The General and Commissioner Helen Clifton visit India
International leaders bring encouragement to comrades in India Northern and Eastern territories.
The international leaders are welcomed before a public meeting in Kolkata.
India Northern was the first territory in India to be visited by the General Shaw Clifton and Commissioner Helen Clifton since the two assumed international leadership of The Salvation Army in 2006. The couple led meetings and visited Army units throughout the territory.
Early stops for the General and Commissioner Clifton included the senior secondary school at Batala and MacRobert Hospital in Gurdaspur. Also in Gurdaspur 3,000 young people gathered for a youth rally where the General challenged them to grow into full Christian maturity. Meanwhile, Commissioner Clifton, World President of Women’s Ministries, led a Home League centenary celebration at a nearby resort with more than 1,500 women in attendance.
A parade welcomed the Cliftons as they arrived at P.S. Gardens, Gurdaspur, for a holiness meeting attended by 4,000 Salvationists. The General challenged the congregation to be open to the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit in their lives.
In Kolkata, the international leaders conducted officers’ councils and met with church dignitaries. Clifton referred to the establishment of The Salvation Army in India in l882, and the warm ecumenical relations the Army has with other churches. Commissioner Clifton spoke about Salvation Army women around the world celebrating 100 years of Home League ministry.
More than 1,000 Salvationists and friends attended a public meeting where the General emphasized the importance of the family.
The Cliftons then traveled to Aizawl, Mizoram, India Eastern Territory, a Christian state that the couple had visited 12 years previously to lead the first Brengle Institute in the territory. Highlights included press conferences, a gathering of 400 young people at the Bethlehem Corps with the General, 1,200 women meeting with Commissioner Helen Clifton to celebrate the Home League centenary, officers’ councils, and the opening of a new prayer hall.
Sunday included an early morning visit to the motherless babies’ home, where the Army cares for 36 children, followed by the holiness meeting at Aizawl Temple attended by more than 1,500 Salvationists. During the meeting, the General admitted Colonel Sawichhunga, a retired territorial commander, to the Order of the Founder.
Mizoram Television broadcast the evening salvation meeting at Aizawl Temple, with an attendance of more 2,000. The General emphasized the importance of seeking a vision from God and inspired the congregation to look again at their own vision for corps, divisions and the territory.
Throughout the visit, the international leaders were official guests of the State of Mizoram, with accommodation, security and transportation provided by the government.From international news reports by Major Daniel Raj