Zonal soldiers institute held in Mexico City

35 delegates attend conference focusing on integrated mission.

Salvation Army soldiers participate in the recent Zonal institute.

This summer Mexico City hosted the 2007 Zonal Soldiers’ Institute. Pili Martinez, territorial Latino corps ministries specialist at THQ, was the Western Territory’s delegate to the institute. The following report by Major Doug Danielson, a Western officer currently serving as divisional commander in Mexico City, tells some of what took place.

For two weeks at the 2007 Zonal Soldiers’ Institute in Mexico City, 35 delegates from South and Central America, Canada, Portugal, Spain and the four US territories participated in concentrated teaching on “integrated mission.” “Boundless love and salvation” was the theme for the institute.

Major Martha Morales, supported by Captains Ana Figueroa, Luis Camarillo and Isaac Olvera, and soldier Carolina Alfonso, formed the facilitation team for the presentation on integrated mission.

The delegates were able to practice the principles they learned by participating in a number of activities. They took part in a united holiness meeting at Corps #1 in Mexico City, some of them wearing the typical dress of their respective countries. International Secretary for the Americas and the Caribbean Commissioner Barry Swanson brought the message on that occasion, with words of challenge also from Commissioner Sue Swanson, the zonal secretary for women’s ministries for the Americas and the Caribbean. The Swansons also made an impact in the Capital Division by participating in services at several corps.

The delegates were drawn closer together when one of them suffered a heart attack in the middle of the two weeks. The group united in prayer, and God was faithful in raising the patient up following surgery. The doctors were surprised at his speedy recovery, which allowed him to share in the last day of the institute, including the covenant service.

The covenant service began, as the welcome meeting had, with the Founder’s song, ‘O boundless salvation,” recalling the overall theme for the gathering. During the closing service, the delegates signed a covenant, a series of promises made to the Lord, as follows:
At the conclusion of this 2007 soldiers’ institute, and in the presence of my comrades, of my own free will, I make this covenant with God:
I present my entire self, possessions and influence to God as a holy and living sacrifice.
Solemnly, and with renewed determination, I dedicate myself to the spiritual disciplines that will help me progress in the way.
I humbly accept the purifying work of the blood of Christ in my heart.
With determination I will seek all that God wishes to give, giving myself completely to the love of Christ.
I commit myself to live like Christ, leading others to his feet.
I do all this in the strength of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Following the signing of the covenants, the service concluded with the sacramental song reminding all that…

My life must be Christ’s broken bread,
My love his outpoured wine,
A cup o’erfilled, a table spread
Beneath his name and sign,
That other souls, refreshed and fed,
May share his life through mine.
(Albert Orsborn, SA Song Book #512)

The 2007 Zonal Soldiers’ Institute is now history. Delegates have returned to their homes to share what they learned and experienced with Salvationist comrades from South America to Canada, from the western United States to Portugal and Spain.

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