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Transcendent Peace

Transcendent Peace

Welcome to the April edition of SALT where we tell the stories of the life and times of The Salvation Army. This month’s theme is ‘peace’. Peace is not only an absence of war, it is the outcome of the undeniable certainty in our hearts and minds that God is in control of the world and our lives, and we can rest, or be at peace, no matter the circumstances.

On page 16, Kelly Cooper shares with readers the power of being a peacemaker in our daily interactions. She also highlights the privileged position New Zealand holds on the Global Peace Index as a peaceful nation. On the 2023 index, New Zealand ranked fourth behind Iceland, Denmark and Ireland as one of the most peaceful countries in the world (well, 99.7% of the world; sadly, the index does not include our territorial Pacific Island nations). Fourth is an impressive ranking when you consider the 163 countries we were measured against, with the quantitative and qualitative measures including everything from perceived criminality in society to weapons imports and exports.

The advantages of living in a peaceful society are immeasurable, though most nations have known war on their lands. This changes not only their heritage, landscapes and economics, but the devastation-wrought impacts the culture and character of the people for generations.

How important is peace to our four nations? What value do we place on peace? These questions are worthy of consideration, particularly as we see the growing restlessness around the world and the civil and ethnic tensions being played out within various borders. We may feel overwhelmed and helpless amidst the growing bad news, but this cannot be our perspective as Christians. Our world view firmly places the Prince of Peace Jesus Christ at the very centre of the conversation (see page 26).

Also in this edition you will read the stories of the significant work being undertaken in Samoa. On page 28 we revisit the team at The Salvation Army Addictions Services and celebrate the recognition bestowed upon the leader of the programme from the Samoan community. On page 18 you can read the testimony of one of the service’s practitioners Chris Vaifale and how he achieved his dreams through his growing faith in God.

Every day in New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa our people are on the ground, at the front lines, assisting people who come to us because they are facing pressures, such as poverty, homelessness and addictions. They may come because we offer services but, more importantly, we can offer them Jesus Christ and his peace which ‘transcends all understanding’.

Vivienne Hill, Editor

The magazine can be viewed either as an online magazine on Issuu, or the bulk of the articles, leadership links, news, and shorter reflections (Grace Notes) have been added into their various sections.

I welcome your feedback and suggestions, and also your photos, letters, crafts and stories. Please email: [email protected]

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