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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Heroes of the Salvation Army

For several years my father wrote articles in the Salvation Army magazine "Buenas Noticias". His writing was mostly about his life in the Salvation Army. One article, though, stuck out in my head. The Italian Major of peace, Mario Pesatori.

Here was a man who grew up in Italy a Catholic and doing his rebellious young adult thing he faked his death, denounced God, moved to France and got involved in the revolutionary party. In time though he got sick and was forced to return home to get well. During that time he fought with his thoughts and rebellious nature and sank further into a deep state of depression.

But, one fateful day a tall British preacher with a white beard came to Milan to preach. He attended the services and was impressed with this man and his message of the saving grace of Christ. So much so that two days later with the help of William Booth and his Army he accepted Christ.

This, though, did not go over well with his parents who sent him to live with an uncle. He continued to read his Bible daily and when he returned home he decided to move out altogether and join the Salvation Army. Commissioned a Lieutenant he was sent to Florence as his first appointment. But soon he was called up to military service.

He joined his new unit with a deep sense of sadness. Learning to fight and shoot with the intent of killing men weighed heavily on his heart. Taking the adage, "Render unto Cesar what is Cesar's," he still applied himself to time in the Military and his fellow troopers grew to respect him.  Soon he was back to the work of the Salvation Army and he dived into it with gusto, but that was short lived.

When war broke out in 1914 he was called back to military service. A dark cloud seemed to hang over him as he reported for duty. Reporting in his Salvationist uniform he pleaded to be assigned as a stretcher bearer or ambulance driver, but his commander would hear none of that, calling him a coward. Somehow, though word of his dilemma reached The General in command of division he was assigned to and as a medic the very day his unit left for the front.

For the next two years he lived in the mountains over 6,500 feet up. Three times he was swept away by avalanches, but each time he survived. He cared for the wounded and the dying, praying with them quite often. The unit Chaplain's, both catholic and protestant, were openly grateful for his help with the men. One of his fellow corporals that he had many religious talks with Benito Mussolini.  He earned 9 medals for his bravery in rescuing other men, two of them the highest medal Italy bestowed. But, finally he was wounded in the hand and his service in the military was over.

For a time after that he continued his work in Italy then stationed in Brazil. His final post was as the Salvation Army commander of all the work in Italy. Below is the original pen and ink drawing I did for my fathers article and below that is the new one for this series

Monday, June 13, 2016

Heroes of the Salvation Army(revisited)

So Today I am going back to the first image I ever created that is a part of this series, Joe the Turk. This is to give you an idea of the work that goes into these pieces. There is more then meets the eye here. Between research and creation this piece took a total of 45 hours.  I also had some miss-starts with him.

First of all I had to find pictures of him. For Joe it was not hard. Some of these characters I have to take a total guess at it. But, he was very famous so there were several photos of him to work from. This photo below was one of my favorites. He was big and hefty, like me, being over six feet tall. That was considered a giant back then and this photo does give you a good idea of that.

This one and others gave me a base to go from. However, when I drew some starter sketches making big and strong it just did not feel right to me. Yes, he did fight for the injustice the Army was shown then, but he did it in a way that was both BOLD and humble. So when this image took shape it resonated with me. it started in pencil and once I had the details just right I drew over it in pen. Then I again went over it in pen after erasing the pencil and made the line bold as you see here.

From here I scanned it into my computer. Now, this was about one year ago. As an old school artist I would have to say I am still learning how to use the digital graphics program I have. And that is a steep learning curve. So much to learn. When I first did the color work I did it in a hurry and as a proposal for something else. The work I did, I did in a hurry to get the piece off. As a small(in size) illustration it looked fine. But, with this new project I am working on it would not. With posters comes larger prints and the flaws show up right away.

Way too dirty and way too blurry. So back to the graphics program it went. line by line and color by color I had to go back and completely re-draw him.

