Thursday, August 22, 2013


Photo: Doug MacLellan

The Howard Hospital, Dr. Paul Thistle and the Salvation Army Report is written by former SA officer Jolinda Cooper. Many persons, including former and active SA officers conducted research and provided editing advice. And many former staff members of the HH and volunteers/donors supplied us with first hand information used by Ms. Coopers' report and include:

Interfaith Friends of Howard Hospital (IFFH) – A group of concerned doctors and other professionals formed this group, worked as volunteers on-site at Howard Hospital, and facilitated millions of dollars' worth of medical equipment, medicine and funds, including grants from international aid agencies, Canadian registered charities, and faith-based groups. 

Dr. Michael Silverman and Sarah Zelcer  (Dr. Michael Silverman, MD, FRCP, FACP. Global Scholar, PAS Center for International Health, Mount Sinai Hospital; Sarah Zelcer, Director of International Programs, Ve'ahavta: The Canadian Jewish Humanitarian and Relief Committee) 

Doug MacLellan – A friend of the Thistles and professional photographer. MacLellan previously photographed Howard Hospital in 2001, 2006, 2008 and 2010. These photographs raised thousands of dollars for Howard Hospital and inspired many doctors to volunteer. Additionally, The Salvation Army has published his photos in their magazines and books in four countries. 

Brian Nichols – Psychotherapist/Specialist in Grief and Trauma Counseling. He worked with a fund-raising group who contributed over $210,000 for Howard Hospital, and who visited and worked at Howard Hospital a number of times. 

Dr. Norman Fenton – A frequent donor and 
volunteer at Howard Hospital. A member/
volunteer with the SHUMBA Foundation. 

Major (Dr.) James Watt former CMO, the HH
John Sullivan
Brian Nichols           
Tina Ivany
Sven Ljungholm 

David Ivany           
Gay Pratt
Jennifer Reid           
Brian Simard          
David Lunt           
Jennifer Reid            
Bob Argent
Kim MacDonald MD
Marit Kalvo
Annlaug Teigene
Susan Heder
Zimbabweans and Canadians for Howard Hospital on Facebook. 
Photo: Doug MacLellan

NOTE: The report includes two comments from newspaper articles that might cause confusion ad we share the following explanation:Joyce Mujuru is NOT a “senior Salvation Army leader”. She has no official role in the Salvation Army other than that of SA soldier, however, she was referred to as a Senior Captain in a news report. The Sr. Captain rank has not been in effect for several decades and one must assume that it is an honorary rank bestowed upon her.

A newspaper stated that Joyce Mujuru was campaigning to be President in the recent elections. This report was incorrect: she was campaigning for President Mugabe’s election.

We are committed to maintaining the integrity and transparency of our report and will share corrections once verified and as necessary.



Anonymous said...

Thank you FSAOF for your diligence in seeking the truth and for exposing the SA's high level deception. Where can one turn for model ethical authority and integrity?

Active officer UKTI

Anonymous said...

Deception is a very serious accusation to make against as you put it,the higher level leadership when actually there is no proof.Many of the officers that have been named in this report I have found over many years to be godly people and people of integrity,certainly not perfect but sincere.

Anonymous said...

Deception at middle level leadership then where there is proof… "Many of the officers that have been named in this report I have found over many years to be godly people and people of integrity,certainly not perfect but sincere." Agree 100%- however sincere they may be, some appear painfully naive and manipulated.

Are you suggesting that the SA acted with integrity, wholeness in this matter? Why not open the whole debacle to scrutiny and have an outside agency investigate every questionable detail and action?

Anonymous said...

Is this comprehensive report being sent to the new General and Commissioners at IHQ?

It is incredibly thorough!!

Anonymous said...

There's also the issue of TSA Zimbabwe website - why take that down if they have nothing to hide? And why, if everything is operating properly again, are we not allowed access to the HH hospital site? It's quickly becoming a question of trust in the leadership. The new General has said that 'if we abandon the poor and marginalised, we will cease to exist'. There are not many worse examples of the poor and marginalised than the Chiweshe people, yet they appear to be doing nothing to resolve the very situation that they themselves have created.
So many questions - no answers from TSA, though. I'm not sure where this will go, though - the silence is creating a vacuum of thought.

A one-sided conversation goes nowhere in the end - maybe this is what they are depending on - that we will gradually forget about it all and it will be business as usual once again.

A shocking indictment on a once-great humanitarian organisation - failing to serve the people it was called into being to help.

Where is the SA's Christian compassion in all of this?

Andrew Pogson said...

General Cox you need to instigate an Independent Inquiry you are aware of what happened at the Howard Hospital and an Inquiry will bring to light just exactly what went on, are you afraid to have this in the public domain? You can no longer keep this matter covered up.You may have various documents as yet unpublished or read articles in this blog, they refer to people, poor and marginalised people. People who have suffered and still do so because of a bad decision made by TSA. Do not let them down and stop it from happening again! Instigate an Independent Inquiry!


Anonymous said...

Amen to an independent, external inquiry. It has been called for now for a year. This issue will not disappear until dealt with transparently, necessitating a totally independent investigation.

Salvationists all around the world are praying for you General Cox, that you will make the decision to have an independent, external investigation done because the consequences of the Army's decisions in this matter have resulted in loss of human life and there will be further deaths.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous who said '...actually there is no proof.Many of the officers that have been named in this report I have found over many years to be godly people and people of integrity' -
I don't know how much more proof you need to realise that this situation is very wrong, especially for a branch of the christian church which prides itself on its treatment of the poor and marginalised in society, but which has failed miserably in this instance.
The FSAOF have published this excellent report, which is an accumulation of several weeks' articles - some of which have been written by people directly involved in HH over many years, and they have been damning in their criticism of TSA - because they knew the actual state of activity in the hospital before it all fell apart.
All the statements have been backed up with journalistic evidence on an international scale - none of which were ever called into question at the time they were written, so there is no need to question their veracity now.
You say that you know the people named in the report, and in your opinion they are people of integrity. That is for your judgment only. The facts are as they have been stated in the report. I have verified them myself by researching the reporting source and I have no doubt in my own mind that they are true. I maybe have an advantage in that I do not know any of the people named, so I can view them dispassionately and just look at the facts.
I am shocked at the decisions that were made, and I am deeply concerned that the people of Chiweshe are now reaping the whirlwind of the ill-conceived judgement of Army leaders who are sited far away from the misery their decisions have caused.

Anonymous said...

I feel for the Zimbabwean soldier - I, too, am ashamed of my uniform in the light of what has happened. I feel some guilt by association. Leaders act but their decisions reverberate down the ranks, and we are the ones who will have to give an answer if asked about this issue. The leadership should at least make a statement, to be fair to the (volunteer) members.
This situation has been 3 years in the making, if one of the IHQ statements is to be believed - where they say that Dr Thistle's move had been planned a full 2 years before they expelled him at 48 hours notice in 2012 - I don't know about you, but even when you read this, it defies truth or logic.
It is said that 'the cruellest lies are often told in silence', and TSA's continued silence on this distressing tragedy suggests that they are trying to keep the truth hidden.

Anonymous said...

