Women from 10 southern African countries gathered in Zimbabwe for a SARPCO (Southern African Region Project Capacity-building) Home League Rally led by Commissioner Rosalie Peddle, World President of Women’s Ministries, and Commissioner Bronwyn Buckingham, World Secretary for Women’s Ministries. Delegates also were delighted to hear from the First Lady of Zimbabwe, Mrs. Auxillia Mnangagwa.
Taking place at Glamis Arena stadium in Harare, the rally was attended by around 6,000 women. It began with a welcome meeting featuring praise and worship, timbrel and hosho (a traditional African shaker) groups from the host nation.
The rally was based on the Women’s Ministries worldwide theme “On the Way to Heaven.” In her opening message Commissioner Peddle used the Apostle Paul’s words from Philippians, reminding her listeners that “our citizenship is not of the world, our citizenship is in Heaven.”
A fellowship meeting in the evening included presentations by timbrel groups from Zambia and Malawi and the unusual sight of a “kitchen band” from Zimbabwe which used kitchen utensils as instruments! Commissioner Buckingham gave the Bible message, explaining what it means to live an obedient life.
A full program on Saturday started with early morning prayers followed by Bible study, with the Southern Africa and Zimbabwe Territorial ladies’ bands on duty.
The First Lady of Zimbabwe made a surprise appearance midway through the morning. She spoke of her appreciation for the work of The Salvation Army, which she said should be applauded for empowering marginalised members of society, such as women and girls.
“The Salvation Army in Zimbabwe has been actively involved in the transformation of lives of ordinary people in many ways,” she said. “Your church in Zimbabwe has been supportive of government efforts to provide education through its 35 schools across the country.”
Saturday afternoon was filled with fun, laughter and fellowship at a pageant led by Major Happy Madonsela and Major Nokuthula Mahlobo from the Southern Africa Territory. Mrs. Sandra Bwoni from Zimbabwe was crowned Queen of the Day, with women from Mozambique and South Africa receiving the first and second princess awards.
In the evening an “Africa night” featured plenty of instrumental music and dance. Women dressed in cultural attire made a spectacular sight!
Through the day, teaching was given on a variety of subjects that affect women in Africa, including human trafficking, marriage and self-reliance.
Sunday morning started with a “march-past” followed by worship led by Commissioner Yvonne Conrad, Zonal Secretary for Women’s Ministries for the Africa Zone.
Giving the closing message, Commissioner Peddle reminded delegates that the Bible is their passport to Heaven and encouraged them to remain focused.
At the close of the meeting an altar call was made and hundreds of women made commitments to remain spiritually focused and serve God.