Salvationists in India welcome international leaders

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General2_India2016The General and Commissioner Silvia Cox focus on transformation across the India Western Territory.

General André Cox, The Salvation Army’s international leader, and Commissioner Silvia Cox, world president of women’s ministries, visited the India Western Territory, where they challenged and encouraged Salvationists and friends of The Salvation Army. They spend time in both halves of the territory–Maharashtra and Gujarat–each of which has its own language and traditions.

More than 4,000 people attended a meeting in an open-sided tent in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra. Later, the Sunday holiness meeting in Anand, Gujurat, drew an even larger crowd, with more than 6,000 people gathering to worship and praise God. The General told the congregation that they must tell the world how they have been transformed by God. Recognizing that Christians make up a small minority in many communities, he encouraged his listeners to tell what Jesus has done for them, saying that this testimony could not be contradicted because “it is our story.”

Commissioner Cox spoke about Jesus’ role as a caring shepherd. She called on the congregation to trust him and to let him lead.

In his Bible message the General returned to his focus on God’s work of transformation. In response to the General’s words, hundreds of people moved forward to kneel at the mercy seat.

Special events took place in the two halves of the territory. In Maharashtra, a presentation by 150 timbrelists recognized 150 years of the international Salvation Army. In Gujarat, representatives from the Bible Society of India–the Rev David Desai and Dr Samuel Chauhan–welcomed the international leaders on behalf of the society and all churches.

The Coxes took time to meet cadets at the two training colleges, unveiling the foundation stone of a proposed prayer hall in Ahmednagar and dedicating to God a new prayer hall in Anand. Officers’ councils took place in both locations.

Staff at Evangeline Booth Hospital, Ahmednagar, and Emery Hospital, Anand, welcomed the visitors. While opening five new rooms in Emery Hospital, the General told staff they were “balancing the gap between rich and poor in that the much-needed income from wealthier patients will help sustain the services of the hospital to those less well off.”

Thousands of people participated in marches of witness in Ahmednagar and Anand, with the General and Commissioner Cox taking the salute.

The visit concluded on India’s Republic Day, Jan. 26, with a meeting for children and youth, attended by more than 500 young people. The General told his listeners that God knows their potential and wants to use them–he has a purpose and mission for every child and young person. In response to the message almost 60 young people knelt at the mercy seat.

Report by Lt. Colonel Suresh Pawar and Captain Andrews D. Christian

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