Someone just sent me a link to this report on the internet. Here's the link:

Anonymous said...

Are you sure the SA is in a mess with this HH saga? This could well be a one sided ( this blog for example) perception that may not be necessarily shared by the other (SA authority) side!

Everything is in the eye of the beholder....

Anonymous said...

This isn't a one-sided blog at all. It's a balanced report of events as they happened. If you can dissect the reports that have come out of IHQ and deduce that they all say the same 'truth', then I fear for both your reasoning skills and your sense of justice.

And if TSA wasn't in a mess with this, they wouldn't have hidden every possible scrap of information on the HH hospital that was previously available on the internet. They also would have no reason to bring down the SA Zimbabwean website. Drastic measures indeed.
Have you asked yourself 'why'? Perhaps if you do, your 'eye' may 'behold' something new.

Anonymous said...

For 16 years, he lived among them sharing their pains; when everyone saw desolation, he chose to be a symbol of hope. He married among them; when our store shelves were empty, he got no bread; when bungling NOCZIM made sure the nation had no fuel, he learnt to park his vehicle and hope for better days.

why he was a man apart. Sometime in 2004, a set of conjoined twins was delivered at Howard Hospital. Their parents named them Tinotenda and Tinashe, names conveying their appreciation and belief in a God who provides ways even where we see none.

Such an occurrence in our public hospitals would attract a flood of visitors to see this rarity but in the end with no expertise for the complex operation needed to separate them, they would be condemned to a sorry death. Not under the watch of Thistle though. He got on the phone, mobilized, begged and badgered until the twins were flown to one of the world's best children's hospitals – Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and ultimately got life-saving surgery. To this day, Tinotenda and Tinashe are alive and will never forget how hard Thistle fought to save their lives.

When Zimbabweans, myself included, decided Chiweshe was too rural, too slow to spend the youthful days of our lives, he lived there, somehow managing to convince hundreds of fellow Canadians to devote months of service there as well. And when the government and the church told him they had no money for supplies, he independently begged for money from all who cared to listen.

Miraculously, even in the darkest of years when even the government could not keep its own hospitals like KuGomo open, Howard remained an oasis of hope. I distinctly remember working as a junior doctor at one of the nation's largest referral hospitals in 2008.

That year, when all that could go wrong did go wrong, we learnt that when we had patients we could not look after we would refer them to Howard and Karanda Mission Hospitals. It sounds unbelievable, but hospitals with hundreds of doctors ended up referring patients to a rural village in Chiweshe. And as patients would report back, it did not matter how far you came, or that they had not a dime to pay, Thistle and his team welcomed you and gave you the best of Howard's renowned hospitality and clinical excellence.

Dr Tinashe Gede

Anonymous said...

Well the indictment continues. But TSA remainsvery steadfast and sure. The General prepares to go to the Southern hemisphere territories in 10 day's ... why not Zim to see fir himself? Who is going to be left holding the fort? No COS!
What happened to the perceived threat made on this blogspot ..." files sent to City of London Police and Charity Commission" and the responses of acknowledgement so recieved? Was this another anonymous bluff?
I commend the blogspot for its adding fuel but more likely probably not even a spark!
The whole sorry matter is the poor, the needy and the vulnerable of the Zim territory who while  the TSA stand idling by in a state if intra-organisational inertia in culpable bliss.
The day will come when the Lord will smite TSA and there will be no place to hide.

Former TSA Soldier UKT.

Anonymous said...

I came across this in my search for more information on the Howard hospital. Sadly, due to TSA's aggressive war on concealing the truth, there is not much left that is available. But his little nugget is still there - untouched by the sullied efforts of the SA leadership. It gives you an idea of the life-saving heartbeat of the hospital.

Read it, and then decide if TSA did the right thing. Tragic. And inexcusable. And all so avoidable - they only had to ask themselves - WWJD - it's rammed down our throats enough to have become part of our psyche - shame they didn't ask themselves that question at the time instead of acquiescing to their petty (in this case) authoritarian powers. I'm positive that the Lord wouldn't have abandoned a whole community just for a petty dispute with human 'authority'.

And what is totally bewildering is that the situation is still unresolved, despite the 'bleating' statements that they are making reparation - smoke and mirrors. If they had done something about it it would be emblazoned on all army periodicals and media sites for all to see, and there would be congratulations all round. I don't see any.

Anonymous said...

'a state of intra-organisational inertia in culpable bliss'. That is the best description yet for this narcissistic organisation - well said.
I believe there have been a few bluffs put on this website, to try to detract people from airing their views. I wonder where they came from? Again, not the actions you would expect from a worldwide charitable organisation that impresses the world with its social work agenda.
If TSA remains in this obdurate state, people who care should lobby all senior leaders during the many public events that take place.
I do agree that the Lord, like TSA leaders, is watching events, and He will act in His time. Patience is never easy for people who see wrongdoing and want to see it put right. We need to trust God and wait. And pray - for the welfare of the Chiweshe people and for the blind leaders who have led these people into an appalling healthcare abyss, all in an attempt to protect reputations - am attempt that has failed in any case, if reactions on here are to be believed. It's been said somewhere on these blogs previously - it's a very strange situation when the ordinary members are calling for action from the leaders - it's usually the other way around.
But where we go regarding respect for our spiritual leaders now is anyone's guess. The people I've conversed with (within the ranks) don't seem to have much - the leaders' continued stubbornness and silence is a self-perpetuating spiral - as time goes on, the situation is festering, and hearts at ground level will harden. Apart from the class of paid officers we are all volunteers, and we don't have to follow blindly where we see injustice and cruelty and attempts to hide what has already been revealed through the international media. I commend Dr Thistle for joining the evangelical alliance - long may he prosper and his excellent work continue. I shall stay within the ranks - for a while - to see what happens. There needs to be radical change. There also needs to be some compassionate gesture by TSA towards these people who have been deprived of essential healthcare almost overnight in a most callous way.

Anonymous said...

A Zimbabwean Salvationist wrote, “The Salvation Army now frightens me… We now know we are waging war against a Monster… Our very own church! Am now very ashamed to wear my uniform and so are many other people.”

(Name on file)

Anonymous said...

On reading the Canadian SA web about the Howard gave me immediate hope that the situation has changed for the better!

"Prevention, treatment and care, and a message of hope…this is the message that can be delivered to the patients, their families and the community. The provision of quality medical services with social and spiritual support should have a positive impact on lives of the rural population, and ultimately produce a healthy productive Zimbabwean society."

AND THE, THE DATE: 2006. Add to that their confusion in displaying a picture not of the Howard Hospital but one from South Africa, the Mountain View Hospital in Kwa Zulu Natal.

Anonymous said...

Well the way to bring this intra organisational cupable homicide of TSA reputation and standing is for prayerful action and peaceful collaborative protest as follows ...

1 Send a copy of the excellent report with a gentle letter to all TC and DC leaders across every territory. The letter just asking for answers.

2. On a given day a uniform down day and a mass move to prayer at the mercy seat in as many locations ... the reason ... we are asking for a move if God ...cortorising what is cancerous ...excuse my brevity.

