Home League rallies took place in Gujarat (7–18 January) and Maharashtra (17 January – 4 February), providing opportunities for women of the India Western Territory to celebrate, learn and worship together in their divisions. Groups met under the leadership of the Territorial President of Women’s Ministries and the Home League Secretary.

A huge march of witness preceded the rallies, with thousands of women singing, dancing and shouting ‘hallelujah’. Many people who were standing at the roadside as the procession passed – even those of other faiths – bowed down and joined in with the worship. Many women from remote villages travelled to the venues on trucks because they had no other transportation. The divisional leaders organised the meals for participants.

The Home League Rallies were part festival, part revival of the attendees’ spiritual lives. Many new members of The Salvation Army and women from other castes were invited. In all, nearly 6,400 women took part in the events, which were also were an occasion for meeting each other and sharing prayer and fellowship.

Introducing the international Women Ministries theme for 2017 – Transformed into God’s Image – the women were given verses from Psalm 119:33-40 to memorise. Commissioner Susamma James shared a Bible message based on Romans 12:1-2 and Psalm 119:33-40, encouraging the women:

  • to be transformed in heart (Psalm 119:36, Ezekiel 36:26)
  • to be transformed in mind (Romans 12:2)
  • to be transformed in speaking (Ephesians 4:29, Psalm 34:13, James 3:9)

During each rally, many women came forward and shared their sorrows and happiness through their testimonies.

One of the participants shared that she was born and brought up in a Hindu family, worshipping idols. She had sought peace in her life and for that reason she visited many temples hoping to find the real God, but she could not find real peace in her life. As she was still struggling with this, her marriage was arranged with a Christian man. After her wedding, she started to attend church regularly and heard the word of God. She came to know about the true God and the peace she could receive from Jesus Christ. She shared how she accepted Jesus as her personal Saviour that she is now is happy, enjoying meaningful Christian fellowship.

Another woman shared her testimony that she has given birth to two healthy and beautiful children after a series of distressing miscarriages. Losing her unborn babies was worrying and depressing, she said, and at one stage she considered committing suicide. She testified, however, that throughout this critical time for her family, her church friends were faithful in praying for her. She praises God for his wonderful miracle in her life.

A third woman shared her experiences of spending 12 years of married life with a husband who was an alcoholic – a situation that she described as making her feel ‘unhappy and sad’. She prayed continuously to God for a change in her husband, and encouraged listeners by revealing that God heard her prayer – her husband gave up his drinking! Now the family is living in peace and going to church together to worship the Lord.

During the rallies, the ‘Silver Star’ mothers of Salvation Army officers were honoured, along with the retired officers who were in attendance. Many women took part in meetings by offering their talents through skits, plays, dances and tambourine displays, and generous donations were made to The Salvation Army’s Helping Hand projects that support community programmes.

At the closing session, hundreds of women came forward to the mercy seat and dedicated their lives to the Lord, receiving blessings from God. 

Based on a report from India Western Territory