Frontlines — News Briefs of the West

Bob Bearchell

By Bob Bearchell – 

Friends’ concern about Eleanor Jones during the recent up-heaval in Brazza-ville was well justified. Jones reports that at one point a rebel held a gun to her head. They lost everything during the evacuation to Kinshasa. Pray for this brave and dedicated lady!

The Institute for Officers Training for the Russia/CIS is being moved to Finland. Captains Mark and Jennifer Fagerstrom have just arrived to establish it. Captain Alastair Bate, who spent some time in Finland while stationed in Russia, is helping them cope with this move, which is quite different from Russia. They are enjoying some sun for a change and are amazed by the number of bicycles everywhere.

Captains Richard and Rebecca Huntley report that the rain has finally stopped in the Czech Republic, leaving more than 600 homes flooded. The people are courageous and working hard to clean up the very big mess. The S.A. Mothers’ and Children’s Home and Men’s Hostel may be beyond repair. Though about 20 women and children were stranded upstairs at the hostel for three days, and they lost five vehicles, no lives were lost. Spirits are rising as the sun comes out!

A new Hospital Administration Capacity Development Program, a three year training course whose ultimate goal is to train S.A. officers to be Hospital Administrators, is now under way. Major Ted Mahr is executive secretary of the council.

A free diagnostic eye camp is being held in nearby villages, focusing on children and awareness for proper eye care.

HIV/AIDS program to program visits are becoming an excellent way for teams from countries in Africa and Southeast Asia to share information and ideas.

Lt. Colonel Robert Saunders reports that the Korea Territory recently pioneered S.A. work in Vladivostok, Russia. A Korean speaking officer can communicate in Russian and also with the Korean population there. The local television and print media helped greatly by publicizing the hearing when the Army applied for re-registration there. As a result, the major part of the community now knows of The Salvation Army. Public interest is encouraging after four months there. Prayer was the answer!

Captains Ted and Debbie Horwood report from Malawi that, though the excitement of arrival has worn off, they feel more committed to this place than before. Biblical tithing takes on a new meaning when people are so poor–yet they give a chicken, a piglet, or whatever they can. The family of God is enlarging–40 new soldiers sworn in recently under a makeshift tent. The Horwoods and their children, Micah and Jess, are “healthy, happy and whole.” Pray for them, their personal safety, their study of the language, and additional resources for their work.

The 100-year history of The Salvation Army in Alaska is currently being written by Colonel Henry Gariepy (R), in collaboration with the divisional commander, Major Harold Brodin, and Territorial Headquarters. It is planned to be published in book form by early 1998 in observance of the Army’s centenary in Alaska.

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