3. Brave colour sargents or local officers could put the white ribbon on the colours like in a promotion to glory situation. When asked why...say so.

4. Be open honest and accountable ... be light in this hellish darkness

Andrew Pogson said...

General Cox stop hiding in your office and behind other people. Yor credability is waining, you have been in power long enough to have done something major in Zimbabwe and about the rotten dealings over Howard Hospital. You are leader of the church and Registered Charity it is time for action! People have died due to what TSA did at HH and continue to suffer. The poor and disadvantaged have been forgotten. What does this say about TSA but more importantly senior leaders? Will you stand tall and admit that TSA got it wrong? General Cox you have the power to order an Independent Inquiry.

Anonymous said...

Right, 12 long months later! How many have suffered and died because the SA took their focus away from the HH patients and needy to settle a silly inside power struggle.

There are many qualified SA MDs that can be mobilized. Stop playing with people's lives for the sake of face saving- things will only become more uncontrollable.

Anonymous said...

I have spent the morning researching the achievements of this amazing doctor, and I am incensed at TSA's actions and deeply ashamed to be part of this 'humanitarian' organisation which discarded him, his skills, and his lifetime achievements as a respected doctor of international acclaim so casually - as if he was dirt on their shoes - all because he wanted the best for his hospital and its suffering people - and they wanted him to toe the party line and act as if everything was OK - which it wasn't. They put the 'wants' of this man-made organisation above those of the 'needs' of very real, suffering people, who, but for the grace of God, could be you or me.

When it suited them, they paraded his achievements in both and War Cry publications, proud to 'show off' that he was part of the Salvation Army, but once he issued a reasonable challenge to their spurious actions, they all rounded on him with alacrity and sent him packing with no avenue of redress, no regard to the welfare of the people receiving treatment directly under his medical care, and regardless of his contribution to keeping the community of 270,000 people in a degree of health that they will probably never achieve again, if the speed at which TSA is 'progressing' is anything to go by. They will probably die before anything is done - unless, of course, TSA breaks their stubborn silence and has the decency to inform the soldiery what is actually going on, if anything.

I am beyond angry, and cannot conceive what was going through the minds of our spiritual leaders to arrive at this situation. None of these 'esteemed' leaders will ever achieve a fraction of what Dr Thistle has already done with his life - his selfless devotion to the people under his care is second to none.

God has already blessed this man and his family with a job outside the toxicity of TSA -he is a true saint and deserves better than the treatment meted out to him by TSA. The phrase 'a giant led by pygmies' comes to mind.

Anonymous said...

A lot of the above is just highly religious, sanctimonious twaddle!

The report itself is really a one-sided 'account' of a multi-facetted issue that is not particularly well written as reports go. Certain tid bits are quite interesting and informative but not necessarily authoritative.

The absence of a balanced counter perspective is a real problem for most the FSAOF blog participants - I am pretty certain that it is not for the SA otherwise there would have been at least dialogue. Since this is all one-sided reporting it has reduced credibility in the eyes of a more rational and open mind.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous- you appear incredibly naive or mesmerised by, or simply kissing up to the SA.

Very sad in either case.

Former officer Canada

Anonymous said...

oeps....erratum.... please delete 'not' in 'not particularly well written as reports go.'

Anonymous said...

Or just a realist?

Anonymous said...

I like the suggestion to organize something collaboratively world wide. This is possible via social media. The suggestions were made as follows:

1 Send a copy of the excellent report with a gentle letter to all TC and DC leaders across every territory. The letter just asking for answers. - If they get bombarded with letters and copies of the report they will begin to realize how widely it has been circulated.

2. On a given day a uniform down day and a mass move to prayer at the mercy seat

3. Someone putting up the white ribbon on the colours like in a promotion to glory. When asked why...say so. - very effective way to visually say this HH affair is the last breath of the Army - integrity and trust in the highest levels of leadership in TSA is dead and gone.

4. Be open honest and accountable ... be light in this hellish darkness

I would add that TSA will only respond if it exposed to the general public in many countries. The RC church never dealt with their sex abuse scandals till victims all over the world went public. In this case the Chiweshe people don't have the means to do that. We have to do it for them.

Anonymous said...

Facebook has a Salvation Army prayer wall and other sites including many corps. Why not start posting details. So do twitter etc. Why not post links here with a brief.
It took huge mounting pressure to get the RC to wise up well perhaps its time to go external and do the same ... any brave souls?

Anonymous said...

Go on then, be brave, show some moral fibre and do it yourself maybe with no hiding behind anonymity for increased credence?

I dare you!

Anonymous said...

And in the mean time the devil is lhao.... ;);)

Anonymous said...

Someone has already gone external ... London City Police and Charity Commission. It is also on several Facbook walls too. So people are being brave!

Anonymous said...

'highly religious, sanctimonious'

Please show us where the religious or sanctimonious parts are in the above blogs. I've re-read them, and I can't see any. All I can see are people who actually care about their fellow human beings who are worse off than themselves, and to whom the Salvation Army owes their very existence - or do you not read what TSA claims? Doing the most good, heart to God and hand to man, serving suffering humanity, meeting the needs of the poor and marginalised -these are Salvation Army claims, not ours. All we are doing is pointing out that they have not put their claims into actions here, and they have let themselves down in their disregard for this large number of people, many of whom attend their local Salvation Army corps, and give of their meagre income to support the corps (under coercion if reports are to be believed) and who were getting a better deal in their lives when Dr Thistle was in charge of the hospital.And we, as the volunteers who pay their salaries, are asking the reasons why - that's all.
One-sided? I hope you are as vociferous in asking TSA leaders for their side of the situation as you are pontificating here and criticising genuine people who at least have more than a shred of compassion for the hurting people of Chiweshe. If you were one of them you'd be telling a different story. Have some respect.

Anonymous said...

Well said ....

Jolinda Cooper said...

To anonymous who calls this report one-sided...

If you mean one-sided in the sense that there are factual statements made that have not been refuted by TSA leadership, and that there has been nothing publically available that presents a different position or set of facts that can be verified, then I guess you can call it one-sided.

But since TSA has presented information that has been publically proven to be incorrect, and since they have consistently refused to address the issue, then the only side to be seen is the one presented.

Different HQs contacted for information, by our researchers or by donors seeking answers, have either refused to respond or say that a different HQ is to be contacted. When that referred HQ is contacted, silence is the only response.

So, let TSA speak up and present their side; otherwise the soldiery and the public at large can only assume that they are hiding from the truth of their members misdeeds and blunders.

Jolinda Cooper said...

correction to above, last sentence- it should say "leaders", not "members"

Anonymous said...

But is the one urging others to be brave, himself brave and daring enough to do anything that would stick his head above the parapet and therefor in the firing line?

I am willing to put my last $ on it that he does not have the guts nor courage to be exposed in such a way. There is a word for that .........

Anonymous said...

