coalition of the Mayor’s office, the National Guard, New York Police Department, New York Cares and The Salvation Army delivered readyto-eat meals and bottled water to 17 locations throughout the city, all aligned with public housing complexes identified by the New York City Housing Authority. Over a 12-day period, two million readyto-eat meals and 700,000 bottles of water were distributed. Hurricane Sandy arrived with distinct characteristics – considerable storm damage, flooded subways, closed bridges and tunnels, no electricity, no water, limited gasoline, thousands of people impacted, millions of people in need of shelter. New York City – defined by emergency managers as a concentrated population with a condensed infrastructure – is a 4 | ALL THE WORLD |
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very complex environment on a good day. Super Storm Sandy tested both the patience and the resilience of many a New Yorker. With all of those variables in play, The Salvation Army watched and assessed the situation before, as usual, stepping up to fill in the appropriate service gaps – of which there were several! During a disaster, the most vulnerable members of any community are those defined as having ‘special needs’. Such people vary from anyone requiring minor medical assistance to medically needy individuals with a caregiver, wheelchair patients, persons with medical equipment attachments, or frail, elderly seniors. For 15 days, The Salvation Army provided more than 40,000 low sodium, vegetarian and Kosher meals for the evacuees housed in the eight special needs shelters scattered throughout New York City.
Above: a Salvation Army team member helps to distribute supplies
Another gap was access to trucking. There was a need for trucks on the ground, with certified drivers who knew not only the normal challenges of the formidable inner city roadways, but also how to navigate around closed tunnels and bridges. The Greater New York fleet of Salvation Army thrift store trucks and drivers took on the task, and a continuous convoy of Salvation Army trucks was deployed, delivering both shelter meals and emergency supplies to various government, community and Salvation Army ‘points of distribution’. In addition, the same fleet of trucks and drivers addressed the city’s third ‘disaster’ – unsolicited in-kind donations! The Salvation Army took on the task of unclogging the inner city streets from
‘The recovery phase of the response to Hurricane Sandy will take months, if not years’
Top left: a Salvation Army cadet prays with people who were forced from their homes by Super Storm Sandy; top right: US military members help with The Salvation Army’s efforts to clear the streets of unwanted donations of clothing; left: Barbara Bush (right) – daughter of former President George W. Bush – volunteered her help, along with her twin sister and a group of friends; above: TV celebrity Kelly Osbourne and friends take a ‘mobile unit’ (a dumped shopping cart!) laden with food and cleaning supplies for residents affected by Sandy
a sea of plastic bags filled with used clothing, most of which was neither sanitary nor appropriate for those in need. In turn, clothing vouchers for Salvation Army thrift stores were distributed at the New York City Restoration Centers and Long Island Disaster Recovery Centers, allowing those impacted by the storm to secure clean and safe clothing as soon as possible. An historic armoury located in The Bronx, utilised year-round as a Salvation Army shelter for chronically homeless women, became the staging area for both purchased and donated emergency supplies. Pallet upon pallet of products, from clean-up kits to diapers (nappies), were both donated and purchased for use by agencies and government partners involved in the rapid response. The coordination of emergency supplies, facilitated by The Salvation Army and delivered by Salvation Army trucks, was a testament to the multisector inter-agency communication and collaboration that had been developed over the years.
Throughout the Greater New York Division, The Salvation Army’s traditional services – emergency feeding, roaming canteens, responder support, shelter support and disaster supply distribution – all served with the emotional and spiritual care for which The Salvation Army is known. Salvation Army teams worked side by side with a myriad of disaster relief partners, including traditional allies such as the American Red Cross, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, and UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) to address the needs of all New York communities, leaning heavily for assistance on additional key players such as the Tzu Chi Foundation and the United Sikhs. For the most part, the emergency response phase for Hurricane Sandy took around three weeks to complete, although the amazing grass-roots community reaction – always a factor in large incidents – will continue for months, with local congregations assisting their neighbours, groups of weekend
volunteers helping to clean up, and crews from around the country coming in to be part of the recovery effort. The recovery phase of the response to Hurricane Sandy will take months, if not years. And because The Salvation Army is already present in all of these impacted communities, it has no ‘exit plan’. The community recovery process has already begun, evaluating the unmet needs of the survivors and seeking to identify ways to fill those needs. Mandated by mission, The Salvation Army will remain at the table, filling the gaps in provision whenever possible and all the while forming new partnerships in preparation for the next calamity. Months from now, when Hurricane Sandy is a distant memory, the simple reply to survivors will be the same as it is after so many disasters: ‘Still in need? Go to The Salvation Army.’
