Taking the challenge

What a challenge

And you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” —Acts 1:8b

By Eloisa P. Martin, Major

Jesus gave to his disciples as they gathered that day in the “Upper Room” just before he was taken up into heaven. The words of Christ to the church are as relevant today as they were to early-church believers. To be a witness for Christ is to fulfill the Great Commission to go into all the world, preach the gospel and make disciples. However, we can only fulfill the challenge in Acts 1:8 and Matthew 28:19-29 when the power of the Holy Spirit is in us and working through us.

God intends for The Salvation Army, as a part of the universal church, to be a worldwide mission whose focus is to preach the gospel and create disciples locally and around the globe. The Lord gives some of us the call to witness in our own communities, cities and towns where people are in need of the love of Christ. Others he asks to accept the challenge to go beyond their cities, states, and countries in order to extend God’s Kingdom.

In the Western Territory, 23 officers and two lay missionaries have taken this challenge and are serving in 10 countries outside of the U.S. Some have served in grant-aided countries/territories for most of their officership and continue to share Christ through word and deed.

In addition, 11 Western officers serve in the Central and Southern Territories and at National Headquarters.

The personnel department at Territorial Headquarters supports these missionaries and their work by providing their financial, spiritual, physical and material needs so they can focus on their ministries while overseas. They also receive support while they are on homeland furlough.

As officers and soldiers of the Western Territory, we need to be intentional, comprehensive and proactive in accomplishing the mission of the Army in saving souls, growing saints and serving suffering humanity. We also need to continue to support the work of our officers and lay missionaries who are taking the challenge of Acts 1:8.

 

Majors Rafael and Raewyn Aspeitia, 

New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga Territory

“The Manukau Central Corps is an exciting place to be. We sent 14 young people to the Kingdom Come youth congress in Sydney, Australia, followed by a week of missions. In May, we enrolled 14 adherents and in June, 22 men attended a Big Bro-Little Bro weekend at The Salvation Army’s Adventure Centre in the middle of North Island. Each man partnered with a teenage boy who has no father in his home, to learn how to build trust.”

The Aspeitias are corps officers in Manukau, New Zealand.

 

Commissioners Donald and Debora Bell, 

New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga Territory

“Last October we launched a new chapter of our Territorial Strategic Mission Plan, focusing on four priorities: 1) making disciples of Jesus Christ, 2) increasing soldier numbers, 3) taking significant steps to eradicate poverty and injustice and 4) maintaining a mission-focused Army.

“It is quite interesting to have three countries in our territory, which means we have three different currencies, governmental regulations and cultures.

“Prayer concerns include a Pacific Trafficking in Persons Forum this December, an increase in the number of officer candidates and the health and well-being of all our officers.”

The Bells are territorial leaders for the New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga Territory.

 

Commissioners Kurt and Alicia Burger, 

Switzerland, Austria and Hungary Territory

“We just returned from Vienna where we opened ‘House Erna,’ a home for 60 men and women with special needs—those who will most likely never integrate into society or engage in gainful employment. Also, a new 40-bed shelter for battered women opened in Budapest, Hungary.

“The Hungarian parliament is debating a bill that would redefine ‘church,’ including requiring 1,000 members. We would not be able to satisfy this requirement for some time or we would have to redefine ourselves in terms of what it means to be a member of The Salvation Army.”

The Burgers are territorial leaders for the Switzerland, Austria and Hungary Territory.

 

 Lt. Colonel Douglas Danielson, Mexico Territory

“The Salvation Army in the Mexico Territory continues ‘construyendo el reino de Dios’—building God’s kingdom. The territory commissioned 11 new officers of the Ambassadors of Holiness Session in June and will welcome 11 candidates of the Proclaimers of the Resurrection Session in September.

“Please pray for the construction of the new training college and THQ facilities, which is currently being held up by bureaucratic and political problems with local municipalities.”

Danielson is chief secretary for the Mexico Territory.

 

Lt. Colonels Walter and Ardis Fuge,

International Headquarters, London

“We have just passed our 18-month anniversary of living in London. Ardis is into her second appointment, currently serving as assistant under secretary to the Americas and Caribbean Zone. I am still in my original IHQ appointment as finance secretary.

“We have visited five of the six India territories, Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo Territory, Scotland and Ireland. We are also involved with events at the International College for Officers.”

Lt. Colonel Walter Fuge is international finance secretary; Lt. Colonel Ardis Fuge is assistant international under secretary to the Americas and Caribbean Zone.

 

Major Charles Patrick and Captain Kitty Lui Granat, Germany and Lithuania Territory

“Armia Zbawienia”—The Salvation Army in Poland—is growing. Six months ago there were two soldiers—one seldom attending; today there are five active soldiers.

