Korean Newspaper ‘Heralds’ Good Work of The Salvation Army

Tom Uden, writing for The Korea Herald, talks about The Army’s impact in a country on the other side of the world.

It is a tricky thing to claim, and an even harder thing to do, but the Salvation Army really does God’s work. “The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination,” according to their Web site.

Known universally for its charity work, the “sally army,” as it is unofficially known, was started in the late 1800s by British preacher Charles Booth.

In Korea the Salvation Army uses thrift stores to help support their various shelters for some of the disadvantaged members of society, including drug addicts and alcoholics.

The Adult Rehabilitation Centre is the institute the Army uses to aid those that need help and it receives all the money raised from its stores.

The ARC works in a tier program; upon entering the program, addicts receive a six to 12 month medical program to physically cure them of their dependencies.

Then they undergo counseling to help them mentally overcome their addictions and they receive management counseling to enable them to become productive.

The final step is working at a recycling plant run by the Army. The Army states that, “By working at the center’s recycling factory, people will not only learn to work but also learn to cooperate with others, and ultimately get a salary of 800,000 won.”

The Salvation Army really cares about helping. They do not only want to provide the less-than-fortunate with a place to sleep or a full belly, the Army wants to help people help themselves, and to provide them with the tools to do that.

The funds for these programs come from shops operated by the Army members and their families. Most of the shops sell donated clothes, appliances and furniture.

However, some have associated food outlets, the main purpose of which is to aid those such as the elderly, the disabled and young homeowners who may not be able to obtain the basic foods they need on a daily basis.

Sally’s coffee outlet is another source of funds which enables the Salvation Army to aid others.

The Army also relies on donations from philanthropists including Fiona Uden, the wife of British Ambassador Martin Uden, who tries to help in her own way.

“Every Christmas I do something I call the ‘warming tree’. It is where I ask for members of our staff at the embassy to donate gloves, hats, and winter scarves that we peg onto a Christmas tree and give to needy and homeless people.

“Also whenever somebody from the embassy leaves, I ask them if there are any of their belongings that they will not need at their next posting and if they would not mind donating it,” said Uden

Uden has volunteered at the Army’s Bridge Centre which provides food to the homeless.

“The work the Salvation Army does is imperative. There are more and more young people in need of help. In the financial crisis they are losing their jobs, they are losing their homes, they end up on the street and many turn to substance abuse. The Salvation Army is there, they care and they help,” added Uden.

Currently there are nine family-run Army stores in the Seoul area: The Namdaemun Store at Hoehyeon station exit 4; Seongdong at Sangwangsimni station, exit 4; Ahyeon Store at Aeogae station, exit 4; Daehak-ro at Hyehwa station, exit 4; Mapo #1 Store at World Cup Stadium station, exit 1; Mapo #2 Store at Gwangheungchang station, exit 4; Bugahyeon Store at Ahyeon station; Seodaemun Store at Seodaemun station, exit 1; and Yeonhui Store at Hongje station, exit 3.

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