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Living the great commission

Army officers committed to reaching the world for Christ.

Commissioners Kurt and Alicia Burger

In Vol. 28, #10, New Frontier featured updates from Western Territory missionaries serving outside the U.S. We did not have space to include all their comments; below are excerpts from some of their responses.

Commissioners Kurt and Alicia Burger, Switzerland
“Three major social and spiritual problems confront us in Switzerland and—to some degree—in Austria: loneliness, decline in values and fear of commitment.

“Loneliness is a way of life for some living outside the well-maintained and clean apartment buildings, especially the elderly. Their number is impossible to measure, but we recognize the needs and respond through our noon meals, meals on wheels, senior clubs, camps and programs offered through the corps’ Women’s Ministries.

“Decline in values is prevalent here where recent crises—like the bank secrecy issue—have exposed shady business practices. ‘One for all, all for one’ is shifting to ‘One for myself, all for me.’ Christian values are rarely discussed and preaching about sin is—in certain corps—viewed with skepticism and usually met with a neutral yawn. Nevertheless, The Salvation Army attempts to make its message heart through traditional and modern means.

“To become a member of something is not the ‘in thing,’ but The Salvation Army attempts to move against the tide and preach the virtues of committing one’s life to higher values and greater causes than ourselves.”

Major Linda Manhardt, Philippines
“Because I replaced two people, I took on double teaching responsibilities, finding myself teaching three to four classes a day. Also, I have to create my own subject notes, which is very time consuming.

“We have initiated a Team Ministry program where teams of two cadets spend two weekends a month working in the Tanay area. On Saturdays they conduct house-to-house visitation, small prayer meetings and Bible studies. On Sundays they conduct worship meetings.

“Currently, we have 11 cadets, but it looks like we’re expecting 25 to 35 in the next session.

“We are hoping to construct a more adequate library.”

Major Beryl Pierce, Zambia
“We are upgrading two of our corps, including roofing and plastering.

“My job at the hospital continues to expand. After taking a course in psychosocial behavior, I do a lot of counseling. But God continues to equip and use me.

“We were advised at our last corps review that we needed to expand the main building in order to meet our needs and to qualify for ‘citadel’ status.”


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