See Love At Work!

By  Lt. Col. William Mockabee, National Secretary for The Salvation Army World Service Office (SAWSO).
mockabee-smaller-150x150The Salvation Army World Service Office (SAWSO) releases its annual report for 2013 today, with the theme of “Love Works”. Read the report to witness first-hand The Salvation Army’s work in local communities around the world. You will see how SAWSO programs encourage the growth of small income-generating activities for villagers in India’s Central Territory, and provide business skills, literacy training, a school and a safe places to stay to women in Mumbai’s red light district and their children. Discover how another program fights polio in Angola through education and supporting national immunization days. Watch traveling youth drama groups perform skits in villages while local pastors engaged the crowd, encouraging them to go for voluntary HIV screening and testing in Zambia. Celebrate the lives of fishermen in Japan as they are rebuilt with equipment and vehicles to replace those washed away by a tsunami.

You are invited to download and view the entire report here.

sawso annual reportDear Friends,
Love works!

At The Salvation Army World Service Office (SAWSO), we believe this is true for three reasons.

Love is effective. I have personally witnessed the transformation that love can bring about in the lives of individuals and communities while travelling to several countries to support international work, and while serving for three years in Sri Lanka. From my perspective as leader of SAWSO, I’m given the daily gift of glimpsing the breadth and scope of the work The Salvation Army does on a global scale. There is no greater blessing than knowing that a loving God is using us as a tool, and that He gave us the power of love to transform lives of people living in poverty, women and children living in powerlessness, or people brought low by an unforeseen disaster.

Work done with love reflects God. We are acutely aware of how God has uplifted us, and given us hope and purpose. At SAWSO, we proactively seek out opportunities to help others experience these same blessings. We aspire to always be active catalysts for lasting change.

The fullest fruits of love, inspired by God, can only be brought about through maximum effort. From our most closely held internal processes to field work in the most distant and remote villages, SAWSO team members work diligently with, and in service to, all of our stakeholders, donors, partners and beneficiaries.

We thank all of your for joining us in our commitment to achieving sustainable results, maximizing resources, and multiplying our effectiveness through collaboration.
Love, then work. That is the way to do the most good.

May you recognize God’s love in your lives and may you enjoy discovering ways to share it.


Salvation Army Serving Survivors of Typhoon Haiyan


The Salvation Army is serving survivors of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in the aftermath of the deadliest natural disaster on record. Classified as a category 5 typhoon, the scale of devastation became clear Sunday as the death toll is estimated to be as high as 10,000 or more.

Emergency Disaster Service teams have been providing essentials to those affected by the typhoon since the storm hit Friday, including food, shelter, water, and emotional and spiritual care.


“The Salvation Army is on the ground serving the immediate needs of survivors,” said Major Ron Busroe, The Salvation Army’s National Community Relations and Development Secretary. “Donations from the generous public will help provide basic necessities that survivors desperately need right now. But the effects of this tragedy will be felt for months – even years. We know that emotional and spiritual counseling is equally important for survivors to deal with the gravity of the situation.”

With more than 75 offices throughout the country, Salvation Army volunteers and staff are well prepared to service the immediate and long-term needs of those impacted by this disaster.

Monetary donations are the most critical need for survivors. To give, click on the donation button at the top of the page or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769). Donations of 10 dollars can also be made via mobile phone by texting “TYPHOON” to 80888 and replying “YES.”*

Check donations to Salvation Army World Service Office (designate “Typhoon Haiyan”) can be mailed to:

Salvation Army World Service Office International Relief Fund
P.O. Box 418558
Boston, MA 02241-8558

In-kind donations are not being accepted.

*A one-time donation of $10 will be added to your mobile phone bill or deducted from your prepaid balance. Message and data rates may apply. All charges are billed by and payable to your mobile service provider. Service is available on Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. All purchases must be authorized by account holder. By participating, you certify that you are 18 years or older and/or have parental permission. Donations are collected for The Salvation Army and subject to the terms found at Privacy policy: **Text STOP to 80888 to stop; Text HELP to 80888 for help.


