‘We are on the Lord’s side!’

Southern California Salvationists unite at Soldiers’ Rally.

By Aleen Bradley

(L-R) Lt. Colonel Rose-Marie Leslie, Distinguished Junior Soldier Valerie Duran, Lt. Colonel Victor Leslie, Torrance Corps Officers Majors Karen and Julio Vasquez (Photo by Daniel Roman)

Six hundred strong—officers, soldiers and friends of The Salvation Army Southern California Division congregated at the Los Angeles Central Corps on Jan. 30 for a Soldiers’ Rally, overcoming the distractions of a Los Angeles Lakers game with the united focus: “We are on the Lord’s side!”

This opening declaration manifested itself throughout the evening’s program. The Southern California Divisional Youth Band presented arrangements acknowledging the vastness of the Christian world and of the ultimate supremacy of the Lord. The Massed Singing Company offered a prayer song and the Santa Monica Praise and Worship Band encouraged soldiers to ask the Spirit of the Lord to “fall afresh on us.”

Video presentations delivered by soldiers Guy Noland, Leonor Portillo and Dennis King, encouraged attendees that, on the Lord’s side, we do not find ourselves alone but we fight his fight with a great Army. This was further emphasized by the presentation of the Distinguished Junior Soldier Award to Valerie Duran of the Torrance Corps, and the Distinguished Senior Soldier Award to Ruben Reyes of the Los Angeles Central Corps, as well as a number of honors for youth and troops in the division.

Major Steven Bradley, divisional program secretary, and Divisional Commander Lt. Colonel Victor Leslie worked together to challenge the congregation to listen, to take heart and to commit themselves fully and enthusiastically to the Lord by characterizing a soldier’s heart, a soldier’s obedience and a soldier’s resolve. Listeners were confronted with the reality of a world in need of soldiers who will stand up to declare their allegiance and who will work to build and increase the kingdom of God.

When asked: “Are you listening? Whose side are you on?” the assembly declared individually and corporately, “We are on the Lord’s side!”

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