• Mar27Tue

    “Received of (?) Collins with thanks…”

    Retrospective #66 March 27, 2018 Randy C. Hicks
    "Received...with thanks!"
    "Received...with thanks!"

         The name is written in cursive with a fountain pen hence I am unable to decipher the initial. I first thought it to be an “E”; then maybe a “C” although it differed significantly from the “C” in “Collins”; perhaps it’s a “P”; then again, for today’s purpose it really doesn’t matter. This name appears on a receipt from The Salvation Army Self Denial Fund dated October 1892. Our friend “Collins” may have been a male or female, young or old, Salvationist or friend of the Army. Figuratively, and again for my purpose today – all of these!

    The receipt number was 41498 and the complete text reads as follows:

                                                  The Salvation Army Self Denial Fund

                                                  Received of (?) Collins with thanks

                                                  the sum of one shilling

                                                  to maintain and extend the work of the Salvation Army

         “Received with thanks!” Indeed how grateful we are for the benevolence of those who through the years have given of their substance to support and extend the work of the Salvation Army both in their/our own communities and around the world. As Sunday School kids we may have had opportunity to meet a real live missionary from Africa or India once in a while but such occasions were rare. We’d see a film or maybe some slides; then there were the famous flannel graph depictions of work in other parts of the world. Of course the odd National Geographic TV documentary might be seen by a few regarding these mysterious and unknown countries. Primarily we relied on our collective imaginings to create our own vignettes. I grew up in a community where the only other ethnic presence was a Chinese family or two. I wouldn’t see or meet internationals until I went to University. If nothing else, the Self Denial program expanded our understanding of a bigger world and challenged us even as kids to think of others and to do our parts to spread the gospel.

    A poster, produced by the Army in Great Britain for our 150th anniversary contained the following message under the heading

                                                                    150 YEARS, 126 COUNTRIES:

            { “William Booth founded The Salvation Army in 1865 to apply the full, unbridled force of Salvation to the individual, the family, the community, the nation, and the world. Today this vehicle of grace circumvents the globe so the love of God can take hold and prevail for millions. Each flag of the 126 countries where the Army is at work represents dedicated Salvationists who set out to spread the gospel and meet human need in the name of the Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Their compulsion? Simply to be true to Christ’s final instructions:

                                         “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth,

                                                  Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations.”

                                                        (Matthew 28:18-19a, NLT)}

     The inscription on the Yellow, Red, and Blue pins – do you remember, without looking, what it said? 


     Fire a volley!


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