FROM the start of their visit to the India Eastern Territory to lead a territorial congress, General André Cox and Commissioner Silvia Cox (World President of Women’s Ministries) were given a warm welcome not only by Salvationists and friends but also by the state government. Their time in Mizoram saw the visitors hosted as official ‘State Guests’, and included a meeting with the state governor, dinner with the chief minister and a press conference and interview at the State Guest House.
The international leaders were welcomed at Lengpui Airport, Aizawl, by soldiers and officers including Territorial Commander Colonel Lalngaihawmi. Music was provided by the territorial staff band. The visitors headed to Aizawl Temple Square for an open-air meeting which was also a welcome meeting. The General’s Bible message included his personal testimony of being a ‘sinner saved by grace’, giving the listeners an impression of a Spirit-filled leader.
The congress included – for the first time – a meeting for local officers, hundreds of whom rededicated their lives to God at the mercy seat. At the other meetings too, hundreds of people responded to the call for seekers.
At a meeting focused on outreach mission offerings were collected for Bhutan – the newest mission field – which totalled more than 50,000 rupees. Recognition was given to outreach workers and new converts from mission fields, especially Bhutan and Nepal.
Officers councils were attended by more than 200 active and retired officers, along with 24 cadets of the Heralds of Grace Session.
Throughout the congress the General and Commissioner Cox shared the pulpit, putting God at the very centre of everything that happened. The General spoke about the International Vision of One Army, One Mission and One Message, encouraging the congregation to value ‘One Army’ which continues to serve the lost and desperate, fulfilling its ‘One Mission’ as it proclaims ‘One Message’.
As well as three main public meetings the congress also included the dedication to God and opening of Dawrpui Vengthar Prayer Hall, young people’s, corps cadet and Salvation Army youth meetings and a praise meeting for women’s ministries.
Contributions from songsters, bands, and timbrel, drama and cultural dance items added greatly to the occasion. Personal testimonies also brought moments of blessing.
Congress meetings were broadcast on a live telecast by a local cable TV station, with events also being reported in a daily newspaper.
After the congress had finished the international leaders visited the training college, a boys’ home and the prayer hall at Aizawl Central Corps (church).
Report by Lieutenant Charles Chalrimawia