Last year, under the 20 New Corps in 2017 initiative, World Services/Self-Denial giving by officers and soldiers increased by over $218,000 across the territory! Continuing to build on this momentum, the 2018 World Services/Self-Denial theme is “Self-Denial Transforms” with a focus on three specific projects: a medical clinic in Kenya, a women’s empowerment program in India, and an income-generating soccer field program in Latin America. These projects highlight three different ministries geared toward children, women and men. They all demonstrate the ways self-denial giving can transform us all—our lives, hearts, communities and corps!
Salvation Army-operated nursery schools for children, ages 3-5, are an important part of ministry in the Kenya East Territory. Children in Kenya must attend nursery school in order to obtain entrance to primary school. To keep the children healthy, The Salvation Army’s Nursery School Health and Nutrition Project will take a dynamic approach to addressing the health and nutrition challenges faced by the children and families in their schools. A mobile medical clinic service that consists of a fully equipped vehicle, staffed by a small team of health professionals will travel around to the nurseries to increase coverage of basic health and preventative services. In addition, the nursery schools will teach personal hygiene and the relationship between what we eat and health, along with exercise.
The Salvation Army in India is positively impacting the economic, social, educational and spiritual health of more than 5,400 families through its Integrated Community Empowerment Program. Participants in this program, most of whom are women, meet together regularly in self-help groups where they are given opportunities for saving money, taking out small loans in order to start businesses, practicing accountability, learning new skills and, in turn, improving their personal financial situations. Many group members now have a more consistent form of income, are able to afford school fees for their children and have hope for a brighter future. Some also testify to entering into a relationship with Jesus Christ because of their participation in the programs.
The Latin America North (LAN) Territory is working hard to find local sources of income to maintain the service programs they provide within their territory. Because of the cultural passion for soccer in many Central American countries, they have developed a plan for building weather resistant fields for rental income. Local schools can rent the space during the day, and leagues of all levels and ages will rent the space during evening and weekend hours. The fields will use turf and roofs so they will be available year-round, regardless of inclement weather. The Soccer Fields for LAN Territory, planned for Costa Rica and Guatemala, will generate income for Salvation Army-run schools, rehabilitation centers, homeless drop-in programs and other ministries.
New printed and electronic resources supporting this World Services/Self-Denial theme are available at centralmissions.org.