Kenya Territory plans women’s retreat

Retreat planned for May will honor former leader.


Lt. Colonel Jolene Hodder (r) and women of the Kenya Territory celebrate.

The following is condensed from a recent African Adventure, written by Western officer Lt. Colonel Jolene Hodder. She serves in Kenya as leader of Women’s Ministries, with her husband, Lt. Colonel Kenneth Hodder, chief secretary.

Before she was promoted to Glory, the territorial commander’s late wife, Commissioner Clerah Anzeze, dreamed of holding a women’s ministries retreat. In her honor, we will hold one in May. The women of the territory have raised money for this event. Even though they struggle to survive from day to day, they sacrificially give to the Army, believing that their small gifts will make a difference. And they do.

The total raised, however, is not enough to host a retreat for all women officers—and certainly not enough for all women soldiers who want to attend. Remember, this territory has 176,000 senior soldiers! Attendance, therefore, is limited to 200 women, who have gone above and beyond duty in serving the Lord and the Army. A committee will choose who will be honored with an appointment to the retreat, which will be held at a conference center outside Nairobi.

While Westerners might find the location rustic, the women will think they’re in heaven, with electricity, indoor plumbing, single beds, no chores and three full meals a day.

Each honoree will pay personally for her public transport and the small registration fee. The biblical discipline of giving is taken seriously here, and the women experience genuine joy from investing in something larger than themselves.

When I suggested holding a beauty night during the retreat, at first the women responded with disbelieving looks and giggles. After I explained my plan, they enthusiastically agreed. “Mamma,” one said, “we will all wear our very best.” I am looking for inexpensive nail polish and other beauty items, and I am searching the internet for African beauty tips. We have also submitted a proposal to one territory for the funds to purchase
each woman a personal Bible—something most of them cannot afford.

Monetary donations to support the work in Kenya can be sent to The Salvation Army, World Missions, 11th Floor, P.O. Box 22646, Long Beach, CA 90802-5646; designate the funds for Kenya—Lt. Colonel Hodder.

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