There are quite a few 'derring-do' people on here - it's probably the same one person who goes on about the London City Police and Charity commission every now and then. Personally I don't think this is the arena to try to get someone else to do something you wouldn't do yourself, and it's rather childish to be 'daring' someone to act in this way. It's also dismissive of the serious nature of this whole blog - and the sole aim should be to get TSA to acknowledge its mistakes in Zimbabwe and the HH and to mobilise itself into doing something to repair the damage they have caused, instead of sitting in their plush offices like rabbits caught in headlights, far away from the front line of suffering.
TSA is usually ever-ready to serve in disaster emergency zones, and according to their website they are ‘usually among the first to arrive with help after natural or man-made disasters, and are usually the last to leave. They work to alleviate suffering and help people rebuild their lives’.
Their headline on one of the pages is ‘We combat natural disasters with acts of God’.
Not for Chiweshe they don’t.

Anonymous said...

This is a link to an issue of in 2007. TSA was happy to be associated with Dr Thistle then, and promoted the HH in its publications. The article is entitled 'Hope at Howard Hospital'.

There's not so much hope there now.

Anonymous said...

There is such an arrogance about the silence of IHQ in this matter of the HH. They think they have nothing to answer for. One of these days they may wake up when the Army underneath them defects big time.

Anonymous said...

For goodness sake, lighten up as you are taking yourselves far too seriously. Remember. this is just an ordinary, private internet blog initiative like millions of others dealing with one or another same interest subject.

There is a real danger to be totally consumed by and possibly absorbed in a surreal, virtual environment where no-one knows the other person or their situation context.

I read of bleeding and broken hearts for a certain worthwhile cause all based on only a partial account because that is all that is freely available. Any story can be loaded and twisted to the advantage of what one wants to say and you want others to hear.

Of course, no other party is obliged to engage in any shape or form to either refute or affirm. Getting drawn into a virtual quagmire such as this one is like stepping on quicksand - both best to be avoided at all cost and, going by the total silence from any of the main parties involved, this has been wisely adhered to.

Have a great day of worship and service.


Anonymous said...

I don't think the community of 270,000, let down by some puerile actions of supposed-to-be-spiritual people who should have known and done better, would appreciate your comments.
How you can wash your hands of this and dismiss such a grave injustice is beyond belief, and you should be ashamed of yourself.
It is only a quagmire because of the non-response of TSA, and this situation has been made worse by their inertia. The inertia is bad enough, but it is the broken promises that are the worst, by dangling promissory statements as carrots for both the Chiweshe people and the waiting soldiery. Why make promises if they have no intention of fulfilling them?
Honesty? Transparency? There is none.
To Anonymous who starts 'For goodness sake....'
You may mock the efforts of the bloggers on this site - indeed, why do you come here and comment in such a negative way yourself if you have no sympathy or empathy for these people, who are God's children as well as you and me? At least the people calling for TSA to do something will have done their meagre best to try to right this wrong.
There is a saying along the lines that evil will triumph if good people do nothing. It may well still triumph in this case, but it will be because TSA stood by and did nothing, At least we will have tried.

Anonymous said...

Typo - it should have read:

To Anonymous who starts 'For goodness sake....'
I don't think the community of 270,000, let down by some puerile actions of supposed-to-be-spiritual people who should have known and done better, would appreciate your comments.
How you can wash your hands of this and dismiss such a grave injustice is beyond belief, and you should be ashamed of yourself.
It is only a quagmire because of the non-response of TSA, and this situation has been made worse by their inertia. The inertia is bad enough, but it is the broken promises that are the worst, by dangling promissory statements as carrots for both the Chiweshe people and the waiting soldiery. Why make promises if they have no intention of fulfilling them?
Honesty? Transparency? There is none.

You may mock the efforts of the bloggers on this site - indeed, why do you come here and comment in such a negative way yourself if you have no sympathy or empathy for these people, who are God's children as well as you and me? At least the people calling for TSA to do something will have done their meagre best to try to right this wrong.
There is a saying along the lines that evil will triumph if good people do nothing. It may well still triumph in this case, but it will be because TSA stood by and did nothing, At least we will have tried.

Anonymous said...

(Article by Zim.Eye).

MONDAY, JUNE 16, 2008
Long overdue recognition finally arrives for Dr Paul Thistle's humanitarian mission in Zimbabwe

Dr Paul Thistle is arguably the most chronically underappreciated of the chronically underappreciated group of Canadian physicians whose contributions to international humanitarianism have largely escaped the national media attention.

Dr Thistle is the chief physician at Zimbabwe's Howard Hospital, a position he came to through his work with the Salvation Army. He's not just the chief physician; he's also the only permanent one at the moment at a hospital that serves a population of about 250,000 people. "It is difficult," he said when I asked how he was managing during Zimbabwe's recent troubles. "We try to keep our doors open and our shelves stocked when other healthcare institutions have shut down, victims of the political and economic crises." His work is as heroic as his obscurity in his native country has been unjustified. But this month, two events have at last put Dr Thistle in the public eye.

Last week, the University of Windsor gave him an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

And the week before, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada announced that Dr Thistle has been selected as the first recipient of the Teasdale-Corti Humanitarian Award, which the College describes as follows:…….
The Award is to acknowledge and celebrate Canadian physicians who, while providing health care or emergency medical services, go beyond the accepted norms of routine practice, which may include exposure to personal risk. The recipient’s action will exemplify altruism and integrity, courage and perseverance in the alleviation of human suffering.
Dr Rachel Spitzer, a University of Toronto medical school graduate worked with Dr Thistle at Howard Hospital as a resident. She is one of the people who nominated him for the award. "Despite the fact that things are getting more difficult and the NGOs are departing, Paul seems more committed than ever, because the need is greater than ever," she told me last month. "Paul is an extraordinary individual. He is honestly and truly a good humanitarian."

……Finally, the media have caught on. CBC News, which followed Dr Thistle's conjoined twins case with great interest in 2005, spoke with Dr Thistle for an in-depth Q&A, published yesterday. In addition, another CBC News article published yesterday provides the full-length profile of Dr Thistle that no mainstream media outlet had done before.

One of the most incredible things about Dr Thistle is his sense of humour, which he has managed to maintain admirably despite the trying conditions in which he works.
"At this moment in Howard's history," wrote Dr Thistle in last month's edition of his Zimbabwe Bulletin, published by the Salvation Army, "we see the byproducts of the past: the malnourished children, the hypertensive widow with stroke unable to afford the escalating costs of transport to hospital. People are hungry and tired. Everyday is Lent in Zimbabwe." And, in spite of all he's seen, he still manages a smile. "Business at my liposuction clinic has been sagging."


May God have mercy.

Andrew Pogson said...

People died as a result of a bad decision by TSA and are still suffering. The Salvation Army continue to cover up the decision made. They have made conflicting reports or refuse to reply to direct questios to them.

Anonymous said...

'or refuse to reply to direct questios to them.'

Andrew, you should know, by virtue of your former occupation, that the SA is not under legal caution and they are not obliged to answer any questions in any shape or form. (the Miranda warning in the USA)

"You do not have to say anything. But it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence."

Criminal Justice Act 1994 (UK)

Anonymous said...

'they are not obliged to answer any questions in any shape or form'

True, but in an Army which boasts worldwide of its commitment to 'serve suffering humanity' how can you condone this mismanagement of the very reason it exists?

