Women from across The Salvation Army’s Southern Africa Territory – as well as representatives from Botswana, Malawi and Mozambique – took part in a lively and joyful weekend-long rally with Commissioner Silvia Cox, World President of Women’s Ministries, supported by Major Margaret Booth from International Headquarters.
The congregation of 3,000 women gathered at Orlando Community Hall in Soweto, South Africa, to celebrate, sing, dance and give testimony to God’s goodness and joy in their lives. The weekend was led by the Divisional Directors of Women’s Ministries in Southern Africa and the Territorial President of Women’s Ministries, Colonel Yvonne Conrad, under the theme ‘Go and Tell’.
Following a Praise and Powerful Prayer Meeting on Friday night, Saturday saw an ocean of colour and splendour as the women – clothed in traditional dress – marched into the hall with banners of all eight Southern Africa divisions represented. In a traditional South African shayatafula, the divisions sang and danced their way one after another towards an offering table, having raised over 600,000 rand ($45,000) through the Home League Helping Hand initiative in the territory.
Two guest speakers spoke eloquently: Mrs Weziwe Gcotyelwa Thusi, Member of the Executive Committee in KwaZulu-Natal Province with a remit for Social Development; and Sibongile Mokoena, Education Outreach Coordinator, South African Environmental Observation Network. They challenged the women to be practical and active in their communities, sharing that their locality needs women of God with vision and insight. The celebration lasted right into the evening with testimony and praise.
Sunday started with a public march of witness with the women – led by the KwaZulu-Natal Divisional Ladies Band – saluting Commissioner Silvia Cox and Colonel Yvonne Conrad. During the Sunday morning meeting, numerous women spoke cogently of their personal experience of God’s grace. His goodness was celebrated through brass band music, lively singing and timbrel displays.
Commissioner Silvia picked up the ‘Go and Tell’ theme in her Bible message, to encourage the women to each live and share their faith. She exhorted the women that their ‘lives must reflect the presence of God in their homes, corps and communities’.
Hundreds of women sought God during the altar call and many responded to the invitation to officership. Everybody present went away with the realisation that The Salvation Army in Southern Africa is well resourced with educated and committed women, ready to ‘Go and Tell’.
Report by Major Carin Holmes
Public Relations Secretary, Southern Africa Territory