SALVATIONISTS and friends in the India Northern Territory enjoyed a week of celebration, joy, encouragement, love, transformation and blessing when they welcomed General Brian Peddle and Commissioner Rosalie Peddle (World President of Women’s Ministries). In turn, the visitors were also blessed, through meeting the people and enjoying hospitality, traditional food and the joyous colours of the culture.
The international leaders visited Salvation Army schools in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh, Batala and the MacRobert Hospital Dhariwal in Punjab. The students were overjoyed to receive their visitors, and presented cultural programmes such as dances, singing and dramatic presentations. To the delight of the students, the General and Commissioner Peddle were inspired to join in with the dancing!
‘I am supposed to speak words of encouragement,’ declared Commissioner Peddle, ‘but today you are the biggest encouragement to us.’ She advised the students to trust in the Lord, never give up and always aim higher. The General told them: ‘Always remember that God will take care of you.’
At the Salvation Army school in Batala the General inaugurated a new basketball court before playing a game with the school team. The international visitors also spent time on the hospital wards, bringing words of encouragement to patients and staff.
A march of witness took place before a joy-filled children and youth congress, which was attended by more than 2,000 young people. Members of the congregation particularly appreciated the General and Commissioner Peddle inviting children to sit down in the seats they vacated when they stood to preach.
The young people were reminded to do three things when they face difficulties: flee from temptations; follow God; and fight for what is right. After the Bible message, more than 600 young seekers moved to the mercy seat and signed decision cards to show that they wanted to follow Jesus.
More than 2,000 women attended their own congress, where the presence of the Holy Spirit was felt as testimonies were shared. Commissioner Peddle’s Bible message demonstrated how women can be powerful witnesses to God if they have a strong faith. At least 350 people were inspired to kneel at the mercy seat.
In public meetings, at least 7,000 Salvationists received their international leaders with applause and loud cries of ‘hallelujah!’. They were told by their world leader that, although he is the General, ‘you are the real Salvation Army!’ Referring to his Call to Mission, he challenged Salvationists and friends to be ready, to be engaged and to take responsibility for fulfilling God’s mission.
‘What does God require from us?’ asked the General. ‘He requires us to be his people today and every day.’
This challenge reached many hearts, leading 700 people to kneel at the mercy seat. More people rededicated their lives to God during the Sunday holiness meeting, where the international leaders called on The Salvation Army to fulfil God’s mission.
Report compiled from contributions by Archana Masih, Major Suresh Masih and Major Amrik Masih