Danielson leads first Latin America North personal education seminars
MAJOR RHODE DANIELSON and Captain Mark Wolstenholme (top photo) teach the principles behind the Alpha Course.
Major Rhode Danielson, Costa Rica divisional director of women’s organizations (then territorial education officer), and Captain Mark Wolstenholme, THQ church growth and program officer, travelled to the Panama Division to conduct seminars on personal education and church growth.
Danielson presented the new opportunities available through the Universidad Evangelica de las Americas. Without exception, the division’s officers were delighted with the new opportunities which will enable them to study for further qualifications with the university.
“I am looking forward to these courses” said one officer. “Now, I can develop myself academically, gain a professional qualification and improve my ministry with The Salvation Army and to the Lord!”
The courses will be covered by distance learning, correspondence, and seminars held every year in the divisions. Said Danielson, “The territory is delighted to be able to offer these courses to all officers for their personal development. We want every officer to take the opportunity to gain professional qualifications that will benefit them and the Kingdom of God!”
At the same time, Wolstenholme presented informative and helpful church growth seminars to the officers. Using interactive multi-media–a combination of TV and video, song, drama, testimony, music and mime–the officers shared in seminars detailing current good practices within the Church Growth movement.
Said Wolstenholme: “Our territory is committed to growth in every area of Salvation Army ministry.” But how to do it? he wanted to know. New (and old!) ideas and research were presented and everyone seemed to catch the vision of a ‘passionate to save’ Salvation Army in Panama.
During Costa Rica’s territorial congress this year, General John Gowans commented on the Alpha Course display and commended the course to the Territory. “Get involved with Alpha!” said the General; ‘Thousands of people are coming to Christ all over the world on Alpha.”
During the conference Captains Mark and Rhode were able to teach about the principles and practices behind the Alpha Course and to share with the officers the resources and the vision that Alpha can be used to bring many people into the Kingdom of God.
The response was positive: “This is just what we have been waiting for” said Divisional Commander Captain Jorge Mendez. “We will have a Divisional Alpha Initiative in Panama this year!”
Captain Veronica Taveres, Rio Abojo Corps, shared an amazing testimony with her people the following Sunday morning. “Last year the Lord gave me a prophetic word of knowledge about our corps. It was in the form of a ‘gift’. The Lord was giving me a beautiful gift of a large, strong and growing church. However, there was a problem – I could not open the gift. I couldn’t get inside the gift. I needed a key and I did not have it. And now Mark and Rhode have brought the Alpha Course to us and the Lord has said that this is the ‘key’ we have been waiting for. The Lord showed me that by using the Alpha Course our church will grow, people will be filled with the Holy Spirit and God will receive all the glory!”