John Berglund is Director of Emergency Services in the Greater New York Division of The Salvation Army’s USA Eastern Territory J A N UA RY – M A RC H 2013 | ALL THE WORLD |
A home away from home CHINESE MINISTRY REACHES OUT TO THE COMMUNITY
by Ryan O’Connell
S of 30 June 2011, some 380,000 people born in the People’s Republic of China resided in Australia – twice as many as in 2003. Around 25,000 more migrate each year to settle permanently or temporarily for work, study or just to visit. Regardless of a person’s reason for coming ‘down under’, as soon as they set foot within Australia’s borders, their souls become the responsibility of The Salvation Army in Australia! Addressing this responsibility has given rise to a number of dedicated Chinese corps (churches) in recent decades, catering specifically to the languages and culture-specific mores of Chinese diaspora. You can find them in Perth, Waverley, Springvale, Mitcham and Surrey Hills (Victoria), which is home to one of the largest and longest-established Chinese corps. Nearly 30 years old, Surrey Hills (previously Box Hill) Corps is currently
enjoying a period of ‘tremendous growth,’ according to corps officer Captain Joseph Liu. So what is driving that growth? ‘Vision,’ he says. ‘If I had to pick one thing, I’d say a clear vision.’ That vision is to embrace Chinese people as thoroughly as possible by becoming a ‘multicultural, multigenerational and multilingual church’. It’s a difficult challenge, he admits, but one that is necessary for any corps to engage properly with a Chinese community. To that end, Surrey Hills (a Cantoneselanguage corps) recently doubled its outreach by launching Mandarin worship services and cell groups. ‘We understand that the economic boom in China means that many new
migrants are coming from China daily,’ Captain Liu says. ‘We have discerned that it is God’s will that we have more and more newcomers to our church that speak Mandarin, and we needed to prepare for that.’ Through a translator, and the use of a translation machine and earpieces, Surrey Hills Chinese Corps worships in Cantonese, Mandarin and English every Sunday. Surrey Hills wrestles with another problem found in all foreign-specific corps – although people are from the same place, they aren’t necessarily a culturally homogenous group. In addition to the typical cultural barriers of age, gender and locale, the timing of a person’s migration to Australia is a factor – how long a person has been staying in Australia can divide him or her from his otherwise similar neighbour. ‘We have three groups,’ says the captain. ‘Australian born’, ‘Australian bred’ (those born elsewhere that have partially grown up in the country) and ‘Australian based’ (those who have arrived recently and may be there temporarily). New migrants fall into the latter category. ‘They see Australia as their home base, but culturally they’re totally different from the other groups of Chinese,’ he explains. ‘They still have a very strong Chinese culture. These three groups are
Above: Captain Joseph Liu (then a lieutenant) welcomes a new member of the corps family; left: open-air ministry
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very different, and we are struggling with how to bridge the barriers.’ Creating opportunities for these groups to spend time together and understand each other is vital to corps health. Working hard to be accessible to all kinds of Chinese has made Surrey Hills a helpful starting point for new settlers – and a powerful witness. ‘When we, as Salvationists, demonstrate the love of God to them through providing practical assistance and helping them settle in, they see the gospel,’ says Captain Liu. ‘They realise that these people, who have no relationship with them at all, are willing to help. They feel the love of God when they realise we do this because of our Christianity. They then become interested in learning more about religion, and respond to the gospel in a very positive way.’ Perth Chinese Corps, which has been around for 13 years under the leadership of Major Mary Cheng, has also seen a similar effect. Ministry assistant Jackson Lee says: ‘We provide English classes, and some of our students have been introduced to the Sunday service
Above, top right and bottom: open-air ministry makes sure that local community members know The Salvation Army is there for them
through these.’ Perth Chinese also offers counselling during office hours, where members of the Chinese community ‘occasionally pop in to talk about problems in their lives’, says Jackson, ‘or to ask advice when they don’t know anybody else in Perth to turn to’. By providing this type of help, Chinese corps build a good reputation in the Chinese community. For example, in just a year, word-of-mouth about Surrey Hills’s new Mandarin services has brought more than 30 Mandarinspeaking people into regular contact with the corps. For a long time, much of Surrey Hills’s resources were invested in overseas student ministry, but a shift is under way. ‘Developing children’s ministries has become a top priority. If we don’t foster it now, the corps could die out in 10 years,’ says Captain Liu. Two years after beginning a children’s ministry, the corps has employed a children’s ministry officer, Winnie Phoon, who has helped ‘That vision is to embrace connections with 20 Chinese people as thoroughly develop children. Perth Chinese Corps is also looking to its youth as possible by becoming a the future: ‘We hope that “multicultural, multigenerational for we will enrol more soldiers,’ says Jackson Lee. ‘We’d like to and multilingual church” ’
expand our ministerial team with young leaders in order to better preach Christ.’ Nurturing leaders from within the congregation helps Chinese corps become better attuned to the needs of new Chinese arrivals in Australia – and more ready to offer the gospel as a welcome. The model exhibited by the Australia Southern Territory’s Chinese corps is a great display of the commandment of Leviticus 19:34: ‘The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself’ (New International Version) – and a vital part of the Salvation Army’s commitment as Christians to ‘make disciples of all nations’. This article first appeared in On Fire! – published by The Salvation Army’s Australia Southern Territory
J A N UA RY – M A RC H 2013 | ALL THE WORLD |
HO U MN E TARNYDOARWTAHYE M E C
A SERIES LOOKING AT THE THOUGHTS AND EXPERIENCES OF PEOPLE WORKING FOR THE SALVATION ARMY IN THEIR COUNTRY OF BIRTH AND OTHERS GIVING SERVICE ABROAD
British Salvation Army officer LIEUT-COLONEL JAYNE ROBERTS is Editor of The Salvation Army Year Book at International Headquarters (IHQ) in London, UK
What would be your typical day? It starts at 5.30am when my husband brings me a cup of tea! I read and listen to music on the journey to IHQ before spending most of the day at my desk working on material sent from 65 headquarters for the Year Book. How did you meet The Salvation Army? My family were Salvationists and being part of Southend Citadel Corps (church) was a way of life.
Do you have a ‘claim to fame’? In 1986 as a new lieutenant I was asked to speak at the welcome meeting in London for General Eva Burrows. Even now people remember that I presented her with a plastic rain hat to protect her bonnet! Do you have a ‘hero of the faith’? Major Ian Cooper, my corps officer in Sheffield when I was a student. He suggested that I read John Baillie’s A Diary of Private Prayer – a little book that had a huge impact on my spiritual journey. What is your favourite Bible verse? Joshua 3:5: ‘Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you’ (New International Version). What is your favourite Salvation Army song? ‘My Life must be Christ’s Broken Bread’. How do you think that working at IHQ differs from working elsewhere? The whole Army world comes to my desk – in reports and photographs! What do you like most about the UK? The amazing variety of architecture, landscape – and climate! What aspects of another country’s culture do you wish were present in the UK? An intergenerational way of life – a culture that values children and respects the wisdom of age.