They don't have to say anything - you are correct - but there is no sign of them doing anything either. In the secular world, if a misdemeanour is committed, and the case goes to court, the accused, in an open and shut case' is found guilty and punished. In the case of loss, he/she is expected to provide reparation for that loss.

In the case of Christians, one's conscience should not allow one to stand back and 'see what happens'. It is the natural reaction to 'see if we can help', and in the case of disasters, everyone chips in to help out. That's what salvationists do - practical Christianity. TSA is always telling people how effective they are in such instances. But not in this case, strangely.
It is Zimbabwe, and there are probably political sensitivities that need to be guarded, but the Army's half-baked strategy has done more harm than good. This blog will cease, but the situation will live on in the hearts and minds of Salvationists. Already people are reacting in the only practical way they can - with their wallets. In an Army where negative communication is not encouraged, the soldiery have been searching for answers, because we have been taught the difference between right and wrong, and have sought to implement this teaching through our daily existence. We have found no answers - only a one-sided presentation because of the Army's silence.
I live in the UK and have been watching the locations of people who have read these articles. There are over 200 different ones to date. I appreciate that some of those are IHQ staff who are tuning in to see what the groundswell of opinion is, but nevertheless the bulk of the rest will be telling their corps comrades - I certainly have. To date, we have trusted our leaders - deemed them to be highly spiritual people who have the interests of the Kingdom at heart. But this episode has shown us a darker side, which, speaking personally, has destroyed my trust in them. Whatever the political sensitivities, I cannot condone the sudden dismissal of Dr Thistle in such a way. To me it was inhumane and uncaring, and yes, selfish, for not considering the detrimental effects it would have on people who regarded the hospital as a lifeline. I fear TSA will lose more than it gains from this.

Anonymous said...

So what can we do in the face of such intransigent, arrogant silence? Bear in mind this is a private blog, only read by people who have found this site, probably searching for the answer to the reason why General Linda Bond retired so suddenly (because of TSA's half-statement which left us all in limbo), or maybe searching for something Army-related that we cannot find on any other 'Army' resource site ( I noticed someone tried to find the answer to 'who wrote the chorus prayer gently lifts me to highest heaven). A sad indictment that even the simplest resources are denied us by the might of the great SA.

And what we found here was a platform which enabled us to be aware of what was happening at a higher level in our name without our knowledge. We only hear the positive spin so prevalent today, but which should be absent from a church environment, given the concept of 'the priesthood of all believers'.

This sort of 'forum' platform is not available to the common soldiery, who, by the way, fund our leaders in their comfortable positions, cocooned in their introspective spiritual world with the Army ‘organisation’ at their centre – an organisation to be protected at all costs - just look at the new logo to confirm that.
'Army' has the biggest arc, then 'mission' and then last of all the 'message' takes up less of the arc any the other two. Subliminal maybe, but I noticed it. And any challenge to the organisation and its practices is obviously not to be tolerated, hence the swift dismissal of the good doctor who epitomised all that was best about our movement.

We can but air our views, but as this subject inevitably draws to a close, TSA can once again sit comfortably in their ivory towers, praying, worshipping, studying the Bible, albeit in sincerity, and encouraging us to do the same (which is as it should be), but at the same time a refusal to put those lessons learned into practical restorative actions, denying other children of God a decent life is inexcusable, and the people of Chiweshe are still suffering because of that.

Some bloggers say that this type of message is melodramatic, but the dictionary definition of 'melodramatic' suggests there is a happy ending.
I'm afraid not.
And life IS drama - some low key, some of higher significance - and this tawdry piece of SA history is high drama to the people it affects - TSA has let them down in a big way. It has also let the soldiery down - almost unanimously on this blog people have called for the Army to do an 'about turn' and restore some of what has been lost for this poor community.

In General Bond's 'One Army, one Mission, one message' speech, she said that 'our vision can be a pipe dream - we have to DO something'. She also said that we should not be content with the state of the Army - we should be looking at 'the bricks falling out of our great walls, and asking how they can be put back'. This is surely a case in point. She said we must be fruitful, and TSA 'needs to find its voice and have courage to stand for people who are marginalised in our society - they are our people'.
Does this not seem like double-speak, when according to reports on file she authorised the removal of Dr Thistle and set into motion this humanitarian tragedy?
She also said in her speech ‘God will preserve TSA to the extent that we are obedient to Him’. Does this event exude obedience to God? Does it even seem likely that God’s will was sought?

Another phrase in her message was ‘once you are a Salvation Army member you know when we need to do better’. And ‘we are a holiness movement, and this must be acted out across the world’.
Seem we failed big time on this one, though.
Talk is cheap. Actions speak much louder.

But as a good Salvationist who has heeded the late General’s words – I am not content with the state of the Army – I’m looking at this one huge brick that has fallen out of our walls, and I am asking how it can be put back.
And then there was……….silence.

Anonymous said...

Typo on above blog beginning 'they are not obliged' - should have read 'There are over 200 different in the UK to date'.

Anonymous said...

Having just looked at the Zimbabwe Prayer Wall, it does not seem to be used by many of the 165 who have indicated an interest by signing up. Only 11 or so different people have used this Wall to some extent.
Taking into account the 1000 or so FSAOF membership (incl family)there should be far more statistically wise (approx. 1%)

Any obvious reasons why so very few?


Anonymous said...

And whenever I logged in I have come up from seven different locations whilst being static.

Anonymous said...

Well, I haven't used the prayer wall, but the subject features in my prayers every day - I suspect that may the case for many others.

Anonymous said...

'seven different locations'? That's stretching credulity! I can't believe you would appear in England, Scotland, ireland AND Wales and add a few extra for good measure!

Anonymous said...

Yup, I have come up in seven different surrounding towns and cities at different times

Anonymous said...

Prove it.

Anonymous said...

I can only go by what appears on the live feed list at times when I sign in. This could have to do with routing.

Anonymous said...

Currently I am signed in by nation rather than a specific city location, other times by home town or surrounding ones.

Anonymous said...

It's all really rather petty, isn't it - it doesn't detract from the fact that people are talking about this, and it doesn't detract from the fact that TSA has got its fingers burned with this one and doesn't appear to know how to get out of it.
It may or may not persist with silence, but if you examine General Linda Bond's 'one army' speech, you can deduce from the nuances within it that all is not well with some branches of Salvation Army activities, and there is a lot that needs reining in and revising. I am but a humble soldier, and if I can see this, I'm sure others can too.
It's all still tragic on the humanitarian front.

Anonymous said...

Surely its time to return to the root of the problem of one army. Its one army alright. One that fits in with as stated previously ... the army of officers and IHQ. Sadly the soldiery dont matter unless we rock the cosy bubble that has become "army". Time to lance

Anonymous said...

