Friday 31 August 2018

‘for such a time as this’

The Territorial Commander shares his thoughts after taking part in the High Council, at which the new General (international leader) of the Salvation Army - Brian Peddle was elected. 

During the formal opening of the Salvation Army's High Council when the 108 ‘delegates’ changed status to ‘members’, we were reminded about the sole function and task of the Council: 

"You shall elect a General ‘for such a time as this’" said the Chief of Staff, Commissioner Brian Peddle, referring to the choice Queen Ester had to do on behalf of her people (Esther 4:14).

In preparation for this important event, I had read John Larsson's book 'Inside a High Council'. Larsson states that electing a General does not involve campaigning or lobbying for ‘your’ candidate - the main focus is to seek God's face and to know the direction of the Spirit. I soon discovered that this is also a reality. No one tried to influence me to support a candidacy. I was left to pray - also for what I thought was important, and what I believed God had put on my heart ‘for such a time as this’.

Although the Salvation Army's orders and regulations of 1888 clearly state that ‘both men and women are eligible for all ranks, authorities and duties within the Army’, unfortunately, married women have not had the same opportunities as men.

As a child of officers, I knew that my mother had leadership skills and qualifications that were fully on the level of my father's. This worked well in the corps, but when TSA needed my father's qualifications outside of the corps, my mother had to fight for something to do. When I got married, I realized that I was blessed with a woman with many talents. Throughout our years of service, I have been worried that the Salvation Army should burry her talents. During the 42 years that have passed since I became an officer, I have many times been in despair because of the disrespect of the resources that married women have. It has improved, but many places in the world there are still

For this reason, I have already for many years prayed that at the next High Council, a married woman should be nominated as a candidate for General. It happened – Hallelujah.

Also other important nominations were made. In 2010 I was in Kenya in the capacity of being Principle for a Brengle Institute. There I met a wonderful officer and brother in the Lord, and I thought he was a great spiritual leader, not just for the Salvation Army in Africa but for the whole world. He was also nominated. The list could go on… 

On several occasions I have written that God chose to bless the Salvation Army because everyone who accepts God's call to salvation has the same right to ministry in the Kingdom of God. The Biblical support for this view is substantial, and here is one:
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 
Galitians 3:28
For this reason, I believe the nominations were a prophetic confirmation, and I believe the General elect, Commissioner Brian Peddle is a leader who can take this further as General. For almost three years, he has been my line-manager, he is a clear communicator and open to advice and aware that without God he can do nothing. For three years I have prayed for him and Rosalie, and there will be no less prayers in the time ahead. Prayer is a key to everything we do. 
We build the Kingdom of God, not our own!

Published in the Russian War Cry = Вестник спасения - issue # 4 2018

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