The idea to hold a holiness conference for young leaders in Sri Lanka came to light when the Territorial Youth and Children’s Secretary, Captain Wijenama Wijesinghe, was a delegate at the International College for Officers and Centre for Spiritual Life Development (ICO/CSLD). There he encountered deep theological holiness teachings and thought, why not open this opportunity for young Salvationists in our country? And so came to birth the Territorial Youth Leader’s Holiness Conference 2012.
Young people from the territory were involved during the entire planning stages of the conference. Eight young people gathered on different occasions with the Youth Secretary to plan out the details of the conference, preparing and engaging prayerfully during the initial stages. The support, encouragement and prayers of territorial leaders and friends, soldiers and officers across the globe also immensely contributed to the success of this conference in many ways.
Each day commenced with a time of worship, alongside a bible thought for that day. Colonel Janet Munn, Secretary for Spiritual Life Development (ICO/CSLD) was the guest lecturer. Teachings were based on The Salvation Army’s tenth doctrine of holiness. In essence, this doctrine engraves the idea of holiness in every part, every day and that it is for everyone. Holiness requires discipline. The young leaders were introduced to certain spiritual disciplines, such as reading and meditating on the Word, prayer and fasting.
Another highlight were the sessions on rhythms of prayer. New rhythms introduced included praying the Bible, silence and solitude and listening prayer. For some delegates, the time spent in silence and solitude was life changing in many ways. What a sight it was to see young people throughout the premises, alone and communicating with God.
Commissioner Malcolm Induruwage, Territorial Commander, conducted the closing session and challenged the youth for mission. Colonel William Mockabee, Chief Secretary, helped the delegates to understand their identity as Salvationists and reminded all that Salvationism goes beyond the church walls. Colonel Nihal Hettiarachchi, Programme Secretary, taught on treasures from the past, highlighting the lives of William Booth and unsung Sri Lankan heroes.
Doctrine number 10 was explained with its deep meaning of “Spirit, Soul & Body”. Now I’m very clear that I am holy and accepted before God, just because of the simple fact of keeping faith on what Jesus has already done on the cross. This gives me a great confidence to go before God with boldness and gladness. I know that I’m not condemned due to my sin. Jeewani Wijerasuriya
Among the many experiences I’ve gained through the conference, prayer is for sure the most important for me. I learned how much more I could improve my prayer through the various methods of prayer that were introduced. Nayomi Keerthy
I felt such joy, when I entered the premises; there was a deep thirst within me to read the scriptures. I had a problem, and that is how I should pray daily. I got a clear understanding and guidance through the teachings of Colonel. The techniques taught were quite simple, yet very deep and effective. I knew what I learned these few days will surely help me go in the right direction in life. Dhanushka Senaweera
By: Ramesh Ravindra Daniel