Hendersons open Narva, Estonia
THE OPENING OF the Narva Corps in Estonia was promoted during open-air meetings, like the one pictured above. Banners announcing the opening were displayed across the main street.
The battle cry was sounded in Narva on Saturday, April 19, 2003, as The Salvation Army officially opened fire in Narva, Estonia. On a picture perfect day of blue sky and warm sunshine, 60 soldiers and friends of the Army from Tallinn joined the territorial commander, Colonel Carl Lydholm, Majors Wes and Ruth Sundin, Estonia regional officers, and the corps officers of Narva, Captains Dan and Anya Henderson (Western Territory) in an open assault on the kingdom of darkness in Narva.
The banner of Jesus Christ was raised in an open-air meeting in Narva’s market place by Captain Dan Henderson. Hundreds of people stopped to see what was going on. The likes of this have never been seen in Narva, and much interest was generated for the kingdom of God.
Henderson did an excellent job of promoting the grand opening of The Salvation Army. Banners were displayed across the main street of Narva announcing the first official meeting of The Salvation Army in the city. Word was spread through the media and flyers were passed out on the street corner inviting all to the festive opening.
The inauguration of the Narva corps, attended by over 250 people, was a colorful event, with a wonderful blending of voices from the Tallinn Kopli songsters, a vocal ensemble from the local Pentecostal church, and a brass ensemble from Helsinki, augmented by bandsmen from the Tallinn Kopli corps. Color was added to the meeting by a drunken heckler, an enemy sent by the evil one. But he was taken care of by Cadet Ave Kalme from Tallinn, as she girded on her armor and met the foe head on.
Lydholm installed the Hendersons as the first corps officers of Narva, and presented to them a Salvation Army flag which now proudly waves at the Narva Corps. Colonel Gudrun Lydholm presented a wooden cross, a gift from The Salvation Army in Latvia and a demonstration of solidarity between these two Baltic republics.
Easter Sunday was the first meeting after the official opening. Lt. Colonel Riitta Eliasen, chief secretary for Finland/Estonia Territory, and Major Marja Meras, field secretary, were the visiting leaders. The Gospel message was presented to 27 people who were at the official opening, and came to support the Army, and possibly be the first soldiers of the Narva Corps.