The Voice of The Salvation Army in Canada and BermudaView RSS Feed
Mar13ThuIn a land filled with sectarian strife, The Salvation Army is making a difference. March 13, 2014
Photographer Heidi Ram was on assignment in Pakistan with Major Gillian Brown, director of The Salvation Army's world missions department for Canada and Bermuda, when their car entered a small town that had been hit by pre-election violence.
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- Faith & Friends
“Tires were burning, buildings were shuttered and black smoke was everywhere,” Heidi says, “and as we approached a checkpoint, the gentle Salvation Army pastor in the back seat with us said, matter-of-factly, 'Just so you know, we could take a shot right now from a sniper on either side.' ”
The trip, like the rest of the assignment last April and May, proceeded uneventfully but the incident honed Heidi's faith as nothing before had.
“I'd never experienced fear such as I did in that car,” Heidi says. “When God's all you've got, life is stripped down to what counts. I learned to love and to trust God in a whole new way that morning, and that will never leave me.”
Heidi was part of a Salvation Army monitoring mission to Pakistan, one of many such routine trips taken each year by Army world missions personnel.
“The Canada and Bermuda Territory has partnered with Pakistan on a number of programs and projects that are funded through our Gifts of Hope campaign,” explains Major Gillian.
The Salvation Army's disaster/emergency response includes providing basic needs to more than 500 families that were affected either by sectarian conflict or by the flooding and earthquakes that have occurred since 2010 in the country. The community development projects have supported health initiatives as well as income-generating and livelihood projects—for example, helping provide donkey carts so that families can sell their wares at the local market—and clean-water initiatives.
“Our office regularly monitors and follows up on the projects that we have supported, which also affords us an opportunity to listen, share and learn, as well as discuss future projects with the people directly concerned,” Major Gillian says.
“Since photos often tell a story better than words can, it was a privilege to have Heidi participate in the visit.”