Caravans for ChristMay we too ask the Holy Spirit to help us to be creative and have the spirit of adventure to reach our communities for Christ.
It is fascinating how our movement has changed dramatically compared to when it first began in 1865. I believe the modes of travel are even more fascinating when transporting the “red-hot” gospel — whether on cobblestone streets in the East End of London, or to the highways and lanes of the countryside, traveling for the Lord Jesus Christ and sharing the message through soup, soap and salvation. The way these soldiers of the cross shared the gospel has become just a memory in the page of a book.
At first, many Salvationists walked everywhere, preaching and praying wherever they went. For the majority of Salvation Army evangelists, they were not able to ride in the carriages that transported the wealthy around the city or into the countryside. Yet these “holy daredevils” began asking about and purchasing broken down vardos (Romani wagons), which they would then restore, making them a vibrant tool for the Kingdom of God. Some images that can be found in the pages of early Salvation Army publications show Salvation Army officers standing on the platform of the wagon, or next to them, with certain Scripture verses painted on the side boards. They would place Bibles, War Crys and other necessary tools inside a bin on the countertop, in order to fight the devil throughout the United Kingdom.
The horses used were well bred just for their ability to transport these wagons from place to place. Filled with the Holy Spirit, creativity and ingenuity, these Salvationists would move these wagons from place to place in order to reach the lost, the last and the least. May we too ask the Holy Spirit to help us to be creative and have the spirit of adventure to reach our communities for Christ.
Photo via The Salvation Army National Archives