God may already be 'lancing'. If you observe the ages of all the people at the high council, you'll deduce that they won't be in active service much longer on the age front. Who will replace them? There's already a drastic shortage of officers, and if you look at any corps statistics, the soldiers are already middle-aged or advanced age groups. The number of people under 40 is diminishing rapidly, because the Army has not moved with the times. General Bond said herself that we are stuck with 1950s methodology.
Look at any Army event and see how many young people are present - very few relatively speaking. Listen to the music played - stuck in a time warp. TSA led the way in the 60s with the Joystrings, and ever since have gone backwards.
Nearly every Army event celebrates the past - 50 years of this, 100 years of that - now they are dragging the Joystrings back into the arena for a 'celebration' of their anniversary. They are no longer current! Surely there must be an emphasis on the present and the future? It's very true - where there is no vision, the people perish. Constantly looking backwards is no recommendation for a healthy future.
And in this technological age, where are the websites where the soldiers can air their views? There are none. A healthy leadership needs to know the thoughts of the foot soldiers, otherwise they will wake up too late when they desert in droves. People need to be involved today - they need to be in touch - Facebook, Twitter - people communicate in this way for all sorts of trivia - how much more important is it for us to have a voice in our spiritual home (TSA)? We can’t even leave comments (like on this blog) on IHQ media websites.
IHQ members are reduced to reading this blog daily, to find out the thoughts of the members on the Howard Hospital errors. How sneaky. But it's the only compass they have, and that is shocking in this day and age. But they need to remember – when this topic disappears from the blog, as it is doing, people who have learned of it will still be talking among themselves, and watching and waiting, and IHQ will have no idea of the thought processes of their members.
The devil sneaks up on God's children when we are not fully prepared, and I think this is what's happening here. TSA thinks it has stolen a march on the HH issue because it has retained tight-lipped throughout it all. But it runs both ways - if Army leaders starve the soldiery of means of two-way communication, the same thing will happen - the relationship between soldiers and leaders will die through sterility.
I am not being disrespectful to the past – I enjoyed it when I was there! (And I speak as a pensioner myself). But it’s time to move on and accept the challenges of this generation too.

There is no doubt that if TSA DID cease to exist, there would be more humanitarian crises because of all the good work that is being done, but it has to stay rooted to the Gospel. The Howard Hospital issue has proved that very human elements came into force at IHQ, and their blind loyalty to 'the organisation' was chosen over God's suffering people. That can't be right.

Anonymous said...

The hospital is left with only two young doctors. But nurses said they were not experienced enough to carry out major surgery or carry the entire medical workload of the institution. The hospital was referring most patients to Harare’s Parirenyatwa Hospital, they said.

“The two doctors are only doing small operations and Caesarian sections,” said one nurse.

“We are open at this hospital in name only because there is not much we are offering patients. We are just referring them to Harare and discharging those who are not very sick. As a result, there is no money coming into the hospital.

“We are concerned about this community and we are also afraid we will soon lose our jobs.”

Patients at the hospital said that members of the local community were having to travel as far as the Karanda Mission Hospital in Rushinga, about 200km away, to seek treatment. They also expressed concern about the dirty conditions in the hospital wards and the lack of drugs and medicines.

“We are deeply pained because this is the hospital that we used to rely on,” said Shelly Mhundwa, who lives in Chiweshe and was seeking treatment for a broken leg.

Anonymous said...

Well the Lord never slumbers or sleeps. I suggest that a careful reading of Psalm 80 by our failing leaders becomes the desire of the heart of our Army. Only in hearfelt contrition will we once again be restored.

As one of my favourite songs says ...

Only as I truly know thee;
Can I make thee, truly known;
Only bring the power to others;
That in my own life is shown.

This blog even thou small is the effirt of its heart; has, will and can make a difference if we continue to bend the very stubborn heartsof our sadly leaders.

Days ahead will place TSA in a refining fire the question: is all our work for the master, or are we gold mixed with dross?

I return to my prayers for the 'salvation' of TSA as we, even us formers still having a place in our hearts for TSA ask the Holy Spirit once again to "send the fire". May God bless and convict in the days ahead.

Finally despite some heavy critical comments if this simple action of maintaining the flow of comments continue this blog will break the stoney hearts and stubborn will

Anonymous said...

I came across this prophecy regarding TSA by one of our own - it's in 2 parts due to its length:

JAC Online

Isaiah Chapter 1 - a prophecy for the western territories of the Salvation Army and for soldiers
by Andrew Bale

The following came to me today in prayer and I share it in humility – may God bless, redeem, sanctify and use the Salvation Army – Hallelujah!

“The Salvation Army is one of my favoured children. In your youth I gave you a multicoloured coat woven with a weft of marvellous signs and wonders, but over the years you have rebelled against me until you are no longer able to recognise the sound of my voice. It is bad enough when a parent and child refuse to speak but when one fails to recognise the voice of the other the situation has become tragic. I am speaking to you as much as I ever have done but you do not recognise my voice.

• I am still calling you in the direction of the disenfranchised and friendless but you cannot hear me.
• I will am still calling you to purity of living and holiness but you cannot hear me.
• I am still calling you to stand between the oppressed and the oppressor but you cannot hear me.
• I am still calling you to the mighty work of soul winning but you cannot hear me.
• I am still calling you to poverty, persecution and victory but you cannot hear me.

The once covenanted warriors of my Salvation Army have become desensitised to my voice.

Like the early church you were born with a rush of Pentecostal fire and your early years were accompanied by salvation war and revival. You were persecuted because you made serious inroads into the devil’s territory and the narrow way that led to heaven was crowded with your converts. You found again the pearl of holiness and sold all that you had to possess it.

Now you have become a “Sinful nation, a people loaded with guilt, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! You have forsaken the LORD; you have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned your backs on him.” (Verse 4)

I have seen your suffering and I beg you to stop your wilful self-harm.

“Why should you be beaten anymore? Why do you persist in rebellion? Your whole head is injured, your whole heart afflicted…” (Verses 5-7)

Your Corps are closing, your seats are empty, your halls are falling into disrepair and you have no money to rebuild them. Other denominations are trying to use the weapons I crafted for you – they are trying – but they are not you and their armour is ill-fitting and clumsy, they have not read the manual, they have not been properly drilled, your methods – the tactics designed for you are alien to them.

“Your country is desolate, your cities burned with fire; your fields are being stripped by foreigners right before you, laid waste as when overthrown by strangers.” (Verse 7)

Yet in spite of this breakdown in our relationship, in spite of your rebellion and your self-harm and poverty you continue with your religious ordinances. You march to deserted streets and preach to nobody. You feed the slave and clothe him but fail to break his chains. You polish your holiness tables but deny the possibility of purity. You hold music festivals that are nothing but concerts with an ‘amen’ at the end. You parade your good works like phylacteries ensuring that the world - along with your right hand - knows exactly what your left hand is doing. This offends me, I find it detestable, it is worse than the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah - I never asked for this.

“Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations— I cannot bear your evil assemblies.” (Verse 13)

You are praying and even fasting but I have blocked my ears – Salvation Army I am not listening to you.

“When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen.”

Anonymous said...

Go and wash yourself, your hands are stained with blood for the road to hell is now crowded with the shuffling hopelessness of those I raised you up to save and their blood is on your hands – you think it is enough to feed them and clothe them and wash them but it is not enough. There is no greater contradiction than yours for your arrogant self obsession slaps a man on the back with a hearty ‘God bless you’ and then turns away as he falls into the fiery fissures of hell.

