Steps of Courage
Courage and commitment have been part of our movement, even before the first Salvationists arrived and commenced the mission of The Salvation Army in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Arabella Valpy showed tremendous courage in 1882, when she wrote from her home in Dunedin to General William Booth in London, urging him to send officers to New Zealand. She was so committed and convinced that the people of New Zealand needed to hear of the transforming love of Jesus through The Salvation Army, that she sent money with her letter to cover travel expenses.
In 1883, Captain George Pollard and Lieutenant Edward Wright arrived in Dunedin. Despite opposition and ridicule, a small group of Salvationists preached the Word of God, cared for people and spread the mission. We are still here today because of the courage and commitment of these pioneers and many Salvationists who saw a need and stepped out in faith and in the love and power of God.
It’s the love and power of God that enables us to serve our community with courage and commitment through preaching the good news of salvation through Jesus, transforming the lives of people and seeing communities reformed.
Following Jesus’ death and resurrection, he met with his disciples in many different ways to transform their fear to courage and their uncertainty to commitment. In his final words of instruction Jesus told the disciples they were to continue his mission of love, forgiveness and hope in God. This would not be an easy mission; it would be humanly impossible and only the power of God would enable them to stay courageous and committed.
In the Bible, the book of Acts is full of incredible stories of how God worked in and through these men and women of faith.
The power of God is still at work! At the Northern Easter Camp, we met hundreds of teenagers and listened to many stories of how they have found a place to belong in youth programmes and youth groups, and how they are exploring faith in Jesus there. I thank God for the courage and commitment of our youth leaders who are passionately and patiently helping these young men and women to live for Jesus in a very challenging world.
I pray that we will all step out in courage, commitment and the power of God today: all of us together sharing our faith and love for Jesus and using our skills, experience and qualifications to fulfil our mission.
Commissioner Julie Campbell
Territorial President of Women’s Ministries