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.

The 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 trade.
 
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 poor.

‘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.’

The commissioner 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 inequality.
 
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 way’.

‘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 declared.
 
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 energy.

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 God.
 
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.
 
A 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.

Another 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 both performances.
 
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


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