Have you ever wondered where a homeless job searcher would keep their pet while looking for work? Showing up for an interview with a dog on a leash or a birdcage in hand probably doesn’t make a good first-impression. And for those who live in their car, leaving a pet inside is a major no no in many climates. On an even more serious note, can you imagine leaving your beloved family dog with an abusive spouse so you could flee to safety?
On May 15, recently-retired Salvation Army Major Martin Cooper got on his bike. He’s riding 3,000 miles across the United States to raise awareness about the problem of hunger in this country and raise money all along his route. For 30 years, he and his wife have fed hungry families, sheltered homeless people, and walked alongside those who are battling addictions. But Major Cooper knows as well as anybody that there’s still so much more to do.
Salvation Army Captain Jennifer Cortez doesn’t have a building but she has a flock of 800 souls she’s served through The Salvation Army’s Mobile Ministry. Her schedule is packed and she works hard but says that the ministry’s following is not because of anything she’s done.
“It’s not because I am good, it’s because Jesus is doing His work through the Holy Spirit. People notice that,” said Captain Cortez.
Like countless other people, Michael fell in with the wrong crowd and got into destructive behavior. After years of using drugs and alcohol, he wanted something different. He asked his friends if there was more to life than getting high. Sadly, they just didn’t know. Michael’s solution was to buy a one-way ticket from Ohio to California. He thought a change of friends and scenery could fix his life but it didn’t go far enough. He was still waging the same inner battle – but now with different people and in a warmer climate.
A couple of months ago, I sat in a room full of men and women who’ve battled back from addiction and heard their stories. It was a very humbling experience for me.
When it was Jimmy’s turn to speak, I was stunned by the contrast between the bleak description of his former life and the joy I felt hearing him encourage others who’ve walked a similar path.
If you’re looking for some inspiration to make healthy change this year, look no further than The Salvation Army’s founders William and Catherine Booth and their family. The Booths came from the Methodist tradition and – like many from their denomination – followed the vegetarian practices of John Wesley even though doing so was difficult in Victorian England.
Did you know that more than 100 years ago a social innovator changed an entire industry and by doing good, managed to save lives too? The Salvation Army’s very own founder William Booth was an early social entrepreneur who bought a derelict factory and went into business in order to fix a social ill.
The Salvation Army is supporting 5,000 people with food since many who haveÂ recovered from Ebola often returnÂ home to find their possessions removed to ward off furtherÂ infection. And teachers from The Salvation Army’s 12 schools in Liberia are being trained toÂ provide Ebola awareness and hygiene education in the communities around the schools.
Every day that the Ebola crisis continues to make news, I’m sure you feel as I do and pray for a permanent solution. Until that time comes, I’m grateful that our Army is also there offering its help in the form of sanitation supplies to medical facilities, food relief to affected families and even operating its mobile clinic. See below for more details from our International Headquarters in London…