29 March 2018

FROM the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean to Nakskov in Denmark, from Taganka in Russia, Meesalai and Kilinochchi in Sri Lanka to Glen Eden in New Zealand, young people were at the forefront of Salvation Army ministry during a children and youth weekend which is part of the ongoing The Whole World Mobilising initiative. Young people around the globe could be found leading Sunday meetings, movie nights, youth seminars, worship concerts, prayer stations, family events, teen coffee, a Mobilising rally, Palm Sunday march, food drives, prayer walks, art outreach, litter picking, hospital visits, community breakfast, 'cosmic bowling', a junior soldier rally, a barbecue and a time of prayer for victims of human trafficking - and so much more!

Young people linked with The Salvation Army were united under the theme Shine! using Isaiah 60:1 as the Scripture focus: 'Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord arises upon you.'

Messages of encouragement

To kick off the weekend, video messages of encouragement and prayer were shared from General André Cox and the Chief of the Staff (Commissioner Brian Peddle). The General addressed the Army's young people, saying: 'I want to ensure that, through this weekend, you will feel empowered; not just to make us old people happy and to entertain us in our corps (churches), but that you will really feel a sense of being engaged by God in his rescue mission, meeting human needs in his name ... and preaching that wonderful gospel message! ... I want to encourage you to take your place, to lead The Salvation Army, so that we're not stuck within our walls, but that we're out there ... bringing the good news of Jesus Christ!'

Creative arts

In the France and Belgium Territory, where the General and Commissioner Silvia Cox (World President of Women's Ministries) were visiting, the young people were instrumental in leading the weekend and prepared a musical comedy, El Azar, based on the life of Lazarus. The musical was broadcast on YouTube, as were many of the meetings that were part of the territorial congress.

Across the rest of the world, young people used social media to encourage and inspire one another, sharing photos and videos of their activities. Some corps used Facebook Live to broadcast their meetings. Support from International Headquarters came in the form of five prayer videos from a representative of each of the Army's five geographical zones. Forty territories also submitted written prayers that were widely circulated online.

Prayers for children and youth

In response to the weekend, International Youth and Children's Officers Majors Keith and Shone Pike shared a prayer: 'We pray God's light will shine in every corner of our world as children and youth respond to God's call to "arise and Shine!" – because the glory of the Lord has risen on them. We long to see the youth of our Army transformed by the power of the gospel and in turn become a transforming influence in the communities in which they live.'

Visit the Whole World Mobilising social wall to see videos, prayers and photos from the weekend: https://walls.io/jcq6i

Report by Laura Booth

Tags: South Pacific and East Asia, Africa, Europe, Prayer, Americas and Caribbean, South Asia, Events, The General