West funds new Philippine THQ
With help of the Holy Spirit, a promise is kept.
by Mark Jacobs, Captain –
Commissioner Philip Swyers, Western territorial commander, traveled to The Philippines Territory where on April 20 he served as guest speaker for the groundbreaking ceremonies of a new headquarters building for the territory funded by the USA Western Territory.
“The reason we are here today is because God promised you and me that he would never fail us and when we have obstacles, they will make us stronger,” Swyers said.
“We need to ask the Holy Spirit to help us do what we need to do. It is a spiritual thing with me,” Swyers said, making several references to the power of the Holy Spirit during informal comments.
Saying he was grateful to be part of the new THQ project, Swyers proclaimed, “The new building will be built solely for God’s purposes—no other. The best is yet to come,” he said, “because this new building is all for the glory of God.”
Scheduled for completion in January 2010, the three-story, 15,000 plus square-foot building will be built about four city blocks away from the current headquarters building, an aging two-story structure built in the early 1950s.
The project began in London during the 2006 High Council as a quick question followed by an equally rapid response between Swyers and Commissioner Robin Dunster, then territorial commander of The Philippines Territory: “What does The Philippines Territory need?” asked Swyers.
“A new territorial headquarters [THQ] building,” Dunster answered.
“You’ve got it!” Swyers responded. Dunster, as the story is told, was stunned and didn’t know what to think. Later, she spoke with then Chief of the Staff Todd Bassett who quickly assured her that Swyers was good for his word.
The new headquarters building will be the first facility dedicated exclusively for territorial administration use, according to Colonel Malcolm Induruwage, Philippines Territory commander. “This new building will be a wonderful blessing for us,” Induruwage said. “We have outgrown our existing facility and our new building will enhance both our efficiency and effectiveness in meeting human care and social welfare needs of people facing hardships in the Philippines.”
The Salvation Army came to the Philippines officially in 1937. Major John Milsaps, a chaplain appointed to accompany US troops from San Francisco to Manila in July 1898, did the first Protestant preaching of the gospel there. Milsaps conducted open air and regular meetings and led many to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Today, the territory includes 175 active officers serving in four divisions. The territory provides human care, social welfare, and life-sustaining services to people facing hardships through 150 Salvation Army units nationwide.