An after-school youth program began last fall and a vacation Bible school and youth outreach event are planned to kick start a new Sunday school program. Junior soldier material is being translated and the corps expects to hold enrollment in 2012.

The Granats have their eye on a recently renovated building for the Warsaw Corps hall and Social Service Center. Currently, Poland has only one corps with an outpost about 100 miles away.

The Granats are corps officers in Warszawa, Poland.

 

Major Daniel and Captain Anya Henderson,

Finland and Estonia Territory

“Closing in on nine years of service in Estonia, we are definitely experiencing success. The task of investing in people is now paying off, as Estonians—both Estonian and Russian in ethnicity—are caring for and developing new people.

“We are looking forward to our upcoming homeland furlough this summer after being away from the U.S. for three years.”

Major Daniel Henderson is Estonia regional commander; Captain Anya Henderson is Tallinn Kopli Corps leader.

 

Commissioners Kenneth and Jolene Hodder,

International Headquarters, London

“Jolene and I are busy with legal and personnel matters at International Headquarters while Jessica—who has just completed her first year at Smith College—is spending the summer touring with the Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat production.”

Commissioner Kenneth Hodder is the legal and constitutional advisor for the General/international secretary for personnel; Commissioner Jolene Hodder is the associate international secretary for personnel.

 

Majors James and Sallyann Hood, Mexico Territory

“We are overseeing a number of property projects so my [James] work is increasing. An assistant was appointed to the property department in July, and I will have a year to work with him before my retirement. He was an architect before becoming an officer.

“One project is the new THQ/SFOT campus in Xochimilco. We have encountered political issues and the local government stopped the project.

“Sallyann oversees the Mental Health Clinic, which is growing in its services. She has brought in more students. The workshops on grief, self-esteem, parenting and improving marriages continue to meet needs.”

Sallyann works with the anti-trafficking task team—officers who work in their individual assignments near the borders.

Major James Hood is Mexico territorial property secretary; Major Sallyann Hood is Mexico territorial social services secretary.

 

Majors Ted and Deborah Horwood,

International Headquarters, London

The Horwoods are awaiting visas so they can take up their new appointments in the Angola Command: Major Ted Horwood as general secretary and Major Deborah Horwood as command secretary for women’s ministries.

New Frontier published an article by Ted Horwood, “New Reality and Future Hope,” in Vol. 29, issue 8, May 9, 2011. Find it online at: newfrontierpublications.org/nf/?p=942

The Horwoods served at International Headquarters since 2006 in the international projects and development section, managing and overseeing the international projects system.

 

Major Linda Manhardt, The Philippines Territory

“It has been an eventful year and a half since I arrived in the Philippines.

“Our Team Ministry program, which we started last year near the college, has impacted nearly 500 local residents. Four outposts have been established and new junior and senior soldiers trained. Recently, 16 new cadets arrived for the Proclaimers of the Resurrection Session.

“We thank the Western Territory for donating 17 new computers to us. Because of the generosity of my home territory we now have a computer lab.”

Manhardt is training principle at The Philippines Territory training college.

 

Kelsey and Jessica Pearce,

The Netherlands and Czech Republic Territory

“We have been in the Czech Republic for nine months. Because the social and spiritual work of the ‘Armada Spasy’—Salvation Army—is divided, our time is split among three very different social centers in the city of Brno. Our goal was to bring continuity to diverse aspects of service.

“We’ve introduced weekly Bible teachings in the secular children’s centers and prayer into our English conversation courses. We are training local leaders to carry on after we return to the U.S.

“Please pray that the seed God allowed us to plant will continue to bear fruit even after our departure.”

The Pearces are corps assistants in Brno-Bystrc, Czech Republic.

 

Major Beryl Pierce, Zambia Territory

“We will dedicate the Kakole Corps building on July 24, when we will enroll 21 new senior soldiers and commission 28 local officers. Before the dedication, we will conduct a three-day evangelistic campaign with door-to-door visitation and meetings.

“It’s challenging to work on four building projects at the same time, keep four corps going and be a social worker at the hospital, but God is faithful.”

Pierce is hospital social worker and corps officer in Chikankata, Zambia.

 

Captain Terrance and Major Evadne Wright,

New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga Territory

After serving three years in New Zealand, the Wrights return to the Western Territory at the end of July for their new appointment as corps officers of the Sitka (Alaska) Corps (effective Aug 24).

The Wrights are corps officers in Waihi, New Zealand

 

Read full-length reports from the Western Territory’s overseas  missionaries online at newfrontierpublications.org.

For information about short-term missionary service, contact the officer services secretary at Territorial Headquarters at (562) 491-8441 or visit the Western Territory’s website: https://tiny.cc/x3rzz.

 

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