The Before and After Picture of Transformational Love


A woman in Zambia waits at her makeshift stand at the edge of the road hoping someone will buy from her meager store of charcoal and sweet potatoes.  Between the infrequent customers, she entertains simple dreams of owning a grocery store and using the earnings to feed her family and send her children to school.

She tries everything she knows to make her dream come true.  But her efforts to get a loan from the bank for the capital to grow her business are repeatedly denied because she lacks collateral.

And it is in this time, when even simple dreams seem out of reach, that transformational love appears.

The woman, Maureen Chibuye, joined her friends in a Saving and Internal Lending Community (SILC) in Walera, in the Chipata district of Zambia.  Her group, operated by The Salvation Army, is called Chikondi, which means “love”.  SILCs like Chikondi were introduced in the Chipata district in 2011 as part of an economic empowerment strategy.

She said, “Before Chikondi, I couldn’t even manage to save, as everything I made went to meet the needs of my family – and it was indeed a nightmare.”

She gave part of her first loan of $97 to her husband to invest in seed for their garden to grow cabbage and other vegetables. She put the remaining amount toward her dream.  After eight months of hard work and additional cycles of receiving and repaying loans from the group, her dream came true and her business blossomed.

She finally moved to a bigger, better shop where she is currently running her grocery store.

Maureen continues to increase her available stock, and enjoys excellent credit with her Chikondi group, her last loan being for $386.  With the profits from her business, she is able to easily repay her loans, sponsor her children to go to school and provide her family three meals per day.

Now that her dream has at last been achieved, it is now time for transformation in others’ lives.
The woman in Zambia now waits in her successful groceries business and welcomes the frequent visitors who buy from her wide variety of goods, including charcoal and sweet potatoes for those who need them.  She encourages them to join the SILC group to realize their own simple dreams, and to use the earning to feed their own families and send their own children to school.

That is the true power of transformational love – what was once the dream of one person is transfigured and passed on – and now ever afterward becomes realized dreams for the entire community.


 Lieutenant Colonel Joan Canning is the Executive Director of The Salvation Army World Service Office (SAWSO). SAWSO’s vision is to “create a world where people live in safe and sustainable communities in which differences are respected, basic needs are met, and all enjoy opportunities to learn, work, and worship in freedom.” Learn more at


Commissioner André Cox Elected As 20th General Of The Salvation Army

Commissioner André Cox, a Swiss-British Salvation Army officer, was elected as the 20th General of the Christian church and charity. The election took place at the High Council, which saw 117 of The Salvation Army’s senior leaders from around the world gather just outside London for the sacred task of choosing the next international leader.
General Cox shares his ministry with his wife, Commissioner Silvia Cox, who is the World President of Women’s Ministries. Together they will lead the 1.5 million strong world-wide church of The Salvation Army.

General André Cox speaks shortly after the High Council election in London. Photo: Salvation Army IHQ:

The 59-year-old General has vast experience of the international ministry of The Salvation Army. In the early years of his Salvation Army officership, General Cox held appointments in Switzerland and Zimbabwe. More recently he has served as the territorial commander in the Southern Africa Territory, the Finland and Estonia Territory and the United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland. In February 2013 he was appointed as Chief of the Staff – second in command of the international Salvation Army.

On being announced as The Salvation Army’s 20th General, the new international leader told more than 10,000 people from around the world watching via a live webcast that he was thankful to God but aware of the ‘awesome task that has been placed upon our shoulders’. He continued: ‘I pray that The Salvation Army will be known for being a force for good in the world … that The Salvation Army will be a force for positive change and transformation in the communities in which we serve … [and] that Salvationists will live up to the spiritual values we proclaim.’

The Salvation Army gives hope and support to vulnerable people today and every day in 126 countries around the world. To learn more about The Salvation Army international, please visit
See the official press release here.


