The General Celebrates Centenary of Service in India Eastern Territory
GENERAL André Cox and Commissioner Silvia Cox (World President of Women's Ministries) enjoyed unusual and God-inspired moments when they led the six-day Glorious Victory congress to celebrate a century of Salvation Army ministry in the Indian state of Mizoram (India Eastern Territory). The first unusual moment saw the international leaders wearing red uniforms for the centenary flame-lighting ceremony, in recognition of the red uniforms worn by the pioneer officers who had introduced The Salvation Army to the people of Mizoram.
Throughout the 10 public meetings the General and Commissioner Cox focused on mobilisation, reminding Salvationists and friends not to be content with their present achievements. If the faith of a few zealous people could lead to a century of service, they explained, how much more will the present generation of passionate Salvationists achieve? With God, they said, everything is possible!
Thousands of people responded to altar calls, giving thanks to God and rededicating themselves to his service. At least 54 young people committed their lives to officership.
All the public sessions were held at R. Dengthuama Indoor Stadium, Mualpui. By the final day, the total attendance topped 20,000 people, making this the largest event in the history of the territory. Officers and soldiers from Australia Eastern Territory, India National Secretariat, Myanmar Region and India South Western Territory attended, along with India Eastern Salvationists and friends. Some endured difficult journeys to be present, including a colour sergeant from Saikawt Corps, Manipur, who travelled eight days by bicycle to attend the meetings.
The contributions of old and young were recognised. Two local officers received long-service badges from the General for their 50 years of ministry. The commitment of children to bring glory to God was demonstrated, and the General responded enthusiastically to questions given by five young people. An amazing 447 newly-graduated corps cadets were delighted to receive their Merit Badges from the General.
The Reaching Out Army session revealed the territory's outreach initiatives.
Every session featured items from soloists, songsters, bands and timbrels, with a video wall adding extra information and images. All the programmes were broadcast live by two local cable networks, reaching the whole of Mizoram. Local newspapers and cable TV reported the international leaders' visit and highlights of the centenary celebrations. Photographs and videos of the congress were shared via Flickr, YouTube, Facebook and Whatsapp, reaching an international audience.
The General unveiled a statue of pioneer officer Lieut-Colonel Kawlkhuma OF as a permanent recognition of the 100th anniversary. He also opened a new prayer hall of Chanmari West Corps (church) and blessed the refurbished building for the centennial family store at Temple Square. This is part of an initiative to enable the territory to support itself financially. On Sunday afternoon, at a march of witness in the heart of the city, the General received the salute from thousands of Salvationists, led by bands and timbrels.
The General and Commissioner Cox were received by the Government of Mizoram as State Government official guests, with excellent arrangements made for the leaders during their stay. His Excellency the Governor of Mizoram, Lieut-General Nibhay Sharma, and Mr Lal Thanhawla, the Hon Chief Minister of Mizoram, attended the congress with their wives.
Report by Jean Vanlalrochuangi
Tags: South Asia, Events, The General