“Your hands are full of blood; wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed.” (Verse 16-18)

Once you depended on me, you bought where you had no money, you attacked where you had no chance of victory and you opened fire on a wing and a prayer. Once heaven rang with the sound of your volleys and the angels wept at the audaciousness of your evangelism but now you have prostituted yourself. Now you have taken what is Caesar’s and failed to give me what is mine. You have taken Babylon’s money and bedded the heathen philanthropist. You have sacrificed your right to pray and preach for the chance to buy a building. Once you shouted ‘no compromise’ but now you are all compromise.

“See how the faithful city has become a harlot! She once was full of justice; righteousness used to dwell in her— but now murderers!” (Verse 21)

What is my judgement to be? How will I treat you? What is my response to your individual and corporate sin?

“Come let us reason together…”

I am looking and waiting for you. Like the prodigal I can see you now feeding on the scraps of this unclean world. It is in this mess, that you have created, that you must come to your senses. Dear Salvation Army come back to me for I have a robe and a ring and a fattened calf all waiting for you. It is time to come home!

“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword." For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” (Verses 18-20)

Anonymous said...

One of the above bloggers quoted psal 80 - here it is:

Psalm 80

Please listen, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph’s descendants like a flock. 
O God, enthroned above the cherubim, display your radiant glory to Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh. Show us your mighty power. Come to rescue us!

Turn us again to yourself, O God. Make your face shine down upon us. Only then will we be saved.
O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, how long will you be angry with our prayers?

You have fed us with sorrow and made us drink tears by the bucketful. You have made us the scorn of neighboring nations. Our enemies treat us as a joke.

Turn us again to yourself, O God of Heaven’s Armies. Make your face shine down upon us. Only then will we be saved. You brought us from Egypt like a grapevine; you drove away the pagan nations and transplanted us into your land.

You cleared the ground for us, and we took root and filled the land.
Our shade covered the mountains; our branches covered the mighty cedars.
We spread our branches west to the Mediterranean Sea; our shoots spread east to the Euphrates River.

But now, why have you broken down our walls so that all who pass by may steal our fruit?
The wild boar from the forest devours it, and the wild animals feed on it.

Come back, we beg you, O God of Heaven’s Armies. Look down from heaven and see our plight. Take care of this grapevine that you yourself have planted, this son you have raised for yourself.
For we are chopped up and burned by our enemies. May they perish at the sight of your frown.

Strengthen the man you love, the son of your choice. Then we will never abandon you again. Revive us so we can call on your name once more.
Turn us again to yourself, O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies. Make your face shine down upon us. Only then will we be saved.

Anonymous said...

And the humbled shall be lifted up. Blind eyes will see in the Cross of calvary.

Today we have an amazing anointing of God in our midst. Even as we are joined only by the intenet connection can you not feel the flow if God in our midst... today this very day a breakthrough has arrived. Keep the flow going as God ministers in our midst.

As God speaks to you in your prayer closet let His love flow from your heart like a never failing stream. As you feel led ... post positive Holy inspired words herein. Lord today thank you for your breakthrough

Anonymous said...

Pray for reparation and restoration of healthcare for the Chiweshe people - they need it.

Anonymous said...

A report from Radio Africa said this:

hospital is supposed to receive some state funding, but it relies mainly on 
donations to stay afloat. It is understood that Dr. Thistle has worked 
relentlessly in securing as much money as possible to carry on his work, 
which has included many development projects. 

A Chiweshe community member told SW Radio Africa that this money is now 
being used as the reason for getting rid of Dr. Thistle, but said there is 
“more to this than just money.” The resident meanwhile said the community 
will struggle without Dr. Thistle, describing the doctor as a key part of 
their lives.

“He has been working with the community for years. He helps the elderly, he 
helps the orphans, he helps everyone. He has been building schools and doing 
other projects, just to help people in Chiweshe,” the resident said.

Founded in 1923, Howard Hospital was started by the Salvation Army as a 
school and developed over the years into a training hospital. Dr. Thistle 
took over from his predecessor, a fellow Canadian citizen, many years ago 
and has since been embraced by the community.

 Human rights activist Phillip Pasirayi said on Monday that people like Dr. 
Thistle are a necessity in Zimbabwe, where the government cannot provide or 
support its people. He said that the doctor’s eviction is “sad, but 
unfortunately not surprising.”

 “This is the type of behaviour of ZANU PF we have seen for years, where they 
basically don’t want anyone else but ZANU PF in control or doing anything,” 
Pasirayi said.

 He explained that other efforts to try and develop communities in Zimbabwe 
have been thwarted by ZANU PF in the past, including a project by the Bill 
Gates Foundation to build proper housing in Mbare. That project was put on 
hold because of violence and intimidation by the ZANU PF aligned Chipangano 

“It is sad because this is happening when the majority of people in 
Zimbabwe are suffering and need help from people like Dr. Thistle. It is the 
ordinary Zimbabwean that loses out time and again,” Pasirayi said.

Pray for these people - even if TSA does a complete about-turn, it is probably too late for the HH to come back from the brink. Thanks to TSA, they have lost a fortune in donations (which have followed Dr Thistle, as he is trusted more by the donors than TSA), and also the volunteers who donated their time for nothing. As well as being effectively disenfranchised politically, they are without affordable healthcare as well.
TSA's actions in sacking Dr Thistle have come at an enormous cost for this community.
May God help them.

Anonymous said...

Throughout this series we have been concerned as to why TSA has let this tragedy happen, when everything health-related at the HH was going so well.
None of us is exempt from sinful influences though, and William Booth actually warned us of the spiritual state of things to come. It's from a website called Sermon and was spoken by a man called Eli Brayley. He said:

This is a remarkable quote by the late General William Booth (1829-1912), founder of the Salvation Army, which should send shivers down our spines. Almost 100 years ago Booth said this amazing thing which today looks more like prophecy then coincidence:

"In answer to your inquiry, I consider that the chief dangers which confront the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, and heaven without hell."

How accurate and true this is speaking to us today! Many Christians do not realize the change Christianity has undergone in the last century because they do not know their history nor care to know.
So often the Bible tells us to remember the ancient ways and to pass down knowledge from generation to generation. Paul's second letter to Timothy alone is overflowing with exhortation to hold fast to what has been passed down and not to forget the foundational traditions of the faith.
Sadly, modern Christianity has failed to remember.

Yes, our religion looks eerily different than that of William Booth's. Our pulpiteers deliver frightening doctrines foreign to the congregations of years gone by.
Our prayers do not reflect the same supplications as that of our fathers.
Our hearts do not throb with unction from on high, the Holy Spirit not being our breath by which we live. The General's predictions are staggeringly true! I am discouraged to think that many readers will not even be affected by this.

I've heard it so many times from so many different preachers that everything is alright and Christianity is doing better than ever today... that we are an "army", on fire and on course, excelling in the mission of our 21st century. These are nothing but lies - do not be fooled.
Why not pick up a book and read about how the Lord REALLY was moving mightly by His Spirit in days long forgotten, when men and women used to serve the Lord in holiness and power, and sinners were converted in miraculous revivals by the thousands?

