Those of you who attended CBLI (Central Bible and Leadership Institute) last year, you got to meet to Spirit filled officers – Commissioners William and Marilyn Francis. Man, could they preach! I remember one comment from people being that they (especially Commissioner Marilyn) always seemed to be full of love – genuinely full of love. Everyone she met she engaged with. She smiled from ear to ear, hugged warmly, I think a few (even me!) got a kiss on the cheek!
Thinking back on our Youth Councils, I’m reminded about how we are called to be a people of love. And good news for us, the Bible defines what love is and gives us an example of how we are to love:
“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:1-2).
Below is a short article (taken from The Salvations Army’s national website for Canada) by Commissioner William Francis reminding us that we are to always be a people of love.
I am Commissioner William Francis, leader of The Salvation Army in Canada and Bermuda. My wife, Commissioner Marilyn, serves as President of The Salvation Army’s Women’s Ministries across this great nation.
We began our ministry in Canada in July 2007. Since then, we have travelled from coast to coast witnessing first-hand the work of The Salvation Army. As the largest non-governmental provider of social services, The Salvation Army assisted 1.5 million people last year in 400 communities throughout the country.
The Salvation Army is not only a social services agency. It is a unique church. We believe God has given us a wonderful opportunity to meet and minister to people at their point of need. We love, build relationships and mentor those who have met with tough times. All we do stems from a love for Jesus.
We serve and work for social justice with “no strings attached.” I particularly think of the victims of human sexual trafficking, a form of slavery that is one of the fastest-growing transnational crimes. The Salvation Army has declared this human tragedy a worldwide priority. Trained counsellors are committed to assisting victims as they reclaim their dignity and self-worth. Safe houses are in place for refuge. Often, this is a silent ministry due to the nature of the problem.
With 260,000 immigrants and refugees entering the country each year, Canada is one of the most multicultural countries in the world. Many flee war-torn countries looking for safe shelter. Our immigrant and refugees services continue to embrace, give hope and offer a better life to those who have left everything behind.
Human needs across Canada are endless. As we serve the homeless, the addicted, the elderly and those who have been stricken by poverty, we love wholeheartedly because that is how God loves us.
Donors, volunteers, employees and officers/pastors who come together and embrace this ministry give the marginalized and disenfranchised people in society a better future.
In his last public appearance, William Booth, Founder of The Salvation Army, proclaimed:
“While women weep as they do now, I’ll fight. While little children go hungry, I’ll fight. While men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I’ll fight. While there is a drunkard left, while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets, where there remains one dark soul without the light of God, I’ll fight — I’ll fight to the very end.”
The Salvation Army is here to love and serve unconditionally. And this love is the basis of all we do in 113 countries around the world.