If you could choose to work for The Salvation Army anywhere else, where would you choose and why? A retreat centre in a beautiful, peaceful location where people could spend time with God before returning to the demands of daily life. What skills do you use most in your work? Reading, editing and organising information to provide useful resources. What skills do you have that you would like the opportunity to use more? Teaching, writing, speaking. How would you like to be remembered? As a creative person who loved, laughed, listened and never stopped learning. What’s so special about The Salvation Army? It’s a worldwide family which provides amazing opportunities to follow Jesus, serve and make a difference.
Left: Jayne with her husband, Lieut-Colonel Jonathan Roberts, at the Olympic Park in London
If you were elected General, what would be the first thing you would do? I would ask every Salvationist to encourage, support and pray for their corps officers. THE SALVATION ARMY YEAR BOOK 2013 – packed with fascinating facts and insights into the worldwide Salvation Army – is out now. It can be purchased from Salvation Army supplies departments or online at www.amazon.co.uk
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What is your role in The Salvation Army? I get to be a part of the great salvation war by supporting the ministry to and for women globally.
COMMISSIONER SUE SWANSON Commissioner Sue Swanson is The Salvation Army’s World President of Women’s Ministries. She is based at International Headquarters in London, United Kingdom, with her husband, Commissioner Barry C. Swanson (Chief of the Staff). She is originally from the USA. On 1 February 2013 the Swansons take up new appointments as leaders of the USA Eastern Territory.
What would be your typical day? There is no typical day ... which is what I love. How did you meet The Salvation Army? It was from birth!
Do you have a ‘hero of the faith’? I have many. Today it would be [American Salvationist] Linda Himes. She loves the Bible and always helps me to love God’s Word more passionately. What is your favourite Bible verse? Philippians 3:10: ‘I want to know Christ.’ What is your favourite Salvation Army song? ‘My Jesus, I Love Thee’, with its exclamation: ‘If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’TIS NOW’! How does working in the UK differ from your experience elsewhere? Here in London we rub shoulders with the world! What do you miss most about your home country? Driving on the right-hand (and right!) side of the road. What do you like most about the UK? The people, footpaths, really hot tea, scones and my corps at Penge [in south London].
Right: Commissioner Sue addresses young people in The Philippines
If you could choose to work for The Salvation Army anywhere else, where would you choose? I would open a corps on the north side of Chicago, USA. What skill do you use most in your work? Encouragement. What skill do you have that you would like the opportunity to use more? Encouragement! How would you like to be remembered? As a faithful Salvationist. What’s so special about The Salvation Army? It’s a great ‘place’ for mission, service and life.
Do you have a ‘claim to fame’? Yes. I am the sister of Major Andy Miller and Envoy Bill Miller.
If you were elected General, what would be the first thing you would change? My epaulettes!
Commissioner Sue and her husband, Commissioner Barry C. Swanson (Chief of the Staff) meeting Salvationists in Ukraine and Kenya (right)
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Shobna, who struggled to escape a forced marriage
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A tale of three women
IN SEPTEMBER 2012 SAMANTHA GODEC, FROM SALVATION ARMY INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT UK (SAID UK), TRAVELLED WITH HER PHOTOGRAPHER HUSBAND, TOM GODEC, TO SEE THE WORK OF THE SALVATION ARMY IN PAKISTAN, WITH A SPECIFIC FOCUS ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF WOMEN’S RIGHTS PROGRAMMES. THEY SHARED WHAT THEY WITNESSED WITH ALL THE WORLD.
OT so long ago, the world did not know or care about Rimsha Masih. A poor, Christian girl living in the slums of Islamabad, she was anonymous, Photos by Tom Godec until the day she was found in possession of burnt pages of the Qur’an, an offence under Pakistani law. Her world would never be the same again. Rimsha’s done so at the cost of their own lives. itself in squalor, disenfranchisement case attracted global outcry, placing In 2011, the Minister for Minorities, and exploitation. Pakistan at the centre of media attention, Shahbaz Bhatti, was assassinated for Against a backdrop of rats and refuse, diplomatic activity and widespread proposing reform. A year before that, a Shobna stood in sharp contrast, a disapproval. Overnight, the eyes of the judge who acquitted a defendant accused beautiful, dainty figure, draped in a white international community were drawn of blasphemy was shot dead in the street. headscarf that shaped her soft features. At to the blasphemy laws that remain on Taking a stand against these unjust 22 years old, she has an MBA in Finance Pakistan’s statute books. laws is a dangerous thing to do, yet Judge from the Open University (she is bright as When Rimsha, aged 14, was caught Khan gave a glimmer of hope that day. well as beautiful!). with the damaged pages of the Qu’ran On the same day that Rimsha’s case In March, a professor teaching at her upon her person, an angry mob was being heard in the Session Court, I university made the decision to take formed, accusing her of blasphemy arrived in the capital on a visit on behalf Shobna as his wife. A powerful man, and demanding she be arrested. Under of The Salvation Army’s International superior in his status, he wielded his pressure from the mob, the police arrested Development Department in the UK. influence with little trouble. Although Rimsha and charged her under section Driving through a middle-class she initially refused, he made threats that 295B of Pakistani blasphemy laws, a residential district, we arrived at the frightened her into submission. Shobna provision which makes the desecration of bottom of a road that opened out onto was taken to court for the necessary the Qur’an a criminal offence punishable the slums of Hansa and France Colonies, marriage arrangements to be made. by life imprisonment. At 14, this young where 95 per cent of residents are In four months’ time, following her girl found herself imprisoned and at the Christian, despite representing only graduation, she was to become his wife. epicentre of international outrage. 2.7 per cent of the national population. Shobna did not fully understand what In Pakistan, persons accused of Here, being poor, minority-faith and a happened that day; she knew she had blasphemy have been murdered in police woman is a particularly dangerous status, been bequeathed without true consent, custody or even following acquittal and the three identities intersecting to create but felt powerless to protest and too release. Even in prison, Rimsha’s life was a web of oppression. It was here that I frightened to tell her family. On 12 in danger. discovered how discrimination manifests July, the professor arrived at her home While pressure from the mob led to with an entourage of police to enforce her arrest, pressure from the international the ‘marriage’. Shobna locked herself community was also shaping events. in the bathroom. Her mother, Esther, After being held in Rawalpindi Prison, and grandmother were beaten as they her preliminary hearing took place pleaded on behalf of the young woman, on 7 September at the Session Court but they refused to hand her over. in Islamabad. Astonishingly, Judge In fear for her daughter’s future, Muhammad Azam Khan granted bail Esther turned to The Salvation Army, for Rimsha, despite the offence being which intervened to provide protection ‘non-bailable’. In doing so, Judge Khan and guidance. The divisional leaders, knew the risk he was taking. No one had CONTINUED ON PAGE 14 ever been granted bail for an offence under the blasphemy laws before. ‘Here, being poor, minority-‐faith and a Prominent figures who had taken a stand against woman is a particularly dangerous status’ these laws in the past had J A N UA RY – M A RC H 2013 | ALL THE WORLD |
PCAOKUI SNTTARNY O R T H E M E
Photos by Tom Godec
In Faisalabad The Salvation Army is working to encourage sustainable livelihoods through projects such as livestock initiatives.
