Outdoor Flag-raising Commences 'Raised Up' World Youth Convention
Released 16 July 2010
VUVUZELAS, voices and vibrant passion marked the brief opening
ceremony of The Salvation Army’s Raised Up World Youth Convention at
the University of Stockholm, Sweden, on Thursday 15 July 2010.
More than 1,000 delegates exuberantly gathered in the outdoor area between
the main auditorium and the exhibition tents to watch Salvation Army, Swedish
and Raised Up flags rise up the tall flagpoles.
The focus was on God as the delegates sang praises to him and a brass band
played ‘I'll Go in the Strength of the Lord’ while the flags were
In welcoming to Sweden all the convention delegates and The Salvation Army's
world leaders, General Shaw Clifton and Commissioner Helen Clifton (World
President of Women's Ministries), Commissioner Vic Poke (Territorial Commander,
Sweden and Latvia) said, ‘For 120 years Salvationists from this land have
travelled to other lands with the gospel of Jesus but today the world comes to
He added that ‘God will use this event to transform the Salvation Army
world for this generation’.
Commissioner Ros Poke (Territorial President of Women's Ministries, Sweden
and Latvia) read paraphrased selected Scripture verses from Isaiah 11 and 12
focusing on the fact that ‘God has gathered Salvation Army youth of the
world together to proclaim the name of the Lord and to shout aloud his
Prior to the flag-raising ceremony the General and Commissioner Clifton,
along with Commissioners Barry (Chief of the Staff) and Sue (World Secretary
for Women's Ministries) Swanson, were enthusiastically welcomed onto the
university campus by delegates from Zambia.
The Army leaders enjoyed a brief tour of the tent exhibits and mingled with
a multitude of joyous delegates.
The Chief of the Staff was part of a panel of Salvationists who participated
in a press conference with representatives of the Swedish Christian media.
Commissioners Amos Makina (International Secretary for Africa) and Lalkiamlova
(International Secretary for South Asia) and World Youth Convention delegate
Meble Birengo from Kenya East Territory were the panel’s other
The Chief outlined the importance of the World Youth Convention to the
future of The Salvation Army, with each of delegates being hand-picked because
of their potential, abilities and passion.
He explained that this was only the fourth international youth event in the
145-year history of The Salvation Army. He said the interaction and education
opportunities provided by this Raised Up convention were invaluable for the
ongoing, wide-ranging Salvation Army work, including spreading the salvation
message of Jesus Christ, assisting in poverty reduction and fighting human
He pointed out that representatives of 94 of the 121 countries where The
Salvation Army is operating were taking part in the convention.
In response to questions from the media the panel spoke about a number of
Salvation Army programmes throughout the world that are making positive
spiritual, physical and emotional differences to many thousands of people.
Report by Major Laurie