International leaders visit Sweden and Latvia Territory

By Jonas Nimmersjö –

General André Cox and Commissioner Silvia Cox (World President of Women’s Ministries) visited the Sweden and Latvia Territory with two aims—to encourage and inspire Salvationists and friends, and to make the Army more known, especially within Latvian society.

Prior to the visit, the territory committed to 40 days of prayer, which was evident in the powerful moving of the Holy Spirit in each meeting. Many people responded to God’s prompting by kneeling at the mercy seat, with some people who had come in from the street giving their lives to God.

The Coxes met with ambassadors, politicians, civil servants, advisory board members, church leaders and journalists, engaging in dialogue on current issues and the work of The Salvation Army—raising the Army’s profile and making connections for future working partnerships

In an interview on national TV in Riga, the Latvian capital, the General emphasized the importance of the whole of society—government, churches, non-governmental organizations and individuals—working together to make communities better.

At a public meeting, people from corps and centers across Latvia along with invited guests from Riga experienced an evening that included testimonies, a choir from Bauska and a presentation by Latvian youth that brought the congregation to its feet. Silvia Cox gave a message from Psalms and the General encouraged people to grow in Christ—becoming mature in him.

During a visit to the Riga 2 Corps, the Coxes heard stories about lives changed by the gospel. After the General gave an interview to Diena—a national newspaper—the international leaders attended lunch with six ambassadors (Swedish, British, Swiss, Estonian, French and Finnish) and members of chambers of commerce. The General spoke about the international work of The Salvation Army and Major Robert Tuftström (Regional Leader, Latvia Region) spoke about the movement’s local ministry in Latvia. A question-and-answer time followed.

In Sweden, the Coxes’ schedule included a short interview with the Swedish War Cry, followed by a press conference and photo session at territorial headquarters in Stockholm. They answered questions from journalists and the General spoke about The Salvation Army’s history and about the international movement that it is today. Silvia Cox shared about the Army’s ministry to women and the challenges around the world. Later, they participated in the first meeting of the national congress, “The Life With Jesus.”

At the Saturday morning meeting at Stockholm Temple Corps—“Good Morning Jesus”—the General and Commissioner Cox were interviewed on stage in a setting similar to a television talk show. After lunch, open-air meetings occurred at four places in Stockholm. The international leaders followed members of Stockholm Temple Corps to Karlaplan, where the meeting featured a choir from Södra Vätterbygdens Corps and the Stockholm Temple Band.

During the rest of the weekend, the Coxes participated and preached in five meetings—three on Saturday and two on Sunday. On Tuesday they traveled to Gothenburg, where their time began with a press conference.

The following day they visited the “FAM-huset” in Fristad, a treatment center for families, before traveling to the nearby town of Borås, where they visited the corps. The Coxes returned to Gothenburg for lunch with politicians from the Region Västra Götaland (West Sweden) and a meeting at Hisingen Corps.

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