The Salvation Army compound in Iqbal Town, Islamabad.
Two men look on as Samantha Godec and her colleagues visit The Salvation Army in Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan. | ALL | JAN UARY–M THE WORLD H 2013 | ALL | JANUARY–M 12 12 THE WORLD ARCARC H 2013
A girl in Faisalabad, the city of textiles, where most people earn their living working in the vast garment industry.
COUNTRY O P ARK TI SHTEAMNE
A young girl peeps into a tailor’s workshop. Only 60 per cent of Pakistani girls are enrolled in primary school.
‘The women we work with are constantly expressing their new confidence in speaking about their situations and exploring ways to address them’ Imran, a member of the Elite Police Force – one of the eight officers assigned to protect Samantha Godec and her colleagues by the provincial authorities of Sihawal. The Elite Police Force’s slogan is ‘No Fear’.
Welcome celebrations at a Salvation Army home league (women’s group) meeting in Islamabad. | ALL | 13 J A NJUA M A–RC 2013 THE WORLD | ALL | A NRY UA–RY M AHRC H 2013 THE WORLD
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Captains Imran and Nighat, played a vital role in securing Shobna’s freedom. They rehoused the family, solicited the assistance of the Minister for Minorities, instructed a lawyer and initiated court proceedings to file for a nullity of the marriage. Shobna didn’t attend court for fear she would be kidnapped and taken away. Instead, Captain Nighat went as her representative. Thankfully, the court found in her favour and the marriage was nullified. In theory, Shobna is free, but the repercussions of her experience are enslaving. She no longer leaves the house for fear of being captured. In her community, she is shamed and unmarriageable, such is the power of so-called ‘dishonour’. When I sat with her in her home, and asked what her dreams are for the future, she responded that she no longer has any. She says she is too sad to think of such things, and that she struggles to see a future for herself. Her two sisters are also tarnished due to the family’s imposed shame. In this community, not being able to marry is seemingly synonymous with a life sentence. The selfish actions of her professor have brought great hardship to this family. Since my visit, the professor has appealed to the court, falsely alleging that Shobna spent three months with him as his wife. The family still bears the scars of the physical abuse – the grandmother showed me her scarred arm and described her loss of hearing after being hit around the head – but the emotional and social wounds will be immensely more difficult to heal. Two days later, I was back in Lahore having tea with a young lawyer called Mary, to discuss the legal system and the challenges faced by minority groups. Mary told me of her reluctance to enter the legal profession – as with many young girls, she had little choice in the matter, and was forced to follow in her father’s footsteps. A self-confessed introvert, Mary would have preferred engineering 14 | ALL THE WORLD |
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or science. Despite her initial reluctance, I believe I was sat before a woman who will be a force for change. As we began to talk, Mary disclosed that she acted as an advocate on Rimsha Masih’s legal panel. As a friend of the late Shahbaz Bhatti, reform of the blasphemy laws is a matter that lies close to Mary’s heart. Mary explained that the blasphemy laws were enacted in 1985 by General Zia ul-Haq, Pakistan’s former military dictator, as part of a process of Islamisation. Section 295B, under which Rimsha was charged, makes the desecration of the Qur’an an offence punishable by life imprisonment. Section 295C makes it an offence against the state to willingly desecrate the Holy Prophet, punishable by death. Although, according to the law, only the state can bring a case against an accused, in practice the police bow to public pressure and register cases filed by individuals. This means that cries of ‘blasphemy’ can be uttered by anyone, with potentially fatal consequences for the accused, offering an avenue for exploiting minority faiths. Mary explained that extremist pressure
Above: Mary, a lawyer who is campaigning for women’s rights
upon the executive and the judiciary prevents any meaningful discussion of legal reform even though many Pakistani people oppose these oft-abused laws. Following the granting of bail on 7 September, explained Mary, Rimsha Masih had to be assigned security guards and taken to a secret location by helicopter to await her trial. Mary and the other advocates will be arguing for a trial in absentia due to the heightened level of danger Rimsha faces in returning to Islamabad. Since Rimsha’s arrest a local imam, Khalid Jadoon, has been arrested and charged with planting falsified evidence in order to frame her. He now faces trial under the same charge. This severely weakens the case against Rimsha, and Mary has since filed a writ under the constitution to quash the proceedings against Rimsha. The world awaits the outcome. So how can The Salvation Army respond in the face of such difficulties? Having experienced the discrimination faced by young women, Mary has decided
‘The grandmother showed me her scarred arm and described her loss of hearing after being hit around the head’
Left: a women’s group meeting; below: Colonels Robert and Marguerite Ward, leaders of The Salvation Army’s Pakistan Territory
to work with The Salvation Army on its new Women’s Advocacy Programme, which aims to educate around 3,000 women and girls across Pakistan about their legal rights, means of enforcement and access to justice. Mary has joined the Women’s Network, which will develop a teaching curriculum and act as a platform for advocacy for grassroots women’s groups. Her experience of working as an advocate for minority-faith women will be a huge asset to the programme. Speaking of her passion for women’s rights and the importance of this new programme, Mary is explicit about the status of women in society: ‘If you’re a woman [in Pakistan],’ she told me, ‘that is your first disqualification to being human.’ Colonel Marguerite Ward has been The Salvation Army’s Territorial President of Women’s Ministries in Pakistan for four years. She will be overseeing the Women’s Advocacy Programme and is convinced that The Salvation Army must be proactive in this area.
