I was in Adelaide at Operation 58 this past weekend. It’s a Divisional youth event with a focus on social justice (based on Isaiah 58) and it was amazing! Every Division should be holding one of these events and they should be starting them as soon as possible. Why? Because in just over two years they have raised $30,000! Now I have been to a lot of youth events over the years and they have been a mixture of good teaching or good worship or good fellowship. But none of them have had a moment in the meeting where every person came down and dumped their piggy bank of change into a giant tin…a tin that now has the capacity to make an orphanage for abused kids in Cambodia!
Basically, the youth are encouraged/compelled to fast a luxury for the school term (like chocolate or coke) and instead of spending that money on junk, they put it in their piggy bank and then give it all to Operation 58. It is an easy and effective way of teaching kids mission and justice and holiness and servanthood and sacrifice and fasting…and on top of the life transforming experience, they get to make a real difference in the lives of those who need our help desperately. There was nothing flash about the event. The prayer meeting and worship were simple, fun and effective, the preach was average, the people were regular children of God…and yet I got the feeling Operation 58 was an annointed plan that is not-so-slowly changing the world.
It was refreshing to meet a bunch of youth and leaders who seem to have grasped justice and mission in The Salvation Army. Maybe instead of checking out every other curriculum, program, church, event, camp, and initiative of other denominations, Salvos will latch onto Operation 58 and replicate the awesome results coming out of the South Australian Division of The Salvation Army.
Thanks guys, you are an amazing blessing.