After Two more days of work he was done and better then ever. Of course knowing what I did wrong the first time means I don't do the same mistake again on future drawings. But, I imagine that there will be more changes as I learn new tricks of the trade.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Heroes of the Salvation Army

A little bit of a departure here - I want to cover people outside of the US that are also heroes of the Salvation Army. To that end I started with this couple that is little known here. That being Gunpei and Kiye Yamamuro. Now, there were European Salvationists that came and started the work of the Army in Japan, but for it to really flourish it needed native converts willing to make the Salvation Army relevant to the people and culture in Japan.

Gunpei was one of the Army's most devoted and ardent Japanese officers. He worked hard to bring the gospel to its predominantly Shinto, introverted and steeped is tradition masses. As was usual the Army appealed first of all to those who were neglected and poor. However, his work really did not take off till he met and married Kiye.

She came from the upper crust of its countries society. She was descended from a long line of Samurai and her family was rich. Due to bad weather, low crop yields and depression her family lost all of its fortune. Not because of those problems, but because of the family's devotion to their fellow man. When the crops failed they gave away their stock of stored food. Then they used their money to buy more to feed the hungry.

The family did rebound with their business being noticed by the Emperor. From that Kiye and her brother were sent to school in Tokyo where they got a western education in a christian school. Through that school she was exposed to and accepted Christ as her savior.  Years later after graduating she came back to Tokyo at the mention of this new christian organization that was causing a stir in the country.

At her first exposure to them she joined them. And shortly after met Gunpei. While her marriage to him was short, 17 years, it had a profound affect on their country. In that time She helped influence the Emperor in signing into law the abolishment of the slave practice that bound women into servitude for life, whether in the sex industry or simply female slave labor that had been in practice for centuries. In the first year of that law over 13,000 woman won their freedom. And Gunpei was able to write and publish the wide selling book "The Common People's Gospel." That book helped many Japanese come to the Lord.

In this image I have parted, just slightly, from the style I was using. I wanted to depict them in a humble way - just as they were. At the same time I used the same procedure as the other illustrations in this series. Also, I Kiye's hand is a tambourine. A common object for a Salvationist. But for Kiye it was a symbol of a crises of faith. In japan at the time it was only the Geisha who played musical instruments and to carry and play one would have been scandalous. But, with the help of prayer and God she came to realize that she was holding onto her own vanity and not surrendering it to God. So with a bit of revelation in a dream she prayed that prayer to not only accept God into her heart but to also give Him her entire heart. And with that she stepped out to the front of the nest open air march and played that tambourine with joy. Finally, yes that is Japanese for "The Salvation Army" on the left.

Monday, June 6, 2016

"Heroes" of the Salvation Army

   Now, I have been concentrating on the Sally heroes from America. So I want to branch out and talk about the ones who made a difference in other countries. So, I will start with this next one. Fredrick Booth-Tucker. He grew up in India and after university in England He came back to work up the ladder with in the British Indian Government, making to the level of Deputy Commisioner. This had him governing one district in all matters of government and law.
    On his return to England on a visit he met and joined the Salvation Army in 1882. Not surprisingly he was assigned to the legal department at international headquarters. However, just a few months later he, along with three other officer arrived back in Bombay to start the Army's work in India. At first his converts were all people who were already christian by but had not accept the Lord before.
    Fredrick and his other officers knew that the Indian caste system was their biggest barrier to reach them with the gospel. So they decided to drop the standard army uniform and they donned Indian garb. They chose hindu names for themselves. Fredrick chose "Fakir Singh", meaning the "Lion of God."
     Taking their queue from Christ they went to the outcast of the Indian society and preached there. Their message of forgiveness and equality resonated and the Army's work blossomed. During that time his wife died of cholera in 1887. He later married Emma Booth, one of William and Catherines daughters. They had nine children but in 1891 Emma grew ill so they returned to England to the international HQ. But, in 1903 Emma died in a train crash.
     After several appointments and working alone he married again in 1906 to the daughter of a one-time acting Governor of Bombay. They returned together to India were they worked together till 1919. At that point they returned to England due to his failing health.
    Growing up in India, serving within its government then accepting the Lord and a commision in the Army, On top of having nine children and getting married three times. Fredrick Booth Tucker was perfectly suited to bringing God message of Salvation to the masses of India. And God used him just for that purpose.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Hero's of the Salvation Army

