Majors Gordon and Peggy Helms, territorial pastoral care officers, joined more than 400 delegates at the second international conference of Reconciliation Networks of Our World, held in Louisville, Kentucky. Also in attendance were Colonel Earl Robinson, international external relations, International Headquarters, and a number of other Salvationists.
“Reconciliation Networks of Our World is a global grassroots movement of God at work through the lives of people who experience salvation through Jesus Christ and apply themselves to the world of Christian reconciliation in every area of life,” explained Major Peggy Helms.
Speakers included Rwanda’s Antoine Rutayisire, who–along with his family–faced death countless times during the years of conflict; Promise Keepers founder Bill McCartney, and Raleigh Washington, also of Promise Keepers. Commissioner Kay F. Rader was a speakers for last year’s conference, held in Coventry, England. Both General Paul Rader and Commissioner Kay Rader are on the board of reference for the group.
This year’s conference was a story-driven event featuring accounts of God’s reconciliation power from South Africa’s Peter Story, former Bishop of the Methodist Church of South Africa. He shared, “Being in South Africa and being in a church which was engaged deeply in the struggle against Apartheid has been an amazing experience for me and my fellow believers over the last 10 years.” He has worked closely with Archbishop Desmond Tutu during the periods when the South African Council of Churches stood alone against the Apartheid regime, when political leaders were imprisoned. After the liberation, he played a part in the selection of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa who are working on healing the past.
Plenary sessions allowed participants to hear firsthand accounts of God’s amazing work in the lives of delegates from every continent. Workshops shared information on how to be reconcilers in local communities.
The next International Reconciliation Conference will be held in Boston, Mass., October 25-28, 2000. For information, contact “Reconciliation Networks of Our World,” 2839 Whippoorwill Court, Tucker, GA 30084. Ph. (700-939-4351).