From the Editor

Where there's a need

JUST recently I was reminded of Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – a theory in psychology that identifies five levels of human need, usually depicted as a pyramid. At the bottom of the pyramid are physical needs, such as food and shelter, and on the next level up are safety and security. Further up are the need for love and a sense of belonging, then for esteem. Finally, at the top of the pyramid, is the need for self-actualisation, the fulfilling of potential – which in spiritual terms would mean coming into a relationship with God.

Maslow stressed that the needs lower down in the hierarchy have to be satisfied before the needs higher up can be met. That reminds me of William Booth’s statement: ‘No one gets a blessing if they have cold feet and nobody ever got saved while they had toothache!’ Hence the Army’s holistic ministry, which is featured in this week’s issue in a number of ways.

Refugees can be deprived of the most basic needs – food, shelter and safety – and are the focus of Refugee Week (14–20 June). To mark that, Bethany Gibson previews an online event called Welcoming the Stranger: The Ethics of Migration, and interviews Captain Callum McKenna about the involvement of Hythe Corps in the UK’s community sponsorship scheme. While many of us are not able to respond so directly, there are other things we can do. The accompanying resources article points to eight simple acts that can raise our awareness and help us stand in solidarity with refugees.

In this month’s ‘In the Zone’ feature Major Saga Lippo gives an overview of the Finland and Estonia Territory. She describes the Army’s response during the pandemic, but also outlines work carried out in normal times. This includes housing services, which meet people’s needs through a ‘housing first’ approach. And, in line with the Army’s holistic strategy, she also points to the spiritual support provided in these situations, while the territorial leaders outline their hope that Salvationists in Finland and Estonia ‘will be ready to share the joyful message of Jesus’.

The UK government has identified the need for ‘levelling up’ communities. ‘Each community and each person’s needs are different,’ says Annie Dell in her article, which shows how the Army is ready to play its part through research and action.

Major Rosemary Dawson begins a series in which she recalls ‘inspirational people’ she met during her time working on the War Cry. Angie Taylor is one of them, a person who was experiencing homelessness and addiction issues. Angie’s life was transformed when she encountered Jesus, and she set out to witness to God’s power in her life.

Winston Churchill is thought to have said, ‘Where there’s a need, there’s The Salvation Army.’ Wherever people find themselves on Maslow’s pyramid, you and I have something to offer. It might be a listening ear, a helping hand or a word of witness, but God can use us – and he needs us – just where we are.

What can I do to ease life’s heavy burdens?

What can I do to help mankind in need?

Just where I am I’ll share my neighbour’s hardship,

Lighten his load, and prove a friend indeed.

Just where he needs me, my Lord has placed me,

Just where he needs me, there would I be!

And since he found me, by love he’s bound me

To serve him joyfully.

(SASB 944)




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