USA West partners with South America West Territory

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People line up in the halls of a Salvation Army hospital to wait for medical services. [Photo courtesy of South America West Territory]

Lt. Colonels Brad and Heidi Bailey are Central Territory officers serving in South America West as Chief Secretary and Territorial Secretary for Women’s Ministries, respectively. On a recent visit to the Torrance, Calif., corps, Bailey spoke about the USA West’s partnership and gave a review of the territory.

In one of its partnerships with South America West, the Western Territory will soon send two of its own, Kevin and Karl Larsson, to Chile to lead more than 200 young people in Espititu, the Spanish version of the Gowans and Larsson musical Spirit. The musical will spearhead Chile’s Centennial Congress in November. Kevin is the music director for the Southern California Division, and Karl is part of the information technology team at territorial headquarters.

For two consecutive summers, service corps teams from the West have ministered in the Central Chile Division. This year a team served the Puente Alto Corps and Nursery Center, the San Gregorio Corps and Girls’ Home and the Rancagua Corps and Day Care Center.

The Western Territory is supporting the reconstruction of the Harry Williams Hospital, located in one of the poorest areas of Conchabamba, Bolivia, and serving over 160,000 patients at its facility and through community health programs. The West will contribute about 50 percent of the total cost. “This will benefit thousands of needy Bolivians who otherwise would have no access to formal health care,” said Bailey.

Comprised of the countries of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Chile—all located along the continent’s western coastline—South America West includes:
The most southern Salvation Army post in the world in the city of Punta Arenas, Chile, close to the Antarctic.
The highest Army corps in world at an altitude of more than 4,100 meters above sea level—the Oruro Corps and Technical School in Oruro, Bolivia.
A Salvation Army corps in the driest sector of the world—the Atacama Desert in northern Chile.

With 270 active officers, 4,200 soldiers and 1,849 junior soldiers, the territory ministers through children’s homes, day care centers, nurseries, educational reinforcement, community health clinics, water well development, selling and raising cows as a micro-business endeavor in the rural areas of Ecuador and Bolivia, women’s and men’s residences/shelters and prison ministries, and a full service hospital. Additionally, the Army runs 31 educational establishments with over 6,200 students from kindergarten to high school, including government approved and financed Christian education and religion classes.

Chile will celebrate The Salvation Army’s 100 years of service in November 2009 with General Shaw and Commission Helen Clifton, and Peru will observe the Army’s 100th year in February 2010 with Chief of the Staff Commissioner Robin Dunster.

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