"And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel." (Judges 2:10)

Dear people, let's not fall into this same fault as did the children of Israel! Heed the words of William Booth; learn the history of the mighty revivals of old; invest your time in seeking the Lord anew for a revival in our day!
Our world lies in darkness... when will we take the candle out from under the bushel of deception?

Before you do something else, why not read the quote one more time.

TSA is not immune from such falling away. Like Peter walking on the water, once we take our eyes off Jesus, all sorts of evil things can happen - and have.

Anonymous said...

It is far more profitable to discern the great and awesome things God is doing right in our midst today with his people of today rather than bewailing - just as every single generation has done in the past, the loss of something that likely never was in the first place.

As God has been working in the past, so he is working today. Is God powerfully at work in the TSA doing a transforming work of grace? You better believe it! Just a God always has......

If it does not appear to happen where you are, begin by looking at first at yourselves! - if you are not a miracle of God's grace yourself then you will find it hard to apply it to or find it in others.

Self appointed prophets of doom often carry a message that is ultimately self fulfilling and therefor 'proved' to be correct. History is full of such characters who have either deliberately or sincerely deceived the elect of God with an OT message of doom and destructive gloom rather than the NT concept of abundant grace and acceptance.

Often such folks have got a very narrow understanding of the vastness and depth of God who is not at the beck and call of any ones individual whim.

The glass half empty syndrome is probably the most destructive one around - it is the enemy within.

Be happy and joyful and lap up the wonderful works of the Almighty happening right under your nose!

Anonymous said...

Was the spirit of God and the Army at work in the Howard Hospital decision?

Anonymous said...

OW (or AM or whoever)
I may not post on the Prayer wall site, but I don't need to when the posts of others are better than I could do, so I read and use them.
And like others have said if this is all a none issue why bother to post.
At the end of the day senior officers responsible, or any officer (or soldier) who stands by and does nothing will have to answer to God.

Anonymous said...

Well said. There is no doubt that we are living in end-time ministry, and we have to discern the signs of the times - indeed, the Bible tells us to do this. The whole section of the bible quote of the previous blogger is this:

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

In this context, the “least of these” refers to those in a variety of needy situations. They include the hungry, thirsty, impoverished, sick, and imprisoned. Jesus said that those who cared for such individuals were not merely serving other people. They were serving Him.

"In the same passage, the opposite is also noted. The narrative concludes with Jesus condemning those who saw others in need and yet did not help.
Jesus connected service to the needy with eternal rewards and punishments. Though salvation is by faith alone apart from good deeds (Ephesians 2:8-9), the redeemed will be “eager to do what is good” (Titus 2:14), including extending charity to those in difficult situations. Those whose lives are marked by apathy toward the needy show they have not been transformed by the grace of Jesus Christ.

God has always shown a special concern for the poor and needy (Psalm 35:10). It should come as no surprise that He expects His followers to do the same.

These are tough, challenging words. We all fall short of God's expectations, but if we don't have a heart for the suffering people in this world, then we are not fulfilling our calling and commitment.

Anonymous said...

I came across this on the net today - it's an Army website page dated 2013 -

'The town of Visby is located on the Swedish island of Gotland. .....
Majors Kjell and Ann-Christine Karlsten have been working as officers in Visby since they reopened the corps in 1994......'

1994? That's nearly 20 years - how come they haven't been subjected to a 'routine' change of appointment just as Dr Thistle was? I bet they don't have 270,000 people dependent on them for life and death crises.

How curious.

Anonymous said...

Methinks TSA leaders speak with forked tongue! The above-named officers have probably never challenged 'the organisation' that seems to be far more important to IHQ than human suffering.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

The prophecy report above about TSA is telling. Prof Diane Winston, in her book ‘Red Hot and Righteous, the urban religion of The Salvation Army’ said: ‘Over the years, the social service delivery has almost eclipsed the evangelical outreach, and that's a cause of consternation among Salvationists. It looks like, unless they can figure out a way to make their mission, their evangelical mission, more attractive to young people, you know, they - it's possible that they could become a large social service organization with a very few clergy running it. And that would be not what the founder had in mind’.

Looks like the organisation has taken its eyes off Jesus, and has made the social service agenda its main focus. And with that come some dodgy, compromising, corporate deals - you can read about some of them if you trawl the internet. As a SA member they don't make for comfortable reading.

We should go back to basics - learn and act out the simple truths of the Gospel. This includes showing compassion to those who need it. If we were healthy in this respect at all levels of leadership and membership, this sad episode at the Howard Hospital would never have happened, and all those people would not have been affected so adversely. I feel great pain for them, and wish there was something we could do for them. I also feel regret that MY church is responsible for those who suffer. As lay people we cannot do much in practical terms, but we support our leaders, and rely on them to carry out the commands of Jesus on our behalf. I feel badly let down in this case.

Anonymous said...

In many places our social centres are seeing more converts than corps and elsewhere our community programmes in corps are bringing people to Christ.
Whilst the HH is a tragedy it is of no value to sit and write off the entire salvation army in our anger and grieving.

Anonymous said...

The HH drama is a huge symptom of neglect of core values though - and committed by the leaders? That's got to be a first - on this scale. I don't think we are writing off the whole organisation, and 100% I agree that while converts are happening there is a purpose for TSA - but if this had been committed by a corps officer or lower, there would be uproar by IHQ and they would take the moral high ground. But we have nowhere to go with this - they ARE the moral high ground of the organisation. And they aren't apologising or being repentant, in fact they're doing nothing at all. The top structure is in radical need of an overhaul - they should put the 'priesthood of all believers' on a workable footing. This situation should never have happened - if the leaders were more in love with the will of God instead of with the human organisation - it wouldn't have. I'm ashamed to be Army, and dreading what to say when faced with this issue by the man in the street.

Anonymous said...

No need to dread the man in the street, he is blissfully unawares and could not give a hoot anyway. This hh sage did not register on the scale of Richter as a calamity in any shape or form, it has not reached the news except for some regional reporting in zimb and canada .

Anonymous said...

Does it matter if the man in the street doesn't know or care? We need to be true to our calling and fight for the people who can't do it for themselves. It's a bit weird doing this to fight the leadership, though. Never thought it could happen when the members would look down on their spiritual leaders instead of up. The above blogger writes as if he/she doesn't care either, as long as the precious Army 'system' is protected at all costs.
We are God's children, not TSA's, and it is to Him we have to answer, not TSA.

Anonymous said...

I guess everything is rosy at the other hospital. If so wonder why Paul would rather be at HH .
It is easy to be critical of the situation at HH, I haven,t seen much support for HH. I guess one can't expect any better from a group who were chastised by the sa for their faults, just saying

Shirley Watkinson said...

I am wondering if many people have forgotten the people of Chiweshe....those near Howard Hospital who still have no surgeon. This is THREE years after Dr. Thistle was suddenly expelled from his home and work there.
About 230,000 live in this area. For many years, The Salvation Army offered them excellent medical services. What happened to our belief in caring for those in need?
At Boundless....the big production in London in July...General Cox called all Salvationists to return to our "roots". I don't see this happening, at least not in Zimbabawe.
Shirley Watkinson
Winnipeg, Canada