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Multi-Cultural Ministry Introduction

The Greater Toronto Area is a region of many nations. For the past nine months, as the Territorial Multicultural Ministries Secretary, we have visited several units and whether the Salvation Army accepts this fact or not, the clientele has changed and will continue to change. Some communities remain predominantly one culture, but the residents have changed.
I believe the Army is for saving souls. I did not meet William Booth, but I could see him as a spiritual hero and as an example for cross-culture, multi-ethnic outreach in the 19th century as he was told that his bunch of ‘society’s misfits,’ (‘immigrants,’) could not fit into the Methodist ‘church culture,’ of the time. Booth’s passion was for souls. It was a ‘dark-age’ economically speaking, but through a man of God, with a Word from the Lord, The Salvation Army was born. Not only was the Army born but it was the time when it spread the fastest. Booth birthed multiculturalism when he started the Army and he knew that he was called for the nations. Unlike the Church of England, the Army was born to be international. It was never the Army of London. We have been trying to model it ever since. It stands to reason that if William Booth – the spiritual father of the SA – was raised up for the nations that the SA would be raised up for the same call. God is the author of nations. Consider the ‘Tower of Babel.’
Is God speaking to us through this nation of Canada? God is in control of the universe. He orders times and seasons. It is a season for harvesting the rich harvest He has planted for us. It is like having a diverse garden in our own backyard.
(Lt. Colonel Raphael Mason)

Upward Mobility of the Immigrant

But are we prepared to tend His garden? Are we prepared like William Booth to become fishers of men of those coming to this nation and accept a growing, moving Church? For Canadians, roots are important but for the immigrant who had to leave everything and escape with life alone, priorities have changed. For the newcomer, the movement will probably look something like this.
  1. The first few years will be spent living with relatives, friends, or strangers in a basement, working hard, studying, saving and very little in the way of a social life.
  2. The next step is to move into a high-rise. This is not the ideal life. It offers more independence, but is a very restricted lifestyle space-wise. The family may well be raised here, but the immigrant has his eyes set on owning his own home.
  3. This may be realized by the time the children are ready for tertiary education. The question we need to ask is, ‘Are those who are in the frontlines aware of immigrant behaviour? This is why those who have bought into ‘fright flight,’ will eventually run out of space for where you are is exactly where the immigrant who has made it is heading. The only thing that would keep him out is if the nation reverts to racial barriers.
 
 
 

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