A Woman of Substance

Posted by Megan on Monday, July 1, 2013 · Leave a Comment 

Chemka (left) running her new small business in Kenya. Photo Credit: Captain Beatrice Ayabagabo, Empowerment Coordinator, The Salvation Army, Kenya West Territorial Headquarters.

Hope is a powerful virtue.  Opportunity to engender hope in the lives of others is transformational.  A Kenyan woman named Chemka, from the village of Sabatia Gurugwa, is the definition of hope.  I recently read her story in a field update from a women’s empowerment project that The Salvation Army World Service Office (SAWSO) has been supporting in Kenya to teach literacy and record-keeping skills to underprivileged women.  Chemka joined other women in the program to make effective use of these skills by forming a savings and lending group to give members the opportunity to start small income-generating businesses.

A single mother, 46-years-old and struggling, Chemka happily recounted that after joining her local empowerment group and buying shares, she was able to secure a small loan to start a business selling fruit, onions and tomatoes.  She proudly reports that her enterprise is doing well, and from it, she is able to save money and provide food for her child. She is also now feeling a powerful confidence in her ability to one day expand her business, and open a shop.

What jumped out at me most of Chemka’s account is her new view of herself:  “Surely now, I can be called a woman of substance.”

And I was reminded that with just a mustard seed of encouragement and training, we can change lives, we can engender hope…not only in a financial sense, but in a sense of personal accomplishment.  And once that journey has begun, for many we help, there is momentum – the impetus to continue reaching beyond perceived limitations.

We know of many, like Chemka, who rejoice in their newfound ability to provide healthier meals to their children, to finally send children to school, and to share in the financial responsibility for their families.  These fundamental abilities are often taken for granted in America, but not for women like Chemka.

We have heard from women, like Everlyne Gibendi, who said, “I had nothing to do, but wait for my husband to buy and cater for the family.  I thought I was not important in the family.” Everlyne has since parlayed a small business selling vegetables and fish into enough money to buy a motorcycle that she and her husband rent for additional income.

Stories of empowerment like these are told in SAWSO’s Annual Report, available at The report celebrates people everywhere who are taking the opportunities that God presents to lift up their spirits and change their lives.  One of the gifts of serving God in SAWSO is helping a woman like Chemka come to realize that God always intended for her to be and see, that she is truly a woman of substance.

Lt-Colonel-Joan-Canning-215x3001[1]Lieutenant Colonel Joan Canning is the Executive Director of The Salvation Army World Service Office (SAWSO). SAWSO’s vision is to “create a world where people live in safe and sustainable communities in which differences are respected, basic needs are met, and all enjoy opportunities to learn, work, and worship in freedom.” Learn more at 

Nelson Mandela

Salvationists Sing and Pray for Nelson Mandela

Post courtesy of The Salvation Army International.

Nelson MandelaOfficers from The Salvation Army’s Southern Africa Territory sang and prayed outside the hospital in Pretoria where former South African President Nelson Mandela is being treated. The group – which included territorial leaders Commissioners William and Thalitha Langa – lifted up Mr Mandela in prayer, with Chief Secretary Lieut-Colonel Robert Donaldson asking God to ‘bless the former president and his family’.

The officers sang ‘In Thee O Lord do I Put my Trust’ after laying flowers at the hospital gates. Territorial Commander Commissioner William Langa addressed the group of onlookers and media, explaining that The Salvation Army wanted to symbolically show its support to the family of Madiba (as Mr Mandela is affectionately known) and to assure them of the prayers of Salvationists. He paid tribute to Madiba’s struggle to bring freedom and peace to South Africa. The commissioner’s message for the ailing anti-apartheid leader was: ‘Lift up your head, look up to God and be encouraged.’

The Chief Secretary called out to God in prayer, saying: ‘You have the future in your hands. You have the future of this nation in your hands and you have the future of the leader of this nation in your hands … bring grace to our former president and all his family. Bless them and encourage them Lord, at this difficult time.’