Personal reflections on the International Conference of Leaders

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“See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43:18)


The paradox exists that in a day of globalization, there is an increasing drive to build walls. Perhaps in our effort to focus on responsibility for “our patch,” we are also prone to close our eyes to world needs. Or to take it even further, like Elijah, we may feel that “only I am left” to attend to the work of the Lord and he has to remind us that there are thousands more, engaged in ministry.

The International Conference of Leaders was a wonderful reality check. We, in every aspect, have a mission without borders. The participation of the territorial/command leaders from all over the Army world (representing the 109 countries in which we serve) would have been indication enough. But when in the welcome meeting, in the General’s keynote, and throughout the conference we were reminded of our single focus, “the world for God,” it was with joy and ease we could sing, “I give my heart, I will do my part.”

The conference schedule ran for nine days and I can assure you they were productive, though very tiring. The presentations from various delegates on our mission, highlighting aspects of human and financial resources, with a renewed emphasis on our soul saving, discipling and our serving ministry, were more than food for thought. Definite directions for the international Army were set as a result of the discussion that followed.

Each conference day began and concluded with devotions. Anytime there was a call for testimony or prayer, there was an immediate surge, with no reticence.

The General’s Sunday message was one of the most powerful memories for me. Using the the theme of renewal, he reminded us of all the “new” things our Lord provides and in the face of this grace, one need never give up.

When Commissioner Paul du Plessis spoke the following day on world evangelization, another high spiritual moment was struck. With a renewed confidence in a Lord who is extravagant in his resources, a renewed daring was evident. We really believed that we must engage in this huge mission within and beyond our borders and claim the world for God.

In reflection, I recognize that the most significant word for me came from the Scripture that was the basis of our theme, “See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43:18) It is true that he has given The Salvation Army a mission. It is true that he desires total commitment. And it is true that his resources are abundant. But this picture from Isaiah reveals a pioneer, a trailblazer, not an absentee overlord. He is innovative, daring, enthusiastic and is calling us to open our eyes. We don’t have to initiate our brilliant plans and then pray to overcome his reluctance. He’s out in front. He’s with us. He’s behind us. Everywhere!

Mission is married to vision. When I returned from the conference, I wondered why I was not exhausted, why my brain was not in a vegetated state. The truth – I’m too busy looking out for his new things!

International Conference of Leaders speaks to the world

International Conference of Leaders speaks to the world

With Evangeline Booth’s great testimony of faith ringing through the hall and




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