The Salvation Army’s mission is to “preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet needs in His name without discrimination.” All of us who work for the Army know the mission statement by heart and see evidence of it in the daily work we do.
But sometimes, even we need more. Commissioner Jim Knaggs, our Territorial Commander here in the Western US just initiated a reporting program called “People Count” with the goal of collecting stories from the front lines about the ministry of the Army.
Our field staff is encouraged to report any successes they’ve experienced in the past week, including people they’ve helped with material assistance and those who’ve responded to the message of Gospel.
I’m privileged to get a copy of the report so I’m excited to show you a few examples of what it contains. Every couple of weeks, I’ll pull some great stories from it to share with you.
Here are some great stories from our recent “People Count” report:
“The Salem Young Adult Contemporary group took to the streets with love offerings for the homeless in the name of Jesus. After an amazing and moving series of meetings on being the light to the world, (Mat. 5:13-16), they opted to actually ‘be ye salty’ and to stop talking about it and to ‘go and do something!’ They left the comforts of the Salem Kroc Corps [church], despite the rain and cold, to distribute socks and sandwiches. Over 30 Salvationists [church members] participated in the outreach which lasted past 10 PM in the evening. Dozens were blessed by this act of kindness, a warm touch, and prayer, and the much needed socks and food. Praise ye the Lord!” â€“ Salem, OR
“We had a big snowfall over the weekend and one of our clients – without being asked – shoveled all the way around the building and then came to church with his two children. Following church, he came over and said to me, ‘I needed to be here today- that was the message I needed.’ This is from a man who has had some huge challenges. He was an addict but is clean and sober because he is struggling to keep his children. I donâ€™t know if he has accepted the Lord, but I have had the opportunity to pray with him twice.” â€“ Anchorage, AK
“One of our thrift store customers joined us for church on Sunday. She said she really enjoyed the meeting and that she will be back. We are so fortunate in the Army to have many avenues in which to ‘bring them in’ [to God’s love].” — Roseburg, CA
“We have a gentleman who came to our Social Services office about 7 months ago to receive a box of food. He was so impressed with how loving and friendly our office was that he came back the next day to apply to volunteer. After a few months of volunteering, he started attending our Sunday morning worship services. This past week he actually stood up to testify during the service about how God had led him to our office for food, but that God had so much more in store for him! He is now taking Soldiership [church membership] classes!! Amen!!” — San Rafael, CA
:: Click here for a recent story on the People Count initiative from our New Frontier newspaper.