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Chief of the Staff leads 125th anniversary celebrations in Zimbabwe

Chief of the Staff leads 125th anniversary celebrations in Zimbabwe

Chief of the Staff leads 125th anniversary celebrations in Zimbabwe

19 October 2016

Thousands of people knelt at the mercy seat to consecrate and rededicate their lives to God during a recent congress in Zimbabwe.

By Captain Liveson Mushayakarere

A congress marking 125 years of Salvation Army ministry in Zimbabwe was led by the Chief of the Staff, Commissioner Brian Peddle, and Commissioner Rosalie Peddle (World Secretary for Women’s Ministries).

The celebrations in the capital Harare, which took the theme “Jehovah, Our Strength”, were attended by thousands of delegates from across the host country and by officers and soldiers from Angola, Zambia, Madagascar, Uganda and Botswana.

At the official opening meeting, the Chief of the Staff gave glory to God for the work that has been done in Zimbabwe over 125 years. He also emphasised that Jehovah should continue to be the strength of the Zimbabwe Territory.

Salvation Army ministry in Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) began with the arrival in November 1891 of a pioneer party from South Africa, led by Major and Mrs Pascoe. This beginning was recognised when a horse-drawn wagon – reminiscent of the ox-drawn wagon called Enterprise that arrived with Salvation Army pioneers in 1891 – entered the arena carrying a group of retired officers. Stepping down from the wagon, Major Nathan Taruvinga recited Salvation Army Founder William Booth's well-known 'I'll Fight!' speech.

Since the early pioneering days, Salvation Army work has spread from Zimbabwe to Zambia, Malawi, Botswana and – as was revealed during the congress – Madagascar as of this year.

The celebrations included the presentation of an anniversary flag which had been sent out in December 2015 by Commissioner Henry Nyagah, who was then territorial commander. The flag travelled to the divisions as an awareness-raising campaign and to encourage Salvationists to be fully mobilised.

One of the main events of the congress was the installation of new territorial leaders, Commissioners Joash and Florence Malabi. The Chief of the Staff also recognised Lieut-Colonels Daniel and Tracey Kasuso as Chief Secretary and Territorial Secretary for Women’s Ministries respectively.

The Territorial Commander, Commissioner Joash Malabi, told the congregation that the territory needed to build its future on a solid foundation. He said that Salvationists must depend on Christ and live effectively for him.

The installation concluded with a dedicatory prayer by the Chief of the Staff, who commended the new leaders into the hands and care of God. He emphasised that the new leaders should encourage spiritual growth. 

On Saturday morning, around 15,000 Salvationists took part in a march at Glamis Stadium as the leaders took the salute. The march included the first flying of the Madagascar Salvation Army flag, which will feature again when Army work officially opens on the island on Sunday (23 October).

In the afternoon, there were rallies for women, men, youth and junior soldiers. Commissioner Rosalie Peddle used the biblical example of Esther to inspire the women to be courageous. The men were challenged by the Chief of the Staff to walk with God, and delegates to the youth rally were encouraged to live pure lives for Christ.

The congress concluded with a holiness meeting on Sunday morning. In his Bible message, the Chief of the Staff reminded the gathered Salvationists and friends to remain focused on giving glory to God. Following the final appeal by the Chief, thousands of people knelt at the mercy seat to consecrate and rededicate their lives to God.

Captain Mushayakarere is the Literature Secretary for the Zimbabwe Territory.


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