SALVATIONISTS and friends were overjoyed to welcome General André Cox and Commissioner Silvia Cox (World President of Women's Ministries) back to the Kenya West Territory only seven months after their visit when the General held his previous appointment as Chief of the Staff. The familiarity did nothing to dampen the excitement of the territory's Salvationists, a number of whom joined territorial leaders Commissioners Kenneth and Jolene Hodder and other senior officers to welcome the visitors at Kisumu Airport. The General told the crowd that he would speak not for himself, but for the glory of God.
The next day, Thursday, the international leaders led the staff and cadets at the officers training college in laying the foundation stone at the new Education and Training Centre in Forestal. The General remarked that a college is a place of preparing cadets to go and reach out to people. 'Workmen should never be ashamed of their work,' he added.
At Forestal Primary and Secondary Schools the visitors prayed for students preparing for exams.
On Friday, Commissioner Cox led Kakamega Division in the dedication to God of a new divisional headquarters. She told the people who gathered for the occasion: 'The new building should be used for God’s work ... [and] for God’s glory.' In another special ceremony the General led Salvationists of Kakamega Central Corps (church) in laying the foundation stone of their new church hall. He prayed for the new 'wonderful praise and worship centre'.
In the afternoon the international leaders met and interacted with WORTH groups in Kapsabet District. They encouraged the women taking part in the projects – community groups that provide income and support – to keep pressing on with what is planned to be an ever-expanding enterprise.
On Saturday, more than 800 officers (active and retired), sergeants-in-charge, envoys and cadets congregated for a special officers councils under the territorial theme 'Living in God’s Power'.
In the afternoon the General upgraded the Shikulu Outpost to corps status – just over half a year after he and Commissioner Cox had opened the outpost. Such has been the growth in Shikulu that the new corps has founded an outpost of its own! Commissioner Cox said in her Bible message that the Holy Spirit enables God's people to win more souls for him.
Sunday was the climax of the visit, as more than 10,000 Salvationists and friends of The Salvation Army filled Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega to salute the international leaders and join together in worship. The governor and other political figures were also present for the celebration.
In his Bible address the General emphasised what God expects from his people. Telling his listeners they should live holy and godly lives he advised them to 'be wise when working with others. Let your conversations be full of grace and grow in holiness.'
More than 400 people renewed their commitment to God at the mercy seat as the band played 'I Know He Cares for Me'.
Report by Major Rosemary Matunde