‘Our previous work in communities has developed the level of trust that will allow us to speak with women about this important matter,’ she explains. ‘The daily plight of women in Pakistan is painful to hear, see and read. However, the women we work with are constantly expressing their new confidence in speaking about their situations and exploring ways to address them. This gives us hope that other women can join us in reaching this same place that allows them to gain strength. ‘Our women leaders have gained such confidence and fulfilment in living out their roles in the community. They are ready to speak about the rights of women, to set an example and support women as they explore ways to change the painful situations of a woman in Pakistan.’ A proliferation of heartbreaking encounters with women showed me that Rimsha is representative of a whole nation of minority-faith women facing abuse and exploitation in all spheres of life. In October 2012, the world was horrified when 14-year-old Pakistani Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head on her school bus in KPK, in an attack perpetrated by the Taliban as a reprisal for her advocacy regarding the rights of girls to receive education. Malala has since been flown to the UK for surgery and is recovering. How many more girls must be falsely accused, arrested, forcibly married and shot at before change comes? Scripture
tells us that when one part of the Church suffers, the whole suffers. These girls are the suffering Church, which means we suffer with them. Scripture also tells us that suffering produces character, perseverance and hope. Among the hurt, I also saw hope – the hope that The Salvation Army is bringing to marginalised and disenfranchised communities; hope for change, hope for dignity, hope for their futures. Romans 8:31,37 says: ‘If God is for us, who can be against us? ... For we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.’ Rimsha, Shobna and Mary are three women who have faced prejudice and injustice. May they know what it is to conquer in love.
Samantha Godec is Programme Advisor on Anti-Trafficking and Gender-Based Violence for Salvation Army International Development UK. The Salvation Army International Development UK (SAID UK) is working to tackle issues of poverty and injustice all around the world. To find out more about the work visit www.salvationarmy.org.uk/ID, follow @SAIDUK on Twitter or like SAID UK on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ SAIDUK). Samantha’s husband, Tom Godec, accompanied her to Pakistan to document the visit through photography. An exhibition of his work from this trip will be displayed for a month at The Salvation Army’s International Headquarters from mid-February 2013. J A N UA RY – M A RC H 2013 | ALL THE WORLD |
S O U T H PAC I F I C O C E A
Corrientes BRAZIL Cordoba
A R G E N TI NA
C O C
Argentina (officially called the Argentine Republic) means ‘land of silver’. Early European conquerors thought there were large quantities of silver hidden in the banks of the Río de la Plata [literally ‘River of Silver’ but known in English as River Plate]. At more than a million square miles, Argentina is second largest country in South America (behind Brazil) and the eighth largest in the world. Out of a population of more than 38.5 million people, more than a third (13.3 million) live in the capital, Buenos Aires.
The Argentine flag consists of three horizontal stripes of equal size – the top and bottom stripes are sky blue and the central stripe is white. In the centre of the white stripe is an image of the sun (specifically the ‘Sun of May’) with 32 alternating straight and wavy rays. Opinions vary as to the meaning of the flag, though it is most commonly thought that the blue represents the Río de la Plata (River Plate) and the white symbolises the silver that was expected to be found along the river. A version of the flag without the sun dates back to 1816, the year of the country’s independence from Spain. The sun was added two years later.
THE SALVATION ARMY IN ARGENTINA Ushuaia
ARGENTINA Buenos Aires is the
(understandably) shortened version of the name given to the city in the 16th century: Ciudad de la Santísima Trinidad y Puerto de Santa María del Buen Aire [‘City of the Most Holy Trinity and Port of Saint Mary of the Fair Winds’].
The plan for early Salvation Army work in Argentina was that it would be conducted – in English – among the large British ex-pat population that was working on a cross-country railway. It soon became apparent that the 15,000 English-speakers were not, as originally believed, in the capital city but were actually spread across an area 10 times the size of Great Britain. According to the official history, Colonel Thurman was ‘disillusioned’ by this discovery and lasted only a few weeks before asking for a change of appointment. The Army was recognised as a ‘juridical person’ in Argentina by government decree on 26 February 1914.
There is now little evidence of the original native population, most of which died from European diseases.
The work spread from Argentina to other south American nations, including Uruguay (1890) and Paraguay (1910). Together, the three countries form the South America East Territory, with its headquarters in the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires.
According to the World
The South America East Territory consists of three divisions and four districts, of which all but one of each is in Argentina.
Bank, the average life expectancy in Argentina is 76 – significantly higher than the average for the whole of South America and the Caribbean.
International Monetary Fund figures rank Argentina as the 21st richest country in the world.
An estimated 90 per cent
of the population is Roman Catholic, with the combined Protestant churches making up only two per cent.
According to The Salvation Army Year Book 2013, Salvation Army work in Argentina began in 1890, pioneered by ‘four officers’ who ‘knew no Spanish’! The official History of The Salvation Army (volume four), records that the ‘four officers’ – Colonel and Mrs Henry Thurman, Captain William Bonnett and Captain Frederick Calvert – were dedicated for service in Argentina by General William Booth at a meeting in London on 25 November 1889. They left for Argentina five days later, accompanied by the now-ignored Sister Alice Turner, who later became an officer.
The gospel is preached mainly in Spanish, but also in Korean and the indigenous language Guaraní.