William Booth, the founder. As a young methodist preacher he loved to go out and preach the gospel on the streets. Now, I had thought that he left because the church would not let him bring the poor into the church. Since I have started studying the Army history I realized it was not because of that but, because the methodist church refused to allow him to devote all his time evangelizing. That is going to the people in the streets and preaching the gospel. After several requests to do so he resigned his position with in the church.

Being barred from preaching to methodist congregations he simply decided to do what he felt God called him to do. He went to the streets and preached. Not long into that he teamed up with others like him and formed the Christian Mission. It is from this the the Salvation Army was born(I say by accident).

As people came to know them by that name he organized it using all military terms to describe all aspects of it - Officer(pastor), Soldier(member of the Church), Corp(Church) and so on. But at the center of this was a passion to bring the gospel of Christ to those at the bottom, As the motto goes "Heart to God - Hand to man."

In drawing him I took my time wanting to start this one. Of all the famous people of the Army he is the most recognizable. So I wanted to make sure I did a good job of rendering him and still use this same style. To make this image unique from all the other images of him I drew him wearing his glasses. Not a single photo or painting do I see him wearing them. I do see him holding them in his hand but not wearing them.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Hero's of the Salvation Army

   Evangeline Booth came to America under controversy. One of her brothers, Ballington Booth, had stirred a rebellion within the Salvation Army in the States forming the Volunteers of America. When she arrived at the headquarters on 14th street in New York City the doors were locked to keep her out.  Undeterred she went around back and climbed up the fire escape and through an open window. Through a hail of Boos and Hisses she strode through them and found an American flag, wrapped herself in it and said "Hiss that, if you dare!"

   In stunned silence the rebels stood there as she pulled out her concertina then played and sang "Over Jordan without Fearing." The rebellion was over. She took command of the US branch of the Salvation Army under orders from her father the General and helped rebuild it. The of the Army grew steadily until the onset of world war one.

   Seeing an opportunity to serve her fellow men she met with General Pershing, Commander of all the US forces fighting in France. After some ardent negotiation she convinced him to allow them to send Salvationist to the front. Not to fight, but to setup rest stations for the fighting men. It is from that that we get the famous Doughnut Girls.  When the men wrote back home about the care given them the Army flourished back in the states and after the war, when the men returned the Army exploded.

   At one point she became the 4th General of the Salvation Army  and with her experiences in the States she helped the Army grow far and wide throughout the world. After her term she retired back to upstate New York where she lived out the rest of her life.

   One other lasting idea was born through her that is a mainstay of the Army to this day and is also what most Americans think of when they think of the Salvation Army - that is the Christmas kettles.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Hero's of the Salvation Army

  Samuel Logan Brengle, a name that is now wholly entangled with the Salvation Army. But, when he went to meet the founder William Booth to ask to become an officer, the General did not approve of him. He was too independent and Booth thought he would not do well being bound by the doctrines and rules of the Salvation Army.

  Still, he was allowed to enter into training to be an officer. His first job as a cadet, to polish the shoes of his fellow cadets. He took to it with zeal, remembering the story of Jesus washing his disciples feet. Every job given to him he attacked with gusto. When he was commissioned he was sent back to the US to continue serving there.

  During his appointment to the Boston #1 corp he was struck in the head by a brick thrown by a drunkard and had to spend 18 months recuperating.  It is from that time that he began writing the articles that formed his first book "Helps to Holiness." and from that he became known for what he is known for today as the teacher of holiness within the Army.

