3 February 2024

Self-Denial 2024: Called by God – supported by you

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Salvationist introduces the 2024 Self-Denial Appeal, which focuses on supporting officers around the world.

How much do you give to God? Around the world, there are more than 16,000 active Salvation Army officers who have offered their whole lives in service to him.

It is easy to reduce these officers to statistics and numbers, but they are incarnational: they live and serve in the communities they are appointed to, so that their lives openly profess the Lord’s love. They work to transform lives and bring God’s Kingdom here on Earth. This year’s Self-Denial Appeal focuses on the life-changing impact that these officers have across the globe.

The annual appeal dates back to 1886, when William Booth was trying to raise funds for The Salvation Army’s international work. An officer pledged to go without pudding for a whole year and give the money to the fund, and the idea of the Self-Denial Appeal was born.

Today, the worldwide appeal sees Salvationists across the globe participate in sacrificial giving to help fund the Army’s work in countries where the need is great and the resources are not so plentiful. By funding training, resources and infrastructure – from administration to IT – these Self-Denial offerings help equip Salvationists to do God’s work. They make it possible for the Army to carry out crucial work that might otherwise not be possible at all.

Each year, the appeal focuses on a different aspect of Salvation Army ministry, encouraging Salvationists not only to give but also to pray about the international Army. This year, the appeal focuses on supporting officers in India, Uruguay and Greenland.

A photo of Captain Nathanael

Captain Nathanael lives with his wife, Ruchama, and three children in Nuuk, the capital of Greenland. There are more people experiencing homelessness here, as a proportion of the population, than in any other European city. Nathanael opens the building early every morning to welcome vulnerable people who are sleeping rough or struggling with addiction. Understanding their needs and difficulties is key, but it can be hard for people to talk about them, so he runs a welcoming café where people can relax and chat. Music plays a big part in his ministry too.

‘Singing helps express emotions, as well as uniting people,’ he says.

People who want to turn their lives around find practical help, love and hope at the centre – and Nathanael’s work operating it is vital.

A photo of Captains Anthony and Makimi

Captains Anthony and Makimi live with their son in Mizoram, northeast India, where they operate an Adult Rehabilitation Centre. The centre provides drug and alcohol treatment programmes for people struggling with addiction.

Anthony is responsible for the administration and management of the centre, but also for people’s spiritual development. Makimi looks after the centre’s finances and provides pastoral support to staff members.

A photo of Lieutenant Jose in Salto, Uruguay

In Uruguay, Lieutenants Jose and Kayla run the Salto and Salto Nuevo Corps, which help people on the streets and provide food and spiritual support.

‘We, as officers, are 24/7,’ explains Jose. ‘Every moment giving this service, attending these people who really need the strength, the spiritual company. You always have to be there.’

By supporting officers such as Nathanael, Anthony, Makimi, Jose and Kayla through the Self-Denial Appeal, you can help them respond to God’s calling. You can help equip them to carry out their work most effectively and transform lives as they flourish in their roles.

The Self-Denial Appeal begins on Sunday 4 February and ends with an altar service held on Sunday 3 March. Around the world, Salvationists will be giving sacrificially as part of their own faithful response to God’s generous, unfailing love.

Throughout the appeal, weekly videos will help focus on each of the above countries. They can be watched on your own or together in meetings. They could be shared with corps members through social media. Each film will be accompanied by related prayer points.

The videos and prayer points will be available online and will be published and available to read in Salvationist.

Giving is a biblical discipline that enables people to ‘do good and to share with others’ (Hebrews 13:16). It is a practice that sits alongside disciplines such as prayer, reading of Scripture, obedience and love. It is not a separate act, but an essential part of a faithful life.

The people who will benefit from your Self-Denial offering are your brothers and sisters in this global Army. As officers around the world work sacrificially to give their expertise and skills to share God’s love, how much will you give to God where you are?

Your offering

Bring your sacrificial offering to your corps or give online.

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Discover more

Go without something to support the work of the international Salvation Army.

Information and resources for the Self-Denial Appeal 2024.

Benjamin Gilbert explains the differences and links between the Army’s two major international appeals.

Helping people understand the importance of generous and sacrificial living.