23 November 2011
Tremendous Move to the Mercy Seat During General's Visit to South America East Territory
Released 23 November 2011
SALVATIONISTS in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay prayed and prepared for many months for the South America East Territorial Congress and the visit of General Linda Bond. Their prayers were rewarded with a time of inspiration and blessing.
This was especially evident in the final meeting of the congress where there was great enthusiasm inspired by the message given by the General. She challenging each Salvationist to take up the responsibility of prayer (including spending half an hour every Thursday morning as part of the international Salvation Army prayer meeting), to tell others their own salvation story and to do all they can to win souls for Christ. The tremendous response of 98 seekers at the mercy seat was very moving. Women, men and young people knelt and prayed - many of them with tears streaming down their faces. Then the territorial youth secretary made a call for officership and 43 people came forward.
The enthusiastic movement to the mercy seat occurred throughout the congress, attended by almost 900 people who had gathered in Huerta Grande, Cordoba Province, Argentina, from the three countries that comprise the territory. The participants were full of enthusiasm and expectation even though some had travelled more than 25 hours by bus.
The congress theme was To Be Holy - My Life's Ambition and in each meeting the General spoke about the newly launched International Vision - One Army, One Mission, One Message. As she spoke, with Territorial Commander Colonel Susan McMillan translating, the congregation captured the call to be a people who know Jesus better, serve him better and make him known through their testimonies.
The General said: 'From the time I assumed this great responsibility [as world leader of The Salvation Army] I felt that we need to pray and prepare ourselves for the Holy Spirit to bring a revival to his people. I am just waiting for the day, the place and the time when God will send that revival upon The Salvation Army.'
On the Saturday evening the musical Brengle: My Life's Ambition was presented. The writer, Lieut-Colonel Eddie Hobgood of the USA Southern Territory, reprised his role as Commissioner Brengle, this time in Spanish. When the General gave the invitation at the close of the musical, many people knelt at the mercy seat, confirming their ambition to be holy.
There was also a dramatic move to the mercy seat in the officers councils, with 225 people responding.
The General's first days in Buenos Aires, Argentina, included a visit to territorial headquarters, where she had tea with officers and staff. She also went to Buenos Aires Divisional Headquarters and Buenos Aires Central Corps, where she visited the home league meeting and greeted children and young people in the weekly music school run by the corps.
On Saturday, after a visit to an historic area of Buenos Aires, the General visited the 'Eliasen' Retirement Residence, touring the facilities and greeting each of the residents. Moving to the wing known as 'La Nueva Querencia', built for retired officers, the General had a meeting and afternoon tea with members of the Retired Officers' Association.
On Sunday the General and Territorial Commander Colonel Susan McMillan travelled to Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay. There, the General visited the Tekokatu Clinic, El Redil Children's Home and 'Little Ray of Light' education programmes for children and teenagers. Paraguayan Salvationists heard the General speak in a united holiness meeting at Villa Morra Corps and in a salvation meeting at Viñas Cué Outpost.
On Tuesday the General travelled to Montevideo, capital city of Uruguay. Over the next two days she visited a retirement home, a students' residence and the Union Corps and Thrift Store. She also participated in a special meeting at Montevideo Central Corps. In a joyful gathering, the congregation felt the presence of God as the General, empowered by the Holy Spirit, encouraged Salvationists to live a holy life and to share God's message without fear.
Report by Lieut-Colonel Sonia Bouzigues,
with contributions from Major Wilson Fagundez and Lieutenant Adrian Diaz
Translated by Colonel Susan McMillan