The General and Commissioner Silvia Cox Lead Centenary Celebrations in Mozambique
THE visit of General André Cox and Commissioner Silvia Cox (World President of Women's Ministries) to celebrate a centenary of Salvation Army service in Mozambique brought much joy and encouragement to officers, soldiers and friends. Arriving at the airport, the General told the crowd of welcomers that he was looking forward to worshipping together.
The first engagement was at territorial headquarters, where Commissioner Cox encouraged everyone to see Jesus in the congress celebrations. The General reminded his listeners that they are not called to positions but to serve others.
The following day, at the official welcome meeting, many soldiers danced and celebrated. The General challenged the congregation to consider what they have done during The Salvation Army's 100 years in Mozambique. He encouraged his listeners to be part of an Army that will bring change, and challenged them to experience the touch of God and to allow it to make their hearts tender. Twenty-eight seekers responded to the message by praying at the mercy seat.
Mozambique is currently facing political unrest and armed violence. Many of Salvationists and friends travelling from the north had to pass through areas where military convoys had to be arranged to ensure protection. It was recognised by the General that a large number of Salvationists are very poor and had to give sacrificially in order to attend. Nothing, however, could dampen their enthusiasm and joy as they demonstrated an unfailing faith in God.
The next day, three rallies were held – for men, women and young people. During the women’s rally, which featured heartwarming participation by a variety of delegates, the territorial queen was crowned by Commissioner Cox. In her Bible thoughts the commissioner challenged the women to count their blessings. 'The biggest blessing one can have,' she said, 'is to be loved by God.'
During the men's rally the General spoke much about holy living. He also called on the men present to treat their families well.
The packed youth rally featured enthusiastic dancing and other participation from the young people, two of whom interviewed the General. During the General's Bible address the young people were encouraged to have a strong relationship with God. He told them that God wants to change the world by first changing the lives of those in attendance at the rally. Around 225 seekers went forward for prayer and 13 new candidates offered for officership.
More celebrations took place during the festival of praise in the evening which featured traditional dance. In his Bible message, the General spoke about the great value of being part of the Kingdom of God. He asked delegates if people see the Kingdom of Heaven in them.
The final meeting of the centenary celebrations was preceded by a march of witness. During the meeting the General enrolled 32 junior soldiers and 94 senior soldiers, testimonies were given and music was provided by a congress chorus. The governor of Inhambane attended the service and thanked the Army for choosing to hold the congress in his province.
In his Bible message, the General called on delegates to live a different life and hate sin. He challenged them to be part of a revival that will win Mozambique for Jesus. More than 200 seekers responded to the message.
Report by Major Pamela Shiridzinodya