International leaders ‘catch the vision’ in Japan

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General André Cox and Commissioner Silvia Cox, World President for Women’s Ministries, joined in The Salvation Army Japan Territorial Congress in Tokyo recently.

Using the territorial theme, “Catch the Vision,”  the congress weekend began with a charity concert. Generously supported by a long-standing friend of The Salvation Army, Haruo Miki, a capacity audience at the Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall enjoyed the sounds of the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra—Japan’s oldest—conducted by Kazuyoshi Akiyama. Attendees included Salvation Army donors, as well as church leaders and representatives of tsunami-hit communities. The General addressed supporters at a special reception, thanking them for their partnership and re-emphasising the mission and ministry of The Salvation Army.

The USA Western Territorial Staff Songsters presented a public meeting, “Connect,” in partnership with the Japan Territory’s Youth Worship Team and Timbrelist Dance Unit. Silvia Cox challenged the congregation to listen to the voice of God and begin a new life with him. Many attendees, including young people, responded to the call to the mercy seat. The meeting was followed by a march of witness by 180 Salvationists, with the Coxes taking the salute at the conclusion of the parade. In the evening, a youth rally with the General and a women’s night with Silvia Cox were held simultaneously, with Bible presentations and fellowship.

Sunday morning’s holiness meeting was packed with Salvationists from across Japan. One hundred voices united to sing “God, we will give you glory,” followed by songs by the Western Territorial Staff Songsters.

Silvia Cox prayed a prayer of blessing for the children present, before the General presided over the swearing-in of seven new senior soldiers. In his address, the General challenged the congregation to “be prepared to go into the world, with renewed passion as in the early days.” He encouraged Salvationists and friends to “grow in spiritual maturity, pursue personal holiness and to pray hard.”

Many individuals gathered at the mercy seat and groups prayed spontaneously for their corps and communities. Six soldiers responded to the call to officership, ahead of concluding encouragement from the General.

While in Tokyo, the Coxes also met their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan at the Imperial Palace. They visited Salvation Army funded projects in the towns of Minami-Sanriku and Onagawa, which were badly affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The international leaders discussed the ongoing ministry there with local mayors and residents.

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