NEARLY 8,000 Salvationists gathered from across the vast Kenya East Territory to meet under the leadership of General André Cox and Commissioner Silvia Cox (World President of Women’s Ministries). The visit was a time of spiritual renewal for many people.
The visitors were welcomed with applause and shouts of joy at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi, where they were greeted by Territorial Commander Commissioner Vinece Chigariro, officers, cadets, local officers, bands, timbrelists, songsters and friends of The Salvation Army. The General told them: 'It is my prayer that God will make The Salvation Army a great army for his glory.'
Special features during the visit included:
A soldiers’ meeting at which Commissioner Silvia Cox challenged all present to keep the promises and the covenant they entered into with the Lord when they were sworn in to be soldiers. Many people responded to the General's Bible message by moving forward and kneeling in prayer.
A men’s fellowship and women’s rally which were attended by more than 1,000 men and over 4,000 women respectively.
Officers councils at Nairobi Central Corps (church) which were attended by more than 500 active and retired officers and 36 cadets. The General challenged all present not to take the sacredness of their calling for granted. Many officers responded to the General’s message by kneeling at the mercy seat in prayer.
At Kabete Children’s Home the young residents received their visitors with songs of praise. They were thrilled to learn from the General that he was born in Africa and he considers himself to be an African. Moving on to the Nairobi Girls' Training Centre, the General dedicated to God and officially opened a new computer lab equipped with eight new computers funded by the USA Central Territory.
The main gathering of the visit saw almost 8,000 Salvationists from all corners of the territory converge at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Nairobi, for a Sunday morning holiness meeting led by the international leaders. The meeting was enhanced by contributions from Youth Gospel Dance, timbrels and vocal groups. Nairobi Central Band and the territorial songsters provided excellent support.
In his Bible message, the General spoke about the Christian's 'heavenly citizenship'. He warned against self-seeking among Christians and advised all to seek first the Kingdom of Heaven. The altar call resulted in a large number of seekers committing themselves to a life of following Christ, with many responding also to the call to serve the Lord as officers in The Salvation Army.
The next day the international leaders visited the Salvation Army schools and centres in the town of Thika. These include Joytown Primary and Secondary Schools, Thika Primary and Secondary Schools for the Visually Impaired and Variety Village Vocational Training Centre.
As well as meeting pupils and staff at the schools for the visually impaired, the General had the opportunity to meet two former pupils who have used their education to great success. One is now a secondary teacher and the other – the Hon Isaac Mwaura – is a Member of Parliament in the Kenyan National Assembly. At Variety Village the General visited the workshops and saw for himself what the students are making.
Before leaving the territory to head to Kenya West, the General and Commissioner Cox spent time with cadets at the training college.
Report by Major Jane Musyoki