Third annual Latino Rally catches fire
by Daniel Martinez –
The Latinos of the Western Territory called out to God saying, “¡Fuego Ven!” (“Send the fire!”) and the Los Angeles Central Corps’ walls shook with the presence of the Holy Spirit as the curtain closed on this year’s Commissioning events.
The much-anticipated Latino Rally gathered close to 1,000 people for an exciting evening of music, praise and dedication. Salvationists from the Del Oro, Golden State, Sierra del Mar, Southwest and Southern California divisions participated in the territorial event, making this a truly memorable celebration.
People felt the warmth not only of the Spirit’s fire, but also of our territorial leaders. Commissioner Patricia Swyers, territorial president of Women’s Ministries, bravely greeted a delighted congregation in Spanish, followed by words of encouragement to a greater commitment to the family of God. Territorial Commander Commissioner Philip Swyers’ message was inspirational in reminding the congregation of the responsibility Christians carry in a multicultural world and urging us not to allow differences to step between us and our fellowship with God and others.
Special recognition was given for long service as Salvation Army soldiers to Raul Guerrero (So. Calif.) for 67 years and to Christina Center (Sierra Del Mar) for 26 years.
Singing a universal song of “Hallelujah,” dozens of congregants approached the mercy seat seeking to rededicate their lives to God and strengthen their Christian commitment in a Spirit-filled time of worship.
The program came to a close with its grand finale—ending with a bang as confetti filled the hall. Soldier Marcela Tippol led the final song, in which a colorful assortment of Latin American flags were proudly waved and Mexican dancers joyfully followed a tune dedicated to the beauty of Latin America.
The Latino Rally was a true success as people left with fire in their hearts and a newly-gained understanding of their commitment to God. Pilar Martinez, territorial Latino Ministries specialist, concluded that “the purpose of this rally was to bring together the Latino church in fellowship and in the Spirit, so that everyone can see that the Army is no small thing! And while we all work in different communities and sites, we are all part of God’s church.”
Mission accomplished—“Fuego Ven!”