From top: Iguazu Falls; tango dancers in Buenos Aires; Eva Perón, who served as First Lady of Argentina from 1946 to 1952
According to The Salvation Army Year Book 2013, there are 43 corps, 14 outposts and 28 institutions in the South America East Territory. There are 157 officers in the territory (including 31 retired officers), 181 employees, 1,843 senior soldiers, 860 adherent members and 429 junior soldiers. When the International Staff Songsters of The Salvation Army (based at UK Territorial Headquarters in London) visited South America in July 2012, its programme in the historic cathedral in Buenos Aires included a special arrangement of ‘Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina’, from the musical Evita. ww
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God is in control by Captain Inés Gadea Introduction by Jo Clark of The Salvation Army’s International Projects and Development Services
HE Salvation Army’s South America East Territory ran Evangelina Children’s Home in Argentina for a number of decades. However, by October 2009 the huge building of housed only a handful of children. Some had one or both parents and a number of brothers and sisters but they were sent to the home as a means of providing economic support to their families. The home had little, if any, contact with the people who lived in the community around it and it had very little mission impact. After a lot of deliberation the territory’s leaders decided to reintegrate the remaining children back with their families and close the home, but they wanted to continue to have a base in that area and build relationships with the surrounding community of Quilmes. Following the closure of the home the staff – supported by a team from divisional and territorial headquarters – spent a year using Community Development Assessment Tools such as mapping, brainstorming, community
walking and problem tree analysis to get to know the people of Quilmes better, to find out their real challenges and to discover how The Salvation Army might be able to work together with them to face these concerns. Rather than The Salvation Army deciding on alternative ways in which they could make use of the Evangelina Home, they invested time in learning from the community, allowing the way forward to emerge over time through long-term community conversations. The people of Quilmes said they wanted The Salvation Army to help them to deal with the problem of the use of a street drug called ‘Paco’. They came up with various suggestions of ways in which this could be done. Now they have a programme which is coordinated by Salvation Army staff and uses Salvation Army land (known as the Espacio Verde [Green Space]) and facilities at Evangelina but with activities largely organised and led by parents, other adults and young people from within the Quilmes community. The Salvation Army is also helping
‘They wanted to continue to have a base in that area and build relationships with the surrounding community of Quilmes’
Above: taking part in a craft workshop at Evangelina
by providing the programme with a social worker and a physical education worker who endeavour to ensure that the activities undertaken are centred around the issue of drug prevention, with anti-drug messages and with alternative healthy lifestyle activity choices integrated through all activities. Over time, as relationships have been built with the local children, other issues have emerged. As a result the programme is now starting to adapt to tackle other issues of concern – such as sexual abuse – through the programme of activities. Throughout the past few years the people of Quilmes have been given the space to voice their own reality. They have contributed with their knowledge, their personal experiences and their vision for the future. Captain Inés Gadea, Project Director, is now a key contact person for the community; she came into the appointment with nothing firmly in place but today she has open communication with community members and with other social organisations who are working in the area. Inés’s relationship with the community brings about a useful source of J A N UA RY – M A RC H 2013 | ALL THE WORLD |
information for the programme’s design. Also, being encouraged to adopt an open and inclusive way of working has changed her thinking and approach to her ministry. She explained to All the World how the challenges and opportunities of this way of working have impacted her life and her ministry. What was your reaction when you learned you were appointed to Espacio Verde? It was a fast and unexpected change of appointment. At an interview, I learned that I needed to travel – and in just over a month! I was not prepared for anything related to this appointment. Prevention of addiction? I would have never have imagined being appointed to this type of work. What most worried me was the lack of parameters. In a corps (church) or a social institution we know what we are and are not able to do. In a corps, we think of meetings, soldiers, music practices. In a social institution, we have employees, an orderly programme. But this was neither a corps nor a social institution. I was told that it did not matter about the external ‘form’. The most important thing, and the main reason why I was going there, was to establish trustful and significant relationships with the community, upon which we would build a social response. At the beginning, it took me a while to understand it. Why do you think the Lord chose you to be at Espacio Verde? I think God is sympathetic. He remembers what we ask him in prayers – our hopes. When I was a young girl I met some missionary officers who later returned to their homeland. They made a great impact in my life because they were Christlike people and they lived their faith to the full. I learned that, back in his own territory, one of the officers had taken an appointment at a rehabilitation centre. Because of this, as a young girl, 20 years before I was appointed to Espacio Verde, I had prayed to be a Salvation Army officer so I could serve youngsters with addictions. I had also asked the Lord to send me wherever no one else wanted to go. I don’t think many people would 18 | ALL THE WORLD |
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like to live surrounded by insecurity, in a neighbourhood where drugs and danger are in abundance. How did you begin your ministry in Quilmes? We began visiting and making contact with people in the vicinity and trying to read and learn about the subject. The first community visit was done together with Major Mildred Tourn, who was the officer leaving the appointment. She was the children’s home director until its closure in 2009 and was on her way overseas, to her new appointment. On that first visit, walking through the Villa Lujan streets, we met up with an ambulance and a group of people crying. We approached to find out what was happening and found that a woman had died. There and then we began to have conversations with the people. After that, I went for a walk through the community, having conversations with people I met on the streets and in their homes. Sometimes I went alone. Other times, Yanina, my first contact from the neighbourhood, came with me. Once I stopped opposite a kiosk where some children were playing table football and began to play with them. One of those children would be the first to arrive at the new programme. When he
‘The security issue placed the programme at a breaking point. The alarm sounded almost every night’
Above: Captain Inés Gadea (front row with red headband) with children from Quilmes
arrived at Espacio Verde, he saw me and said: ‘I know you! I met you at the table football!’ What were your major challenges? One of the greatest challenges was security. When we opened the space to the community we had all sorts of people coming in. Young people came that wanted to be there, but others had bad intentions. There were several break-ins and incidents of vandalism. The security issue placed the programme at a breaking point. The alarm sounded almost every night. Answers to the problem were discussed at a territorial and divisional level. One idea was to construct a three-metre-high surrounding wall with barbed wire on top, or to contract armed security guards. The two options were discarded not only because of the high cost, but mainly because of what it would say to the community about our faith and attitude. We wanted a friendly and open programme – how could that happen if we surrounded ourselves with walls and barbed wire, isolated from the community? Thanks to God, our faith and trust in him prevailed. In time the vandalism, thieving and property invasion diminished as the community got to know the programme and got to own it. Did you ever want to give up? One night, as I checked on the place and walked through the site after a difficult
Photos on this page show children enjoying a safe environment in the ‘green space’ around the former children’s home
day dealing with the security, I asked myself: ‘What am I doing here?’ I saw myself as little more than a security guard. I had not entered Salvation Army officership to become a security guard! Many colleagues told me that the programme was a crazy one, that headquarters was inventing programmes. Even former officers at the home told me that the changes were useless and that it was bound to fail. Now I understand that they could not imagine something different to what had been for 80 years. Many felt that the work they did at the home was being criticised and discarded, and without a doubt those feelings generated rejection. The early days were very difficult.
