The visit of General André Cox and Commissioner Silvia Cox (World President of Women’s Ministries) to Mali to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Salvation Army ministry in the country was a time of tremendous joy and blessing, recognizing the significant growth that God has brought about.
The international leaders were warmly welcomed at Bamako International Airport by Mali Regional leaders Majors Dieudonné and Philippine Tsilulu, officers and soldiers. The next day they visited regional headquarters, three corps and one project.
A women’s rally on Saturday morning included songs, the playing of maracas, readings and drama. In her Bible message, Commissioner Cox challenged her listeners to go deeper in their experience with Jesus Christ so he can transform them into God’s image.
In the afternoon, the General and Commissioner Cox joined Salvationists and friends at Radisson Blu Hotel for a 10th anniversary celebration meeting which included vocal items and lively music provided by a group of brass musicians from Ghana. Four outposts were upgraded to corps status, which is a sign of growth in the region.
In his Bible message, the General reminded his listeners that they are citizens of Heaven – they are God’s people. They must, he said, cherish that relationship and witness to it wherever they are. Many people moved forward for prayer at the mercy seat.
The day closed with a youth concert featuring songs and gospel dance.
Sunday began with a march of witness, with the General and Commissioner Cox taking the salute. This was the first Salvation Army march of witness to take place in Mali. The regional flag and corps flags were carried on the march, along with the new Whole World Mobilising flag. Music by the brass group from Ghana created considerable excitement in the community around the hotel.
At the holiness meeting, around 400 Salvationists and friends celebrated the faithfulness of God through lively singing and dancing. Special guests included the Burkina Faso ambassador, a representative of the UK ambassador, the police commissioner and the chairman of an ecumenical committee. The highlight of the meeting was the enrolment of 91 senior soldiers, who were urged by the General to keep their promises.
These new enrolments represent a huge leap in Salvation Army membership in Mali, taking the number of soldiers from 125 (as recorded in The Salvation Army Year Book 2017) to more than 215.
In his Bible message, the General urged the congregation to be mobilized, spreading the good news of Jesus Christ and serving suffering humanity. More than 50 people responded to an invitation to pray at the mercy seat.
At the conclusion of the meeting, as the congregation sang O Boundless Salvation, the flag-bearers waved their banners while the General waved the Whole World Mobilising flag.