International Youth Forum
Joseph Samrat–India Central Territory
I loved being able to interact with the Army leaders and to contribute. This was a great event in the history of the Army because so many congresses have been held, but never a forum. It showed the General’s interest in talking to the people and listening to the voice of the youth. It was interesting for me to see the young people mingling freely with their leaders without any barriers. In my country, there still seems to be some distance between soldiers and leaders. When I get back home, I’d like to present them with the style of worship.
Janine Jones–Australia South Territory
The forum has been great. Hearing viewpoints from people around the world has given me a more global view of the Army. When you’re in your own little corps, it’s easy to forget that others in the world may be struggling.
Bryan Abbott–Southern Africa Territory
I enjoyed the up-to-date and very challenging seminars. They were very practical. There are things you could go back and immediately apply to your corps–for example, the seminars on missions and discipleship. You will probably find many who will be so compelled by the gospel to go and do something, that we’re going to find some very exciting things happening in the very near future.
Annelies Kamis–The Netherlands Territory
The forum has been inspiring in creating a vision for the future, but also in my personal spiritual life. It’s given me motivation to try out the things we’ve been talking about this week, specifically in terms of ministry and outreach. I have also benefited from the experience of other people from different parts of the world and gained a more global understanding of what the Army is all about.
Faith Okelue–Nigeria Territory
It’s been exciting to meet Salvationists from other cultures. We need to have close interaction so we can help each other with our problems.
Tommy Gani–Indonesia Territory
I learned a lot about the whole Salvation Army world and that we all have many of the same problems.
Daniel Imboda– Switzerland, Austria and Hungary Territory
I really felt that God was talking to me personally. Also, I found that it’s really nice to have all these different cultures and people from different countries talking to each other–although sometimes it was very difficult to find a common point on the issues.
Theodora Boakye-Dankwa–Ghana and Liberia Territory
In all aspects of Christianity and The Salvation Army the International Youth Forum has really been an eye-opener for most of us from the developing countries. I also learned a lot about media and technology and about Salvation Army roots.
Michael Parmar–India West Territory
It’s been an exciting experience for all the youth and it will be fruitful for the future of the Salvation Army.
Katya Moltchanova–Russia/CIS Territory
It was very good to be able to come and make our voice heard. It was great to get together and get this feeling of unity and that we are a huge, big family.
Don Mackenzie–USA Central Territory
I learned that even though we come from different cultures, we are all motivated by the same faith.
Jane Spencer–UK Territory
The International Youth Forum was an amazing experience, with plenty of encouragement at the international level to go out and do your best in new ways for The Salvation Army, and be more fired up for God in our mission.
Captain Nancy Davis–USA Western Territory
Davis, Northwest Divisional Youth and Candidates Secretary, served as the West’s delegation leader.
The delegates from the Western territory were articulate and deep thinkers. They love the Army but see potential for so much more. They were certainly God’s people for this forum!
The internationalism was again a reminder of the huge scope of this movement. My heart was blessed by the Nigerian who gave the hat off his head to make someone happy, by an Indian young lady struggling to learn our names, by a South African man explaining the history of apartheid with tears in his eyes.
Through the workshops and personal interaction I was reminded again of the pain in the world. It is easy to sit in our comfortable homes and forget the two thirds of the world that does not even have the privilege of food for their stomachs, medical care or a roof over their heads. But I was reminded that we have a mighty God and he needs our hands and our feet.
At the beginning of the forum, someone said what happens there will not be as important as what we do following it. My prayer is each delegate and staff member will go home and impact their corner of the world for Christ. Then we can truly be called the “breakthrough generation.”
Cadet Beth Berko–USA Western Territory
I have been challenged to be more active in what I do in my spiritual life. The forum opened my eyes to other cultures and people. My vision has become wider. I knew that the Army was international, but this helped it become more of a reality to me! I didn’t realize how much of one army we are. Also, the forum inspired me to become more actively involved. I need to begin to take a stand on most of the issues that we discussed. I can make an impact on the Army, but I have to be willing to get more personally involved. I have been challenged to fight the Salvation war. Finally, I realized that the future of TSA appears to be in good hands.
Jennifer Ragan–USA Western Territory
I was able to gain a healthy perspective on the Lord’s will for The Salvation Army and my life in The Salvation Army. My purpose and calling and reasoning in The Salvation Army was made very clear to me this week through the Bible study time and workshops and seminars.
Aimee Gaines–USA Western Territory
I think if anything, most of us will leave here with more awareness of the world around us, more information about what is actually happening with the Army, perhaps curiosity to look more into the Army. Most of all, I think we will leave with a renewed sense of vision and mission in our corps and the ministry around us.
Regina Shull–USA Western Territory
I found that no matter where you go, the people realize that the youth are the future and that we need to make sure that we help to grow in this ministry around the world. The Army needs more youth programs for the 18 to 30-year-age range to keep this age group in the corps. There also needs to be continuing education for youth workers, as there are so many difficult issues that young people have to deal with. This area needs someone who is not just devoted to youth but also someone who is educated about the youth.
John Desplancke–USA Western Territory
The benefit of the forum and workshops was tremendous because we don’t often take a serious look at where we as the church are now and where we need to be. The forum has encouraged me to know our Army is still alive and well, far from dead. It has also shown me that the new generation of Salvationists is grounded in the Word.
Cadet Mark Thielenhaus–USA Western Territory
I was personally challenged and convicted about how much we/I allow personal concerns to override our “mission imperatives.” Do I sometimes not do enough in certain areas of evangelism because it is hard for me or out of my “comfort zone” ? May God help us to put our needs and comfort aside for the mission of saving souls for the Kingdom of Christ.
Cadet John Stennett–USA Western Territory
I am convinced that the only way The Salvation Army can remain relevant in the 21st Century is if every Salvationist becomes completely involved in their corps and in personal evangelism. Don’t wait for IHQ, do it yourself. I am also convinced that the youth of The Salvation Army need to inform themselves about issues and happenings at the territorial and international level.