Excitement in Tanzania surrounding the five-day visit of General André Cox and Commissioner Silvia Cox (World President of Women’s Ministries) was demonstrated from the moment the leaders arrived in Dar es Salaam. They were greeted at the airport by an enthusiastic delegation of Salvationists – even though it was past midnight on a Wednesday!
The following day, after the visitors had been given a tour of the territorial headquarters (THQ) compound, the program started with officers councils for cadets and officers from the southern region. In response to the General’s Bible message 74 people knelt at the mercy seat.
In the afternoon, representatives from the territory’s anti-human trafficking program gave a presentation on the impact of the project and the challenges Tanzania faces concerning trafficking. This was followed by a colourful meeting with students from Matumaini School for Children with Disabilities. The children had prepared a self-written drama, a fashion show with traditional costumes, traditional dance and timbrels. One girl touched the hearts of those present with a devoted prayer for the General and Commissioner Cox.
The day closed with an intimate meeting for the 17 cadets of the Messengers of Light Session. The international leaders talked about The Salvation Army’s internationalism and encouraged the cadets to remain strong in the Lord.
On Friday, a meeting with British High Commissioner Ms Dianna Melrose was followed by lunch with Bishop Dr Alex G. Malasusa, the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, who represented the Christian Council of Tanzania. After lunch the international leaders met the Swiss Ambassador, Mrs Florence Tinguely Mattli.
An excited group of Salvationists and friends greeted the General and Commissioner Cox on arrival at the new Dar es Salaam Central Corps. Having presented a new corps flag and dedicated the building to God, the General challenged the congregation that The Salvation Army’s work is to get out of its beautiful halls to spread the gospel.
At a youth rally that followed, Commissioner Silvia Cox explained that God works through children and young people. She emphasized that they were not just the future of the Army but that they were vital for today as well.
On Saturday the General and Commissioner Silvia travelled to Tarime, in the north of the country, where more than 1,000 Salvationists and friends gathered for a public meeting at which 144 soldiers were enrolled. A women’s ministries rally, men’s rally and youth rally followed before the visitors returned to Dar es Salaam.
On Sunday another 700 uniformed Salvationists from across the southern region marched along the sandy road from the THQ compound to the public holiness meeting. The hall overflowed with a joyful congregation that worshipped God through singing, dancing and music. The General impressed the crowd by coming down from the platform to join them in dancing.
During the meeting five young adults were enrolled as soldiers.
The day concluded with the General leading a men’s rally while Commissioner Silvia, dressed in territorial costume, led the women’s ministries rally.