General Clifton visits the U.S.

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Cliftons participate in Central and Eastern commissioning, Southern meetings.

L-R: Charles Wyly, Dee Wyly, Commissioner Helen Clifton, General Shaw Clifton, Laura Bush and President George W. Bush [Photo courtesy of the DFW Metroplex Command]

General Shaw Clifton and Commissioner Helen Clifton recently visited the United States, participating in events in the Central, Eastern and Southern Territories.

In addition to the international leaders, U.S. national leaders Commissioners Israel and Eva Gaither attended the 2010 Central Territory commissioning weekend and holiness congress along with nearly 4,000 Salvationists. The weekend culminated with the ordination and commissioning by the General of the 23 cadets of the Prayer Warriors Session.

The General spoke about unlikely heroes in the Bible and told delegates: “Very ordinary folk and very imperfect folk—like you and me—can rise to terrific heights when we give ourselves to the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Territorial leaders Commissioners Paul and Carol Seiler urged each person to write on a piece of paper what the Lord was asking of them. The strips were joined together to form paper chains that symbolized the territory’s desire to move forward in faith.

The Cliftons also attended a coffee house gathering for young adults and responded to questions about the Army.

During a visit to the Southern Territory, the Cliftons met and dined with former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush in Dallas, Texas, at a black-tie dinner in the home of Dee and Charles Wyly, who is a member of The Salvation Army’s Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex Advisory Board.

The visit also included a soldiers rally at Dallas Temple Corps, where Commissioner Clifton told the soldiers present: “We thank God for his hand on your lives and for every sign of his grace. You have been through things in Texas—big things, like Hurricane Katrina and now the oil spill. We feel the fragility of human life.”

The international leaders attended the advisory board meeting of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex Command, followed by the 20th anniversary celebration of The Salvation Army Mabee Social Services Center, which includes a men’s shelter, women’s shelter, three transitional programs and a food pantry.

The General and Commissioner Clifton witnessed what Gaither called a weekend for “celebrating transitions” when they visited the Eastern Territory. The commissioning weekend brought a fresh infusion of officers—42 new lieutenants and three new captains of the Prayer Warriors Session—and a step into retirement for territorial leaders Commissioners Lawrence and Nancy Moretz, conducted by the General.

In her charge to the new lieutenants and captains, Commissioner Nancy Moretz urged, in the words of Henry Ward Beecher, not to “pray cream and live skimmed milk.” She said, “The battle is in your hands. It’s not about your muscle; it’s about God’s might … You’re warriors not because you hate but because you love.”

From reports by Beth Kinzie, Patrick Patey and Linda D. Johnson.

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