  I have a first edition of that book in my library. It is tiny(not in content but in size). I have to wear my fathers' glasses to be able to read its small print. But, it is a cherished book in my collection. He was the first American born officer to achieve the rank of commissioner and was one the earliest to receive the medal the "Order of the Founder" for his contributions in his books and his unceasing work to preach the gospel.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Hero's of the Salvation Army

Now, why would I make this man one of the hero's of the Salvation Army?  He stands as a Symbol of what the Army was all about. That motto "Heart to God and hand to man", is what this man represents.  The First "Official" Convert to God through the work of the Salvation Army.

I found this Article about him written at the time that explains his story. We in the Army refer to him by his nick name, "Ash Barrel Jimmy". 
Thee First Convert of the Solvation Army in Amerca
Our first convert in America is still living and serving the army in Boston. The history of his reform is a remarkable one.
The conversion of the first of a mighty multitude was brought about by Commissioner Railton. Then in command of the American forces of the army, and Superintendent Thomas Byrnes of the New York police. Mr. Byrnes was an Inspector of police at the time, early in 1880.
It is safe to say that in Salvation Army circles there are very few who do not know Jimmy, by reputation at least. Jimmy was a thief and drunkard when converted in New York in March, 1880. His name is James Kemp. Three times Jimmy narrowly escaped losing his life. On one occasion he was nearly frosen to death outside Hilly McGlory's notorious dive. On another oocasion he was so brutally beaten in a Water street dive that he was supposed to be dead. The morgue wagon was called by the police, and the bruised and bartered body, apparently dead wascarried to the morgue. When it, or rather he, arrived there some of the doctors made the discovery that Jimmy still lived, and so he was taken to the hospital, where he remained four months. His last narrow escape from death was when he drank a quantity of spirits of wine which he found in a cellar. Jimmy drank so much he went raving mad and tried to hang himself. He was sent to prison for three months for attempting suicide. The first Saturday afternoon in March, 1880, Jimmy started out to have some amusement, and hearing that the Salvation Army, which had just arrived from England, was going "to show" at Harry Hill's notorious resort he concluded to go there and see what kind of people the soldiers were. When he arrived at Hill's, he found that there was an admission too, and he, with a drunkard's economy, determined to spend the price of admission in a different manner. Toward night he strolled into a dive on Water street, where his Whyno friends painted his back and served his face the same way and wound up the performance by rolling the unfortunate man in the sawdust of the dive floor. Jimmy, after submitting to their treatment, thought they would let him stay there all night; but. alas, they kicked him out on the street. Just as Jimmy reached the sidewalk his cap blew off and fell into an ash barrel which was standing near the door of the den. Jimmy tried to recover it, but in doing so lost his balance and fell head first into the barrel. He straggled to get out, but all his efforts were in vain. He seemed to be there to stay.
A short time after Jimmy's acrobatic feat a policeman came along, and seeing a man's legs in the barrel set to work to discover who was the owner of them and why he had them in such a position. He took out his club and struck the inverted man on the soles of Ins feet. These means are sometimes resorted to by policemen to arouse drunken men. From the depths of the barrel came a voice which the policeman at once recognized. He rapped for assistance, and when another officer appeared on the scene an effort was made to get Jimmy from his novel but painful position. They pulled at the protruding feet, but Jimmy failed to respond, his clothes having been caught on the nails which had been driven through the barrel. They pulled until the old rotten shoes gave way and were left in their hands. The policemen then threw the barrel down on its side, and laying hold of the unfortunate man's feet they dragged the barrel and its howling occupant toward tho police station. A pitiful sight was poor Jimmy when he reached the station. His lace, which had been blackened by the toughs in the dive, was all battered and bruised, and the paint on his face, mingled with blood, was strongly suggestive of a scalped Indian. His clothes were all torn and his shoes gone. How complete the ruin. How perfect the wreck. Superintendent Byrnes suggested that the Salvation Army be allowed to try its hand on the man, and the result was his conversion, since which time he has served faithfully in its ranks.—Boston Herald.