A contingent of Salvationists – including command leaders, headquarters’ staff and young people – greeted General Brian Peddle and Commissioner Rosalie Peddle (World President of Women’s Ministries) on arrival at Kigali international airport on 16 February as they commenced their visit to the Rwanda and Burundi Command.
The next day, officers’ councils included a time when the General and Commissioner Rosalie shared snapshots of Salvation Army challenges and victories around the world. With 49 officers from across the command in attendance, Commissioner Peddle urged them: ‘Keep your faith fresh, keep your love sincere and keep your joy contagious’, words of encouragement based on Isaiah 41:10, 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 and 1 Peter 1:8.
Using words from Deuteronomy 10:12-13, the General challenged the officers, ‘What does God require of me?’. He reminded them that in being chosen by God to be his vessels, their service will be blessed if they have a reverent fear for the Lord, walk in his ways, love and serve him with all their heart and soul, and observe the Lord’s commands.
Later, the international leaders viewed the construction site for the officer training college. The General and Commissioner Peddle praised the quality of the work being undertaken and recommended the command leaders to follow up with the second phase to complete the project. In his remarks, the local deputy mayor highlighted the contribution of The Salvation Army to the holistic transformation of communities.
On the following morning the General and Commissioner Rosalie visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial, where they learnt more about Rwandan history and paid respects to the victims of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.
In the afternoon, the international leaders met with members of the command Governance Board and toured the command headquarters, meeting officer and employee staff, and planting fruit trees in the compound.
Flee, follow and fight
The command concert and celebrations during the visit included the enrolment of 95 soldiers by the General. A documentary video of the Army’s work was displayed and many people knelt at the mercy seat to offer their lives in service in response to the international leaders’ message, ‘Flee, follow and fight’, based on 2 Timothy 2:22.
On the Sunday of the visit, events included the General and Commissioner Rosalie Peddle witnessing a historic and colourful march-past of Salvationists.
The holiness meeting was packed with Salvationists and friends of The Salvation Army as well as country legal representatives and pastors from other Rwandan churches, including Archbishop Dr Laurent Mbanda (Anglican), Revd Isaie Ndayizeye (Pentecostal), Revd Dr Pascal Bataringaya (Presbyterian), Bishop Emmanuel Ndagijimana (Baptist Association) and Revd Thomas Murwanashyaka (Baptist Union).
A sacred time was experienced as the General ordained and commissioned 11 cadets of the Reflectors of Holiness session. Speaking from 1 Timothy 4:6-8 and 1 Samuel 7:3, the General challenged the congregation to focus on three things – no reserves, no retreats and no regrets – urging everyone, ‘Don’t hold back anything from God, give all to God and never turn from him’. Again, many people moved to the mercy seat in response.
The visit of the world leaders created a spiritual wave throughout the command, bringing inspiration and blessing to many people.
IHQ Communications based on a report by Major Fredrick Zazi