GENERAL Linda Bond led 125th anniversary celebrations at Bedford Congress Hall Corps (church), in the United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland. Throughout the weekend God's Spirit moved in people's hearts, with many making a public response.
The Mayor of Bedford (Councillor Dave Hodgson) welcomed the General to the town at a civic reception on Saturday afternoon. He spoke about his knowledge and experience of The Salvation Army. General Bond explained that The Salvation Army's mission is in response to the love of Christ. In moving moments the General prayed for God to give the mayor wisdom and strength in his plans and care for the people of the town.
In the evening the General was guest of honour at a corps reception and meal. She spoke to her listeners about the significance of their history and how it informs the present and gives direction. As well as presenting a wider view of the Army, the General challenged people to prepare themselves for the future – proud of their heritage and ready to engage in Christ's mission today.
God’s presence was felt during the Sunday morning meeting as the General powerfully proclaimed the Word. The children sang 'There is Something Today in the House of the Lord', waving flags and shaking pom-poms as they greeted the General.
Following the meeting the General met the youth of the corps. She prayed with them and shared words of encouragement and challenge. She also spoke with visitors to the corps meal programme for homeless people.
The evening meeting brought another clear and challenging message from the General, with people making a visible response in prayer.