Reimagining Women’s Ministries“Women’s Ministries is limited only by our vision and our willingness to step out in faith to make a difference in the lives of women and girls today.”
“The breadth and reach of Women’s Ministries is limited only by our vision and our willingness to step out in faith to make a difference in the lives of women and girls today,” said Commissioner Rosalie Peddle, World President of Women’s Ministries, upon launching the “reimagined” mission and vision of the Army’s international Women’s Ministries earlier this year. The launch at Army International Headquarters in London depicted five examples of ministry for and by women worldwide: the impact of the Worth micro-credit program in Kenya; women engaged in caring for the environment in the India Central Territory; an IT training program for immigrants in Brazil; an Australian Salvationist participating in a fitness group; and women in the United Kingdom who have escaped violent relationships receiving support at a drop-in café at their local Salvation Army.
In discussing the release of a new vision statement for Women’s Ministries, Commissioner Peddle emphasized the importance of reaching many more women and girls in Christ’s name.
The vision statement says:
We envision women who are: Transformed and empowered by the gospel to lead a Christlike life; Enriched mutually through local and global connections and support; Equipped to fulfill their potential through lifelong learning and development; Engaged in social justice and action to positively impact the world.
“We have an incredible history of connecting with and raising up faithful women, who in turn have connected their own families and friends to the Lord,” Commissioner Peddle said. “As I prayed about next steps and the future generations of women, God kept speaking the words of Isaiah 43:19 into my heart: ‘See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.’ … I want to challenge all women leaders around The Salvation Army world—and this includes officers, soldiers and friends—to discover what new things we can be doing to speak into and overcome the challenges that women and girls face in our world today.” (image: Pakistan, see details below)
The commissioner also revealed the new logo for International Women’s Ministries, created by IHQ designer Jooles Tostevin- Hobbs. She explained that the logo signifies the light and freedom of spirit desired for all women around the world, uniting them in thought and action under the Bible and its universal message. The five zones in which The Salvation Army ministers are identified by five birds emerging from the sun and the world, which are represented as one.
“These elements are designed to…unite women as one voice and one body, where God’s love is always at the very center of their being and lived out in their communities and relationships. God is calling us to be men and women of courage as we engage in His mission today! May we see the needs of women and girls around our communities through His eyes, and may we be so moved with His love and compassion that we have no other choice but to ‘do something’ and ‘do it now!’”
General Brian Peddle, international leader of The Salvation Army, has issued a global call to prayer for women and girls. He describes as “probably the greatest injustice of our age” the fact that half the world’s population start life at a disadvantage simply because they are female.
“I’m asking you to join me in a cry for justice,” says the General in a special video message in which he expresses “a heartfelt longing to deal with the wrongs of this world.”
In his call to prayer, the General cites up-to-date statistics which illustrate the scale of the issue: that 71% of all trafficked people are female; that a third of all women and girls experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime; that women do three times more unpaid care work than men—currently valued at $10 trillion per year. “But even that huge number,” says the General, “still doesn’t capture the full extent of women’s lost economic potential.”
The International Social Justice Commission (ISJC) has added resources to its website on how to pray for justice and women and the sustainable development goals’ from UN women to help focus and inform prayers.
2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which identified 12 critical areas of concern for women and girls.
The images shown here are a few of the 130 submitted for the “Reimagining” photographic competition launched last year. They demonstrate the breadth of Salvation Army ministry to women with examples of ministry in 23 countries, including the award-winning photo featured on the cover from Rwanda.
LEFT: Warsaw, Poland: Women from Warsaw Corps (church) oversee a feeding program for the homeless at the main train station. (Photo by Lieutenant Oleg Samoilenko)
Kagarama Village, Rwanda: Major Marie Grace Nsengiyaremy gives nourishing porridge to a child. Many of the country’s children lack sufficient nutrients because of their poor diet. The government is encouraging churches to assist with this program.
Kuwait: The weekly devotional and prayer session with Booth House residents in Kuwait. Participants included women from African countries, both Muslims and non-Muslims. (Photo by Captain Eric Tumale)
Ganghwa Island, Korea: Residents endure harsh weather during the oyster picking season from November to April. Corps officers Major Young-Gue Lee (who took the photo) and Major Hee-Ja Kang visit the women while they work, offering coffee, tea and bread to warm body and soul.
Pakistan: A young woman listens intently during a women’s rights program run by The Salvation Army. (Photo by Tom Godec)
Kenya: After being abused by her husband, a woman fled with her family, lived on the streets of Kakamega and could only survive through prostitution. After she came into contact with the Army and attended a local program, she became a Christian and turned her life around. (Photo by Commissioner Jolene Hodder)
Memphis, TN, USA: Every morning, women from The Salvation Army’s Memphis Mid South Adult Rehabilitation Center pray together, thanking God for a safe place to heal during their recovery from addiction.
Colombo, Sri Lanka: Major Shanthi Senarathna with a resident of The Haven and Sunshine Home, which are run by The Salvation Army. (Photo by Berni Georges, from All the World, January–March 2020)
Bapatla, India: Members of the Army’s Perli Corps in Andhra Pradesh raise awareness about the ongoing problem of child marriage.