Social Justice and Outreach Dominate Third Day of World Youth Convention
Released 20 July 2010
SATURDAY, the third day of the World Youth Convention, was dominated
by social justice and evangelism. The addresses in the morning delivered by
Commissioner Helen Clifton (World President of Women’s Ministries) and
Commissioner Christine MacMillan (Director, International Social Justice
Commission) graphically brought home the fact that sadly we live in a fallen
world. However, both commissioners also boldly stated that all is not lost as
hope and redemption are at hand.
In her terrifying, yet
full of hope, ‘Wake Up’ report on human trafficking in the
sex-slave trade Commissioner Clifton initially painted a picture of depravity
and desperation but, then, she joyfully announced details of life-bringing
salvation work being carried out by The Salvation Army around the world.
She called on all delegates and the Army worldwide to join the
battle against this evil practice and especially to be involved in the four key
areas of prevention, prosecution, protection and prayer.
commissioner reminded the World Youth Convention delegates that the General has
called all Salvationists to pray, on 26 September, for victims of the sex-slave
Commissioner MacMillan (via DVD on the huge screen in
the Aula Magna auditorium) emphatically stated that ‘the greatest
challenge the world is facing is the growing chasm between the rich and the
‘Today 1,125 billionaires hold more wealth than half of
the world population and the poorest 40 per cent of the world population only
accounts for five per cent global income while the richest 20 per cent accounts
for 75 per cent of the world’s income.’
said that while this is the major issue for The Salvation Army International
Social Justice Commission (ISJC) it is also wrestling with many other issues of
Commissioner MacMillan said that the team is
researching the issues at depth and is doing all it can to advocate on behalf
of the poor and all others victimised and discriminated against but that it
alone cannot do all the work – ‘we all need to be involved in some
‘Our journey of faith needs to be disturbed by the
injustices in the world. If it isn’t, then our hearts are either numb or
hardened and we need God to renew our sensitivity,’ the commissioner
Fired up to do all they can to heal a hurting world
the World Youth Convention delegates headed off-campus to
Kungsträgården (The King’s Garden) a beautiful park in the
city area of Stockholm for eight-and-a-half hours of praise and outreach.
This energy-packed event could be described as a marathon running race
performed at sprint race speed, such was the Holy Spirit-inspired level of
Around 4,000 people were in the park enjoying a slightly
overcast afternoon and all them were affected by the infectious enthusiasm of
the performers and delegates.
The message of Jesus Christ was
shared with others individually and corporately by General Shaw Clifton when he
explained to the crowd the meaning behind the colours of The Salvation Army
flag – the blood of Christ, the fire of the Holy Spirit and the purity of
This was new information for the non-Salvationists of
Sweden who live in one of the most secularised countries in the world, with
less than one per cent of the population attending church.
public time of prayer for Sweden followed an inspiring concert by Samuel
Ljungblahd, a Salvationists who is one of Sweden’s top Christian singers.
This was an excellent witness to the love and joy of God.
major event on Saturday was the staging at Stockholm Temple Corps of the
musical Brengle: My Life’s Ambition. The hall was filled to capacity for
A surprise miracle moment of the day was
the arrival the Sri Lankan delegation that had overcome last minute passport
problems that delayed them for two days.
Report by Major Laurie Robertson, Major Bert
Aberg and Chris Priest
Photos of the World Youth Convention are at Flickr.com