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Army marches ‘Forward’ in Europe

Congress celebrates unity and diversity of the European Salvation Army.

Spanish delegates display their flag at the open-air meeting. Photo by Jayne Roberts

 

The Europe Congress, led by General Linda Bond, brought together 1,300 Salvationists from 30 countries Oct. 12-14 in Prague, Czech Republic, for a weekend of witness and worship.

Themed “Forward! In Confidence, Unity and Power,” the gathering celebrated what God is doing in the lives of his people throughout Europe. Each of the three main sessions represented an aspect of The Salvation Army’s International Vision: “One Army, One Mission, One Message.” Commissioners Robert and Janet Street (Europe Zonal leaders, International Headquarters) and Commissioners Hans and Marja van Vliet (territorial leaders, the Netherlands and Czech Republic Territory) also participated.

At the opening meeting, “One Army—Speak Your Heart,” attendees expressed how they would like The Salvation Army to look. Vocal ensembles G-Thanks (France) and LivingSoul (Switzerland) performed, along with the Hallelujah Quartet, an a cappella group of Russian and Romanian officers.

Street displayed a piece of the Berlin Wall, a reminder that The Salvation Army was once proscribed in 12 European countries where it now operates. Uniformed Salvationists from those countries participated in the congress.

Following her Bible message, the General led the song “They Shall Come from the East, They Shall Come from the West,” representing “One Army.” Listeners responded to an invitation to move to the platform and join hands.

Captain Josef Knoflicek held an open-air meeting in Náme˘stí Republiky (Republic Square) on Saturday afternoon. Bond gave the message that “Jesus is the real thing,” illustrating her sermon with a string of pearls. Vocal groups from France, Switzerland and Sweden participated, along with UK Brass.

“One Mission—Celebrate What God is Doing” was Saturday night’s theme. All territorial and command leaders of the Europe Zone marched in with Salvation Army and national flags. The 150-strong Europe Choir made its debut, led by Commissioner Dick Krommenhoek (Finland and Estonia territorial commander).

The Sunday meeting, “One Message—Forward in Faith,” concluded the celebrations, and featured a Czech children’s choir and a Spanish group called Básico.

Cadets from the Italy and Greece Command, Denmark Territory and Norway, Iceland and The Færoes Territory; sports ministry; anti-human trafficking work in the United Kingdom and Greece; and men from Lithuania, Poland and Hungary sharing testimonies were highlighted throughout the weekend.

In her final message, Bond challenged the delegates to go forward with faith that God will bring revival to Europe, staying certain of God’s grace from generation to generation.

From an international news release

 

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