23 December 2016

FROM their arrival in Islamabad to their departure from Lahore more than a week later, the warmth and spiritual depth demonstrated by the Chief of the Staff (Commissioner Brian Peddle) and Commissioner Rosalie Peddle (World Secretary for Women’s Ministries) meant that they were taken to the hearts of Salvationists and friends throughout the Pakistan Territory.

The commissioners took part in public meetings in three locations – in an idyllic Islamabad setting, in the massive city of Karachi (with Hyderabad district) and at the cathedral in Lahore. Welcome dances showed the country's cultural diversity, with representations from near the Khyber Pass on the Afghanistan border to the culture of the Sind in Karachi and back to the Punjab in Lahore. Officers meetings were also held in each venue, with the visitors having opportunity to address all 350 officers and cadets of the territory. The messages from the Chief of the Staff and Commissioner Rosalie resonated with both the officers and the wider audiences.  

Visits with both the Canadian High Commissioner to Pakistan and the Norwegian Ambassador proved very fruitful and gave the territorial leaders an opportunity to present their plans and programmes. Both dignitaries were very interested in the corps-based community development plans and received gifts including the 2017 Year Book and a desk plaque with the territory’s vision and mission statements.  

Prior to a meeting with the Territorial Strategy Council and a visit to the Training College, the visitors were driven to the Shantinagar, a village started by The Salvation Army 100 years ago. They were very warmly welcomed by crowds of people – if they had not been on the back of a truck the journey through the village would have taken hours! The meeting in the village had to be held outside of the corps (church) building as the 2,000 people attending could not be accommodated inside.  

As with other meetings during the visit, many people knelt at the mercy seat.  

Travelling between the cities of Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore – and a six-hour drive to Shantinagar from Lahore – gave the Chief of the Staff and Commissioner Rosalie occasion to see and understand the contrasts in the country, along with the challenges and opportunities for the Pakistan Territory’s 45,000 soldiers and officers.  

The message they left behind was, to paraphrase the Chief of Staff, that passion for God is good but not enough; his people need to have a hunger for the Lord and his Word.  The territory was blessed, encouraged and challenged by the commissioners’ visit. The officers, soldiers and friends of The Salvation Army in Pakistan are delighted to know that their international leaders are fully supporting them as they minister in Jesus’ name.  

Report by Colonel Ivor Telfer
Territorial Commander, Pakistan Territory

Tags: South Asia