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New Salvation Army leaders pledge to bring hope

Monday, 14 September 2015  I  For immediate release

The new leaders of the Salvation Army in Southern Africa, Colonels Keith and Yvonne Conrad, have pledged to do what they can to bring hope to the people of the country and transform communities.

The Colonels were inducted this weekend as leaders by the international leaders of The Salvation Army, General André Cox and his wife Commissioner Silvia Cox.

Colonel Keith Conrad said that The Salvation Army plays a key role in transforming societies and communities and there is huge potential to expand this. He said he had a special concern for the issue of child abuse and said the Church will continue to give input into the abuse of women and children and human trafficking.
“The legislation against human trafficking is in place. Now we need the will to enforce it and the will to prosecute fearlessly and strongly. The message that abuse of women and children is contrary to God’s will needs to get through to our society,” he said.

He added that his first mandate as leader of a church must always be to bring about a transformation of a person’s spiritual relationship with God.
“Our second priority as The Salvation Army arises from our strong social conscience, and involves transforming communities from the impact of poverty, gangsterism, drug abuse and human trafficking, among others,” he said.

Colonel Conrad has previously been the PR Secretary of The Salvation Army in South Africa. He has also served in New Zealand. Immediately prior to his appointment he served a stint at The Salvation Army headquarters in London, England, as Under Secretary for the Africa zone.

On his international experiences, he says: “Having been exposed to other parts of the world, I am able to come back and say, ‘We can learn from that’.”
One of these insights is the need to build relationships. For example, The Salvation Army in New Zealand has excellent relationships with government. This allows the Army to give input into important decision-making processes.

Another learning from New Zealand is how the corps (church) building is at the centre of the community throughout the week with many services, for example, budget training, clothing banks, etc, being offered from its premises.

Colonel Yvonne Conrad said her vision for The Salvation Army was to see women dealing with specific needs in their communities, since women are not scared to go out and do the work.

“The Salvation Army must not only be open on a Sunday; it must be a hive of activity throughout the week.
“We need communities to work alongside us, and not just wait for the Army to do everything. We need to talk with community leaders about how we can make a difference in their communities by working with communities,” she said.

The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by love for God, and its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human needs without discrimination.
The Southern Africa Territory of The Salvation Army encompasses four countries – South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland – and the island of St Helena. Its officers, soldiers and full-time employees provide their spiritual and community services through approximately 230 corps (churches), societies and outposts, as well as through schools, hospitals, institutions for children, street children, the elderly, men and abused women, and daycare, goodwill, rehabilitation and social centres.


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