West’s Generous Giving Touches Lives
The Western Territory raised $7,111,112 in World Service funds last year. The following are a few of the needs that Western Salvationists have met through their generous giving.
In 1997, the new Mombele Corps had 50 soldiers. At the Sunday worship services 70-80 people were meeting under a tree in the middle of Kinshasa. They managed fairly well on sunny days, but rain caused problems. $5,500 from the U.S. West to purchase land allowed for further planning of building a hall. This will provide better atmosphere and will accommodate the increasing number of people interested in attending this corps.
The corps officers, Lts. Katambwe, have been there since 1996 with their three children, but had no house in which to live. A suitable house was located on a plot of land that the Army wished to buy. The need was obvious, and within two months of the receipt of $3,150 from the West (with $350 raised locally) the project was completed.
Mar del Plata, Argentina (South America West)
Located not far south of Buenos Aires, Mar del Plata is a coastal city of more than 500,000 inhabitants, a figure which nearly triples in summer. It has the most popular beach in the whole country, and is also a very busy port. It was considered vital for the Army to establish a corps here.
The U.S. West gift of $10,000 will be used to fund the third of four phases, which together enable the opening of the work in this city. Two previous World Services projects (for $20,000 and $15,000 respectively) were used to fund the first two years of operation. The plan is to reduce the subsidy each year, until at the end of five years the corps is to be entirely self-supporting. They are currently operating in a rented facility.
In the last year the corps has begun to grow. Beginning in February, with eight people, the number grew to 14 and women’s ministries were begun. In March, five children began attending Sunday school, and five comrades came to Bible study on Wednesdays.
Special Easter activities and meetings at a home sparked a regular home meeting every Wednesday and Friday. Drum classes began, and there were 18 at the Salvation meeting.
Through May the meetings continued to grow and a guitar class was begun. The corps officer led the work on the new property, preparing it for the building. Neighborhood visitation brought more people.
At the year’s conclusion, the officers said, “We feel that the Lord’s work can grow in the city, especially in this new neighborhood. We are surrounded by people who really need the Lord. The Lord has given us his promises, and we trust that he will fulfill his work in this city. We thank God for all that he has done and we give him all the glory for the goals that have already been achieved.”
The Army has been in Zambia for 75 years and now has 174 officers, 91 corps, 36 societies and 102 outposts, with 69 new openings. There are 24 cadets now entering the Training College.
A donation of $5,000 from the U.S. West enabled senior officers and managers of the territory to meet for the “Towards 2000 and Beyond” consultation about the direction of the Army through the first decade of the 21st Century. It is felt that the better focus of all senior staff will allow the spiritual and temporal influence of The Salvation Army to be greater wherever the Army is present in Zambia.
Jesus Film Project– Brazzaville, The Congo
News reports carry the story of rioting, insurrection and general grief in the Congo. Our friends there are able to report they are still blessed and encouraged with what they have been able to achieve with the Jesus Film Project.
Along with other U.S. Territories and miscellaneous grants, the West has contributed $5,000 toward this film that tells the Jesus story in many of Africa’s languages.
Everything was needed! Basic equipment was given initially by the Australia Eastern Territory in 1997, and tapes were sent from the U.S. West. Civil war erupting in June delayed the first showing. The equipment survived forced evacuation and looting, though not the flooding, and generous donations allowed purchase of replacements. Fortunately it was processed through Congo customs with no charge.
Throng fills the hall
An independent electric supply kept breakdowns from interrupting meetings, and a good sound system added immeasurably to the impact of the first showing. A throng at Central Corps in Brazzaville completely filled the hall and spilled out onto the street. Though the aisles were so jammed no one could go forward to answer the ending altar call, many people were seen kneeling by their seats in the darkened auditorium. Pleased laughter greeted the presentations in languages including Munukutuba, Kikongo, Mboshi and French.
More to be done
Problems remain. Things break down a lot in the Congo. The theft of most of the vehicles will temporarily limit the extent to which the film can be taken into remote areas. However, with the hope of buying some new trucks later in the year, they should be able to set up the film for showing off the back of the truck as first planned.
Roads are so impassable that a second complete unit will be needed in Pointe Noir. There is still enough money in the project to fund this, and possibly another for the central area.
Colonel Paul Kellner writes, “We are most grateful for the wonderful, world-wide support this project has received, both in money and in prayers. We continue to pray that God will use this film to touch, strengthen and save many people in this country.”
Jojinagar Hall & Quarters, India, India Central Territory
Smiling people in the colorful garb of India crowded around as the Territorial President of Women’s Organizations cut the ribbon leading to The Salvation Army’s new prayer hall and quarters. When the Territorial Commander spoke the word of God, many dedicated themselves in the new hall. This building would not have been possible had the U.S. Western and Sweden Territories not supported the purchase of 1,728 square feet of land and materials for the building.
India Southwestern: Three Quarters
Humble and unsanitary quarters are the norm for some of the Army’s overseas officers. The U.S. Western Territory’s Self Denial gift of $17,647 made a tremendous difference in Vayala, Kolla and Attukal, building three homes for officers.