Leaders testify to God’s faithfulness
The concluding day of the 2012 International Conference of Leaders was filled with praise for answered prayers throughout the event.
The Chief of the Staff, Commissioner Barry C. Swanson, led the final meeting with many leaders testifying to God’s faithfulness and echoing the opening prayer of Commissioner Marja van Vliet that ‘God (would) make us one Army in Christ, in truth, in fellowship, in hope and in covenant’.
A further long period of prayer led by Commissioners Janet Street, Lalkiamlova and Ime Akpan reflected the themes of daily Bible study and prayer during the conference as well as the International Mission Priorities.
Commissioner Steve Hedgren poignantly and powerfully testified to the grace of God in his life as he faced serious illness.
Under the leadership of the General and the Chief of the Staff the last working session reviewed recommendations from the small groups and plenary sessions where the eight conference papers had been discussed.
Many of the action points and promises will be for the personal attention of individual leaders. Others concerning the global Army were either accepted by the General or will be given further detailed consideration through the due processes of International Headquarters, including the International Management Council, chaired by the General.
In her message to leaders the General referred again to the prayer of Christ ‘that they may be one as we are one’ (John 17:11). She highlighted the significance of the mercy seat in the spiritual life of the Army and declared, ‘The ground is level at the foot of the cross and that is the place where we can truly be as one.’ Leaders responded to her call as the General referred them to the declaration of intention and commitment which had been prepared for the occasion:
With a heart full of gratitude for the presence, guidance and direction of God the Holy Spirit throughout this conference, and in a spirit of unity, I pledge to regularly review the action promises I have made and to ensure, by God’s grace, that they are fulfilled.
In promoting the global vision of One Army, One Mission, One Message, I gladly embrace the part I am called to play and will do so through example, influence and the encouragement of those within my spiritual care.
I pray this in the strength and grace of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to whom I owe everything.
Commissioner Bill Cochrane
International Secretary to the Chief of the Staff