A very different Moscow
Chief of the Staff installs new territorial leaders.
The Chief of the Staff, Commissioner Robin Dunster, recently returned to a Moscow very different from the one she had visited in 1969 on her way to the International Training College in London. During that first trip the authorities had confiscated her Bible as “subversive” material. This time, as she installed Commissioners Willem and Netty van der Harst as new leaders of the Eastern Europe Territory, she openly presented them with a Bible and encouraged them to continue their faithfulness in teaching the word of God.
Chief Secretary Lt. Colonel Alistair Herring, Russia Divisional Commander Major Alexander Kharkov, and Secretary for Pastoral Care Captain Elena Shulyanskaya each welcomed the van der Harsts to the territory. Captain Julia Price, children’s ministry officer and BabySong coordinator for Russia brought words of welcome from the young people.
The Chief of the Staff then installed Commissioners Willem and Netty van der Harst as new leaders of the Eastern Europe Territory. She read a letter from General Shaw Clifton which asked God to grant the new leaders “strength and wisdom and every needed grace for the task.”
Commissioner Netty van der Harst spoke of her joy at knowing the Lord was always with her and said she knew he would be beside her as she served the people of Eastern Europe.
The new territorial commander spoke from Joshua 3:5: “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing tings among you.” He assured those gathered that God is going to do amazing things in the territory. “We must look positively towards the future,” he said, “and put our faith into action.”
The installation was the highlight of a weekend that included officers’ councils conducted by the Chief of the Staff. Dunster shared stories of how the Army is growing, particularly in Africa and South Asia. She also encouraged officers to be in an attitude of worship wherever they are and to expect encounters with God whatever they are doing.