December 2019 Partner Letter
It was Christmas Eve, 1910. General William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army was near the end of his life and it was impossible for him to attend the Army’s annual convention.
Someone near the General suggested that Booth send a telegram to be read at the opening of the convention to the many Salvation Army soldiers in attendance as an encouragement for their many hours of labor serving others throughout the holidays and the cold winter months. Booth agreed. Funds were limited and telegrams charged by the word, so General Booth decided to send a one-word message. He searched his mind and reviewed his years of ministry, seeking the one word that would summarize his life, the mission of the Army and encourage the soldiers to continue on.
When the thousands of delegates met, the moderator announced that Booth could not be present due to his failing health. Gloom and pessimism swept across the convention floor until the moderator announced that Booth had sent a telegram to be read at the start of the first session. He opened the message and read just one word:
Signed, General Booth.
…”For God so loved others that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life!” (John 3:16).
The soldiers of the Salvation Army were inspired that Christmas Eve of 1910. They carried on their work with bravery, courage—and especially compassion for others.
As we celebrate and enjoy this time of year, let us reach out to others in a fresh, loving and compassionate way. This is a season when we remember that impossibilities are possible – that forgiveness, healing and hope are God’s gift to the world in Jesus Christ – the greatest gift ever given to others!
We love you so. You are more than our partners; you are our eternal friends and co-laborers in Christ. May your Christmas season be filled with joy, celebration and compassion …for others!
Cindy, Lois and Ray