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Four stories. Four men. Four regained lives.

Vladimir, Sergei, Vladimir and Stanislavs opened their hearts to share their stories and experiences. Their internal motivation and support given by the Salvation Army, changed their way of life very rapidly. During Christmas, the Salvation Army asks for the support of fellow people, so that any assistance provided would help us to help others. In Riga on Bruņienieku Street where the Salvation Army’s headquarters is located, there is a soup kitchen and also elsewhere in Latvia: Bauska, Iecava, Jelgava, Daugavpils, Liepa, Liepaja, Saldus, Seda has access to help – food packages, clothing, lessons for children and families. The Children’s Centre Patvērums and Social Assistance Centres are active in Riga. The Salvation Army pays particular attention to education and work with families, meaningful spending of leisure time for children. Vladimir’s story Vladimir’s life changed a lot when his wife died. The man arrived in Riga and lived in a hut for four years, both in summer and in winter freeze. Vladimir was addressed by an acquaintance, inviting him to go to service together. In the first time, when he arrived in the Salvation Army, Vladimir was called upon to become a recruit. It was really a turning point. Gradually Vladimir became involved in the life and work of the congregation. Through the help he received, Vladimir has found a way to be helpful to others. Sergey’s story Sergey links the way to the Salvation Army to the choice of work he had done incorrectly. He worked as a waiter, and the easy access to alcohol promted him to drink a glass almost every day. This was followed by a departure and divorce from his wife, a sale of an apartment. Life became more and more difficult. Today, he says, it was a complete degradation, he didn’t want to work at all. Vladimir’s story For the first time about the Salvation Army, Vladimir learned in 2004, after his first release from the detention. He met a former camera member on the street, who also advised him to go there. Vladimir decided at once that he wanted to be a recruit in the Salvation Army. In the 1990s, which he also calls the savage times of bangerism, Vladimir was not the last man among the “wild brigades.” In his life it came that God had led him through different paths – he had seen both the “top” and lived in prosperity, and had come to the “bottom” experiencing the poverty. Stanislavs story Stanislavs initially met the Salvation Army abroad, since he has worked mostly outside Latvia’s borders since August 1991. He worked both in Brazil and in the United States, Florida, Tampa, England and Belgium, as in Amsterdam. In the summer of 2018, he decided to return to his dear Riga, where he realized that the Salvation Army was the right place to develop himself, serve God and help others. Stanislavs now knows that money and work, which had always been in the first place, will not be able to replace what is the most important to him now – developing himself and serving for...

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The General’s Christmas Message 2018

A World-changing Relationship It’s a privilege to greet you this Christmas, my first as the General of The Salvation Army. Throughout 131 countries around the world, The Salvation Army is bringing a message of hope as we seek to work for justice, righteousness and the extension of God’s Kingdom – not in our own strength, you understand, only through his power. Our hope this Christmas is founded in the person of Christ Jesus who is our Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace and Everlasting Father. The titles are first found in the early verses of Isaiah 9 (2, 6-7), which contain a message of hope to a people living in darkness and death – hope of light and life which are only found in the promised Saviour. Into this situation comes not a theory or a method, but a person. A living, breathing human – born as a vulnerable baby. Hope is found in relationship with Jesus – the Light of the World who shatters the darkness. Hope is found not in dead ritualistic religion, but in vibrant, life-giving relationship with God. Who is this Jesus? He is God in human form – no longer distant and unreachable, but right here with us. He is our Wonderful Counsellor, who speaks words of wisdom and guides us into truth. He is our Mighty God for whom nothing is impossible – he forgives sins, heals diseases and raises the dead. He is our Prince of Peace, who comes in love, providing rest for the weary and comfort for the troubled. He is our Everlasting Father, offering a familial relationship that can last for eternity, including protection and provision in the here and now. This is the Jesus who was born in the manger, hangs on the Cross and bursts out of the grave! You can know this Jesus today. Jesus is all about justice, righteousness and salvation. The people who heard Isaiah’s prophecy, the people who lived at the time of Jesus and we who are alive today are all too familiar with a broken world where injustices are prevalent and which is blighted by lack of morality. The person, message and method found in Jesus bring a countercultural perspective that transforms the dark and lifeless falsehood of the kingdom of this world into the gloriously bright, vivacious reality of the Kingdom of God. You and I can experience this transformation and share the same with others when we live in relationship with Jesus. It may sound like an idealistic vision or too good to be true. We can’t achieve this on our own – if we could, humankind would have figured it out by now! As the words from Isaiah remind us, it can only be accomplished through the power of God – ‘The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this’ (v 7 New International Version). So this Christmas, let us trust God, rely on his power, live in relationship with him and partner with him to bring life, light and hope to our world. May God bless you. Brian Peddle...

