International leaders join Rwanda and Burundi celebration

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General enrolls 108 junior soldiers 

General André Cox and Commissioner Silvia Cox, world president of women’s ministries, visited the Rwanda and Burundi Command to lead 20th anniversary celebration of Salvation Army ministry in Rwanda.

Command leaders Lt. Colonels Seth and Janet Appeateng welcomed the Coxes at Kigali International Airport before a greeting of traditional dance at command headquarters.

Rwandan Salvationists started the following day engaged in community ministry, and the Coxes joined officers, Salvationists and friends at the Rwanda Red Cross center for an anniversary celebration service that was featured on TV and radio. The meeting included traditional dance and music from the command songsters and command youth songsters. In his message, the General urged the congregation not to fear but to have hope for the future.

A women’s rally later included vocal items, Bible poems and drama. Commissioner Cox challenged her listeners to go and tell others about Jesus, and many responded to the invitation to renew their relationship with God.

During a men’s rally, the General encouraged those gathered to surrender everything to God and serve him wholeheartedly.

The day closed with a youth concert featuring songs, drama sketches and traditional dance. The young people also had opportunity to ask the General questions. A sponsored student gave thanks that The Salvation Army had provided the opportunity to acquire an education.

Commissioner Cox encouraged the young people to trust in Jesus Christ and stand strong—even if they face opposition.

In the following day’s holiness meeting, more than 1,300 Salvationists and friends celebrated the faithfulness of God through lively singing and dancing. The General enrolled 108 junior soldiers and 155 senior soldiers, and he challenged them to keep their promises. Recognizing growth in the command, Cox elevated the Burundi Section to district status.

General Secretary of the Protestant Council of Rwanda, the Rev Dr Samuel Rugambage, and the Chief Executive Officer of Rwanda Governance Board, Professor Shyaka Anastase, greeted the General. The professor thanked The Salvation Army for its work in Rwanda since 1994, and assured the strong collaboration of the country’s government.

In his message, Cox told his listeners that to be true ambassadors of God’s kingdom they had to keep their hearts in tune with him and experience true transformation.

The next day, after leading two sessions of officers councils, the international leaders visited the Rwandan Genocide Memorial in Kigali, where they laid wreaths. On their last day in the country, they visited the training college, command headquarters and the Batsinda Corps.

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