Spiritual Encouragement as Chief of the Staff Leads Commissioning Weekend in Korea

Report by Major Park, Sang-yeon

Translated by Major Kang, Jeong-gil


COMMISSIONING celebrations for the Ambassadors of Holiness – the Korea Territory’s 84th session of cadets – was the highlight of a busy visit by the Chief of the Staff, Commissioner Barry C. Swanson, and Commissioner Sue Swanson (World Secretary for Women’s Ministries). The visitors gave much encouragement to the newly commissioned officers as well as to other officers and soldiers through their spiritually powerful messages.


The Chief and Commissioner Sue Swanson were welcomed on arrival at Iuncheon International Airport by territorial leaders Commissioner Park, Man-hee and Commissioner Kim, Keum-nyeo, accompanied by senior executive officers. The Chief responded with words of thanks during a short prayer meeting held in the airport’s VIP room.

The next day, Thursday, the international visitors took part in the cadets’ spiritual day at the training college and toured social service centres. Commissioner Sue Swanson shared from the Bible with the cadets who were about to be commissioned before leading them in prayer at the mercy seat.

During the afternoon the Chief and Commissioner Sue Swanson gave encouragement to residents at the Kwachun Home for the Elderly and ‘Victory Lodge’ Silver Nursing Home. At Kwachun Corps Child Day Care Centre they were entertained by young people, dressed in bright traditional Korean clothes, who played traditional games and performed a cultural drum dance.

On Friday visits were made to The Salvation Army Building in downtown Seoul – including territorial headquarters – and to Broadview Children’s Home and Inpyung Technical High School.

Officers councils on Saturday morning, at which the Chief gave the Bible address, were followed by the territorial silver star fellowship meeting and luncheon for parents of cadets who were about to be commissioned. Commissioner Sue Swanson encouraged those present to keep praying for their children.

On Saturday afternoon many officers, corps comrades and family members gathered at Kwachun Corps for the commissioning, ordination and appointments meeting. The 22 cadets who had completed their two-year residential training and educational programme were charged by Territorial Commander Commissioner Park, Man-hee to serve God and their people faithfully in their first appointments.

The Chief of the Staff spoke on the need to follow instructions, particularly those given by Jesus Christ. The message had significance not just for the newly commissioned lieutenants but for all in attendance.

The Chief and Commissioner Sue Swanson lead the holiness meeting at Seoul First Corps on Sunday morning. This was the first corps opened in the country, pioneered in November 1908 soon after The Salvation Army arrived on the Korean peninsula.

In addressing the 500-strong congregation, Commissioner Sue Swanson spoke about examples in the Bible of people being encouraged to ‘come and see’.

Later in the meeting, following the Bible message by the Chief of the Staff and his invitation to be seeking ‘only Jesus’, many people crowded at the mercy seat, seeking Christ or reaffirming their faith.

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