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Annual report 2017

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European Training Leader’s Network

This year the Training Leader’s Network happened in Riga from 3-5th February. 27 people from 12 European countries gathered to share their knowledge and experience on training Cadets (pastors) in their context. As well as gaining strength from networking together, they also gained inspiration from walking around the beautiful city of Riga. Everyone expressed how welcome they had felt and how they had enjoyed their time...

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Engagerad initiativtagare befordrad till härligheten

Bertil Rodin, O.F. (Order of the Founder) har haft en betydande roll inom Frälsningsarmén och har lämnat många avtryck efter sig när han i december lämnade jordelivet, 88 år gammal. Han brann för samhällets utsatta, var en sann bedjare och duktig lärare och han gav upphov till värdefulla verksamheter i Sverige och Lettland. Bertil Rodin föddes år 1929 och hann bli 88 år innan han befordrades till härligheten 26 december förra året. Under många år hade han flera betydelsefulla uppdrag i sin lokala kår. Bland annat var han fanjunkare och han tillhörde Vasakåren i Stockholm. Engagemanget för hemlösa Personer som varit i Bertil Rodins närhet beskriver honom som en man med stort engagemang, särskilt för samhällets utsatta, och han var den som initierade Frälsningsarméns härbärge i Midsommarkransen i Stockholm i slutet av 1980-talet. Tack vare Bertil Rodins kontakter inom politiken frigjordes pengar för att finansiera verksamheten och initiativet ledde till att hemlöshetsfrågan blev ett debattämne i vårt land. Bertil Rodin tillbringade även många nätter med att söka upp hemlösa som bland annat bjöds på fika. Startade upp ett skol/familje- och krishem i Lettland Lettland utgör ett territorium tillsammans med Sverige inom Frälsningsarmén och i början av 1990-talet vikarierade Bertil Rodin för ledaren i Lettland. Ett viktigt initiativ han tog var att starta upp verksamhet vid Skangal som tidigare var familjen Palmes släktgård. Idag är den ett skol/familje- och krishem där det främst bor barn men också unga mödrar. Mottog ärofylld utmärkelse För ett par år sedan gav Bertil Rodin ut en bok om sin tid i landet och år 2003 mottog han utmärkelsen Order of the Founder, Grundläggarens Orden, för bland annat sitt arbete i Lettland och Skangal. Det är den mest ärofyllda utmärkelsen inom Frälsningsarmén för framstående insatser och under de hittills 97 åren den delats ut har 272 frälsningsofficerare och frälsningssoldater mottagit den. Gjorde skillnad inom skolvärlden Bertil Rodin beskrivs också som en entusiastisk lärare med tjänstgöring vid Frälsningsarméns Officersskola, inom konfirmationsundervisning och i andra kurssammanhang. Under sin tid vid Dalarö folkhögskola såg han till att personer med multihandikapp fick möjligheten att kommunicera via datorer, något som bröt deras isolering. Tack vare det var kom även många andra att engagera sig i målgruppen vilket ledde till att det startades en unik arbetsplats för just den. Bertil Rodins intresse för skolvärlden resulterade i att Frälsningsarmén blev en viktig partner för skolväsendet i allmänhet och andra frivilligorganisationer och volontärer blev också involverade. En sann bedjare Bertil Rodin var även en sann bedjare och skrev in alla han innefattade i sina böner i en särskild bönbok. Ett stort fritidsintresse han hade var att samla på frimärken. Begravningen äger rum lördag 20 januari klockan 13 på Vasakåren i Stockholm. Text: Teresia...

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