Everything seemed empty and it felt that there was never going to be a day when I would be working with the children. That is how I saw it at the time. Today I see it as a necessary time of preparation and getting to know the community. Without this, everything could have failed. The programme was opened on 15 June 2010. from then on some youngsters began to come. The turning point of my life came a few months later, as I fell in love with the children, the mission and the place. Today I dream of starting a drug addict rehabilitation day centre, open during the morning, and with our present programme of prevention in the afternoons. Two years on, do you think Espacio Verde changed your life? Yes – in every sense! Before Evangelina, I knew that God was in control over all;
today I live it every day. My dependence on the Lord has increased enormously – there has been no option! A few days back I was thinking about the possibility of a change of appointment, which could happen anytime. A great sorrow invaded me with the thought that I would have to leave the place and the youngsters. They are all I have, they are my ministry. I have learned how important it can be to parents and children to have someone who will listen and be interested in them. For instance, after an enormous storm I went to visit the neighbourhood. I found a family whose house was flooded with foul water. The children of that family attend the programme. One of them was knee-deep in filthy water, which he was trying to scoop out with a bucket. I did not hesitate – I went in and helped. From then on the doors of that house were always wide open to me. But you trained as a minister of religion. Don’t you miss having a congregation? My congregation is the children, the adolescents and their families. My pulpit is the park where the children play and the houses I visit. (Translation from Spanish by Elizabeth Edwards)
J A N UA RY – M A RC H 2013 | ALL THE WORLD |
Lorraine Henley writes about her experiences with the children of Begoro Rehabilitation Centre in Ghana
HE west African country of Ghana had another name before it became an independent nation. It was called Gold Coast because it was a source of gold – that precious, valuable, beautiful thing! I have come to recognise the disabled children of Begoro Salvation Army Rehabilitation Centre in Ghana as pure gold. They are honest, warm, courageous, loving, hard-working and cheerful – treasures indeed! Some of the older children contracted polio when they were young and need calipers, crutches and special boots made to fit them individually so they can walk. These young people are fine intellectually and have no problems with hand-eye coordination. They are eager to learn and try new things and have a great sense of humour and determination to succeed. They are also loving and care for the needs of the younger ones in rehab, taking the place of mothers while they are living at the centre during term time. Others have physical deformities and need wheelchairs for mobility. One child is an amputee because she was brought along too late for surgical correction on a deformed leg. She has a prosthesis
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Precious, valuable and beautiful and crutches and she speeds around the complex, often falling but always getting up with a grin and carrying on undeterred. A large number of children have cerebral palsy, some with intellectual delay as well. Problems like bow legs, club feet and cleft lips can be corrected with surgery and specially made boots or shoes. Parents are often assisted with the cost of the surgery as most are farmers, barely making a living, and the full cost of an operation would be beyond their resources. I first came to meet the children of Begoro Rehabilitation Centre in 2008 when I was part of a mission team organised by The Salvation Army and spent two weeks in Begoro. I saw how the centre was run and I assisted in a small way in the outpatients clinic, maternity
‘For many there is no time for play and certainly no money for toys’
Above: Lorraine Henley (back row, second from right) with Colonel Denise Swansbury (Territorial Secretary for Women’s Ministries, Ghana) and staff and children from Begoro Rehabilitation Centre
clinic and rehab as well as doing house calls and taking part in outreach clinics to outlying villages. During my visit I came to see how demanding the work was for the rehab administrator, a young Australian woman named Katharine Dale, and how much she would benefit from a helper. Wherever we travelled I constantly received messages from God saying: ‘You can help with this, you have the experience and gifts to be of use here in Ghana.’ What a challenge! The Lord filled my head with ideas for helping the children and the development of the rehab centre – some practical and others soon discarded when discussed with Katharine because of the logistics of achieving them in Africa! But the seed was planted. The following year I applied to return to Begoro for three months to put into
Left: Lorraine with one of her Ghanaian ‘grandchildren’; above: Kofi Ashilley painting with his mouth; below: playtime at Begoro
action some of the ideas and to take with me supplies of educational and craft materials for the children to use. I soon found that each of the children was clearly an individual with his or her own personality, needs, hopes and dreams. Gradually, over the three months, I came to know them better and share their aims and concerns. I worked with small children who were living at the centre with their mothers while they were provided with strengthening exercises and equipment appropriate to their physical needs – as prescribed by Katharine. She was ably assisted by the staff in these matters but the concept of ‘playing’ with their children was totally new to the mothers. For most of the women, when they were not on the farm or supporting their families by working on a roadside stall, they were busy with family chores such as cooking and washing. For many there is no time for play and certainly no money for toys. However, they came to understand that playing with blocks, buckets, balls and other equipment found in the rehab store room, plus looking at picture books, encouraged their disabled children to develop new skills and enjoy otherwise boring exercise times by being entertained. The older, school-age children were delighted to make craft items including jewellery, cards, wall hangings and paintings. They also enjoyed learning to sew and crochet. These were pleasures they had not had before as the school
