For Christmas, Kassie’s brother sent our kids a DVD about William Booth and the history of the Salvation Army.
As we’ve watched this DVD a few times already, the story of Booth’s courage amazes me. Booth and his wife moved to an area with serious poverty and violence, even against the advice of their church leaders.
You may know that the Salvation Army today is one of the world’s largest distributors of humanitarian aid. William and Catherine Booth founded the Salvation Army in 1865 in London’s infamous East End neighborhood.
Their lives were not easy. During the early years of their work in London, William Booth would “stumble home night after night haggard with fatigue, often his clothes were torn and bloody bandages swathed his head where a stone had struck”, wrote his wife.
In his book, William Booth explained his goal in their mercy and charity work:
I have no intention to depart in the smallest degree from the main principles on which I have acted in the past. My only hope for the permanent deliverance of mankind from misery, either in this world or the next, is the regeneration or remaking of the individual by the power of the Holy Ghost through Jesus Christ. But in providing for the relief of temporal misery I reckon that I am only making it easy where it is now difficult, and possible where it is now all but impossible, for men and women to find their way to the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.