International leaders visit the Caribbean
By Vevene Jonas, Lt. Col. –
An island-hopping tour of the Caribbean enabled General André Cox and Commissioner Silvia Cox, world president of women’s ministries, to sample Salvation Army life in five countries in just over a week, accompanied by territorial leaders Commissioners Gerrit and Eva Marseille.
The Coxes first landed in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Delmas 2 Corps was filled to capacity for a youth rally, with music offered by a united youth choir and the divisional band. A worship team from Lafferonay Corps led the congregation in praise, and Cox spoke in a personal way to the young people about the depth of their commitment to the Lord.
During the Sunday morning holiness meeting, 47 new soldiers were enrolled. In his message, the General challenged listeners to live out the gospel as it is preached.
They next visited French Guiana, and were received by Regional Commander Major Alisthene Simeon and Mayor of the Parish of Matoury Gabriel Serville, who expressed words of encouragement, offering his gratitude to the Army for its work. The regional band and a group called Active-F-Eight presented a welcome song in a local rhythm.
The Coxes then arrived in Suriname in time for the youth rally. A united choir and the regional worship team were reinforced by a military band with rhythmical gospel classics. Home league women added to the occasion with a colourful traditional dance, along with a young woman’s regional dance group.
In Barbados, the General commented on the beauty of the island but also offered thought-provoking questions: What difference does the Word of God have on us in the way that we think and act? What difference do we as Salvationists and Christians show the world because of our relationship with Jesus Christ? What impact do we have on the world around us as we seek to be like Jesus and follow the Great Commission?
Finally, the visitors were greeted at the airport in Kingston, Jamaica, by the rhythmic strains of the Caribbean Territorial Band and the joyful singing of soldiers and friends. The General greeted everyone and thanked them for a truly warm welcome.
On Sunday, Cox challenged listeners to have an undivided heart, so they can triumph over evil.
The afternoon meeting gave opportunity for a grand expression of praise to God. The General encouraged everyone to bathe The Salvation Army in prayer and to participate with the rest of the international Army throughout 2015 in Boundless … the Whole World Reading, a challenge to read together through the New Testament as part of the Army’s 150th anniversary celebrations.
The call for prayer was repeated in a vocal selection by Sunbeams from Top Hill Corps, who sang: “Pray on, stay on your knees for this is where the victory’s won.” Commissioner Cox, in her message, emphasized the obligation of every Salvationist to witness to their faith.