budget didn’t run to coloured pencils or craft materials. They had not had access to story books either so a weekly visit to the local town library in Begoro introduced them to reading for pleasure. This increased their English skills and broadened their knowledge of the outside world. Some of them are now insatiable readers and this has helped in their school work. Whatever is done for the children, they are very appreciative, no matter how small the help. Without fail they come along the next day and say: ‘Thank you sister for yesterday.’ Sometimes it is hard to remember what you have done! Perhaps it was as simple as providing a new pencil or eraser or bringing them some fresh bread (no butter or jam though) or helping them with their homework. Learning the Ghanaian culture and customs has been very interesting and at times challenging, particularly trying to learn the language. Unfortunately I am at an age when retaining what I learn is not so easy but I still try to speak Twi and the children practice their English with me. Back at home in Australia, I raise funds so the centre can buy important equipment such as a fridge, freezer, sewing machine, hot water system, and even toilets and hand basins to renovate the children’s bathrooms. There is always an ongoing need for money to run and maintain the centre but also to provide food, education and medical treatment for the children and outpatients. This is possible through donations
direct to The Salvation Army, specifically directed to the Rehabilitation Centre, Begoro, Ghana. After four years of visiting Begoro, I have seen the children grow and develop both physically and intellectually and some of them progress on to senior secondary school for further education. They also progress in their spiritual growth, with seven of them being enrolled as senior soldiers at The Salvation Army’s Begoro Corps (church) in 2011. Seeing God at work is an amazing privilege and my time in Ghana is filled with blessings. It is hard work and sometimes exhausting but such a joy. The rewards far outweigh the difficulties. My challenge to anyone who has thought ‘I’d like to do that one day’ is just do it! If it is what the Lord wants you to do, opportunities will open up and the skills and gifts he has given you will be appreciated and used to the full. I have developed a great respect and love for the children in Begoro and, thanks to God, they love me too. I look forward to returning this year to see my ‘grandchildren’ once more. Lorraine Henley is a Salvationist at Port Macquarie Corps, Australia Eastern Territory
J A N UA RY – M A RC H 2013 | ALL THE WORLD |
COUNTRY OR THEME
SNAPSHOTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD UK
Age is no barrier to innovation – a point proven by The Salvation Army’s oldest publication, The War Cry. Along with the UK Territory with the Republic of Ireland’s other publications – Salvationist and Kids Alive! – The War Cry is now available as an app for smartphone or tablet and can be purchased through the online Apple Appstore or Google Play.
From All the World to out of this world – you never know what you’re going to see at International Headquarters, London, as demonstrated by the group of ‘astronauts’ who moonwalked past the building as part of a promotional photo shoot. Suggestions that the General was looking at uniform ideas before ‘opening fire’ on the moon are, apparently, wide of the mark!
These are the first weekly Salvation Army publications to be produced as apps. The War Cry was first published in 1879 (five years before All the World) and The Little Soldier (later The Young Soldier, then YS, then Kids Alive!) first appeared in 1881. Salvationist was started in 1986 as part of a shake-up of UK publications that saw The War Cry refocused as an evangelistic tool, with day-to-day news about The Salvation Army appearing in Salvationist.
Photos by Berni Georges
The War Cry’s Editor, Major Nigel Bovey, says: ‘The War Cry is an historic newspaper which was revolutionary when it was created. We are continuing this tradition and embracing the latest technology to engage with a new generation of readers. The digital edition is in keeping with The Salvation Army’s evangelical tradition of taking the Christian gospel to where people are.’ For more information visit the UK Territory’s website: www.salvationarmy.org.uk
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INTERNATIONAL HEADQUARTERS The thousands of people who passed by International Headquarters (IHQ) in central London through December 2012 were given a striking yet subtle reminder of the gospel message through largescale illuminated panels, each of which suggested a different version of ‘All I want for Christmas’. The concept for the panels came from the All the World team of Kevin Sims and Berni Georges, with the artwork created by Berni. The backlit posters, measuring a huge three metres by three metres, appear at first glance to be simple reminders of the Christmas season – but anyone looking again was offered a deeper meaning. A Christmas tree is, on closer inspection, made up of guns, with the word ‘Peace’ running through its branches. The text accompanying the image makes clear where true peace can be found, using the words of Jesus: ‘I give you peace, the kind of peace that only I can give. It isn’t like the peace that this world can give’ (John 14:27 Contemporary English Version). A second panel features a large, heartshaped Christmas bauble, onto which has been painted an image of Mary and the baby Jesus. The text suggests that, for anyone looking for an example of love, ‘God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son’ (John 3:16).
river of righteous living’ (New Living Translation). Many people stopped to look at the panels, with some taking photos. It is the prayer of the Communications Section that some of these people will be made to think again about Christmas and the significance of Jesus’ birth.
To see the posters online, go to sar.my/x12tree, sar.my/x12jumper or sar.my/x12heart
CAMBODIA The Salvation Army ‘opened fire’ in the Kingdom of Cambodia on 22 November 2012, taking the number of countries in which the Army has officially recognised work to 126. The new ministry is overseen by the Korea Territory.
The Territorial Music Director from Korea, Captain Kim, Hai-du (stood behind the young man on the left) plans to return in 2013 to provide some intensive musical training.
The final panel contains a bright, knitted Christmas jumper/sweater, but the writing suggests that, rather than clothes, we should be hoping for justice for the oppressed. The text alongside the image is God’s words from Amos 5:24: ‘I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless
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At the inaugural meeting in Phnom Penh, a set of brass instruments was presented to the university students among whom the work in Cambodia started so they can learn to play and eventually form the country’s first-ever Salvation Army brass band.