11 May | 2012
From muddy village roads to Spirit-filled meetings, General Linda Bond experienced the breadth of Salvation Army ministry during her visit to Moldova. Meetings took as their theme the International Vision – One Army, One Mission, One Message – and Moldovan Salvationists grasped the opportunity to celebrate being part of the global Salvation Army.
The visit commenced on Friday with officers councils and a dinner meeting with the Territorial Executive leaders. On Saturday morning the General – accompanied by Colonels Kenneth and Paula Johnson (territorial leaders, Eastern Europe Territory) – visited the village of Cucuruzeni, that day's location for The Salvation Army's mobile medical clinic, which has operated in Moldova for 13 years. The project provides free medical care to residents of remote villages in Moldova. The General was met by the village's mayor, Petru Cocerva, and Dr Nikolai Caraman, who works in the mobile clinic.
Prior to a tour of the clinic, the General gave a Bible message to 200 patients. She reminded them that God works through the hands of earthly physicians. Afterwards, she spoke to doctors and patients, including an elderly deaf woman who had received a hearing aid from The Salvation Army.
Mayor Cocerva thanked the General for the outstanding work of the Army in Moldovan villages and then escorted her to the homes of two needy families. The General had to cross a muddy road to reach the people, but it was worth it to see the joy of disabled man who received a wheelchair from The Salvation Army.
Twelve senior soldiers and 25 junior soldiers were enrolled by the General during the soldier's rally in the afternoon, which began with a traditional Moldovan welcome of bread and salt. The General shared that soldiership isn't about being a member of a corps (Salvation Army church) – it's much, much more. She described soldiership as 'radical discipleship' and told the new senior soldiers that it will cost them a lot – all their time and each of their tomorrows – to be radical disciples.
The Sunday morning holiness meeting included a powerful call from the General for people to lead holy lives. She challenged her listeners to have a personal relationship with the Lord, to be eager to be holy, to believe it's possible to be holy and to be ready to dedicate their lives totally to the Lord. It was a time of worship and dedication, with 20 seekers kneeling at the mercy seat.
During Sunday lunch the General met cadets of the Disciples of the Cross Session. She encouraged them and staff from the Eastern Europe Territory's Institute for Officer Training to know and live the doctrine of Jesus so that they will be able to communicate Christ unashamedly.
On Sunday evening the General participated in a question-and-answer session at a crowded and loud young adult fellowship. The General shared from her heart, talking about key issues of Salvation Army doctrine and policies. She spoke about her calling and her daily schedule, and answered questions about Salvation Army distinctives.
The General pleaded with the young people not to go away from the Lord. This, she explained, will come at great personal cost but it will lead to new life in Christ.