News

The Salvation Army is opening a new, 24-hour shelter for survivors of human trafficking, a resource the charity is billing as the first of its kind

Salvation Army National Capital Area Command Opens Shelter to Serve Human Trafficking Survivors

The Salvation Army National Capital Area Command is opening a new, 24-hour shelter for survivors of human trafficking, a resource the charity is billing as the first of its kind in the D.C. area.

Leaders with the group’s National Capital Area Command say they can’t reveal where, exactly, the new shelter is located in the region in order to protect the people they’re trying to serve. But they held a ribbon-cutting for the new facility all the same today (Wednesday) at the organization’s Arlington headquarters in Alcova Heights.

“This strikes at the heart of the core values of the Salvation Army,” said Maj. James Hall, the charity’s commander for the D.C. region. “We believe this is the best way we can make a difference on a transformative issue addressing injustice.”

Hall added that the entire effort is being paid for by private donations. He’d originally hoped to win grant funding for the shelter, but struck out on that front.

State Sen. Dick Black (R), who represents Prince William and Loudoun in the General Assembly, commended the effort as an essential one to deal with a “rapidly increasing problem” around the region.

He placed most of the blame for that trend on gang members crossing the Mexican border, which he believes has “literally become a torrent pouring into the country” even as data show net migration levels falling in recent years.

“Runaway children are so easily preyed upon by these people,” Black said.

Kyla Conlee, the shelter’s director, says the new facility will have about half a dozen staff members in all, with two “on call” at all times if someone who’s recently escaped a sex or labor trafficking situation needs help.

She says the shelter will have eight bedrooms, and will be open to both men and women looking for a place to stay. Conlee notes that the facility will only be able to house people for up to 10 days at a time, but her staff plans to work with a network of other charitable organizations to find a more permanent living situation during their stays.

“The most immediate need someone has coming out of a trafficking situation is: where am I going to sleep that first night?” said Stuart Allen, a federal prosecutor in D.C. “I can’t take them in. Law enforcement can’t take them in… But now, victims will have a place to go that first night they need those services.”

Conlee added that her staff will work with local emergency rooms to provide basic medical care for their clients, and even more advanced care for victims of sexual assault. She also wants to offer them the basics at the facility, like new clothes and food, and plans to rely on the community for donations.

Anyone interested in making a donation can drop off goods at the Salvation Army’s Arlington center at 518 S. Glebe Road. www.salvationarmynca.org/antihumantrafficking.

Salvation Army Honours General and Commissioner Cox at Farewell Meeting

Salvation Army Honours General and Commissioner Cox at Farewell Meeting

“Personal” is not the first word that springs to mind when describing a big event in central London, but the Welcome to the High Council and Farewell to General André Cox and Commissioner Silvia Cox (World President of Women’s Ministries) managed to be spectacular and yet highly personal. The General’s message that every person can change the world if they give themselves over to God was backed up by stories from the international leaders’ lives that demonstrated how, through service and sacrifice, they have made a personal impact around the world that will last long after they retire in August.

The event, in Central Hall, Westminster, began in a lively fashion, with a fanfare from the Fanfare Trumpeters of the Household Division of the British Army, resplendent in red tunics and bearskin hats. The congregation rose to welcome the General and Commissioner Cox, who were followed into the hall by the 108 members of the 2018 High Council.

The Chief of the Staff, Commissioner Brian Peddle, welcomed the congregation to the “best ticket in town” – a nod to the royal wedding which had just taken place about 25 miles to the west.

The General turned to face the members of the High Council, who were seated behind the stage, to charge them to consider carefully the “sacred purpose” of electing the next General. He told them it was “time to cast aside any personal opinions,” adding: “God does not always work in the way we expect.”

Music played an important role in the meeting, from lively pre-meeting contributions by the International Staff Band (ISB), International Staff Songsters (ISS) and Boscombe Timbrels to pieces that brought about an atmosphere of prayer and contemplation.

This mix of styles was demonstrated when the hushed atmosphere after The Prayer was sung by Gemma Hinchliffe, accompanied by the ISS and trumpeter Simon Cox (nephew of the General and Commissioner Cox), was followed immediately by the lively singing, dancing and drumming of African Praise, a British group made up of Salvationists from Zimbabwe and other African countries. The African influence – appropriate for the farewell to The Salvation Army’s first Africa-born General – was felt throughout the afternoon, including some extra-loud cheers when African leaders marched onto the stage!

“If I Were the General …” gave opportunity to three young people to offer their thoughts on what a General should be and do. Daniel Rose and Joel Lalhmingliana – featuring in a video presentation – came up with innovations such as giving out chocolate bars to encourage people to attend worship, allowing trombones to play at double forte and keeping sermons to four minutes long! Addressing the congregation in the hall, Emma Góchez considered some ideas for making Army uniforms more practical and fashionable but also spoke about the importance of using teenagers already in The Salvation Army to help other teens who were struggling. “We need to let more light into this dark world,” she said.

An African-style arrangement of They Shall Come from the East, They Shall Come from the West began with playing singing by some of the ISB and then grew to take in the whole congregation, with drumming and dancing from African Praise.

This was followed by a prayer and Bible reading given by the writer of the original music to the song, Retired General John Larsson, who prayed that High Council members would receive “a generous supply of wisdom that comes from above.”

Consecrated Service was a new piece by Bandmaster Richard Phillips, written as a musical tribute to the General and Commissioner Cox. Featuring the ISB, ISS, Gemma Hinchliffe, Simon Cox, African Praise and Boscombe Timbrels, the work took the listener on a journey through the term of office of the General, from the early sacred moments following election through to their taking the message of being a consecrated, mobilized people around the world, all using well-known Salvation Army songs.

Tributes to the retiring leaders were paid by two members of the High Council. Commissioner Margaret Siamoya (Territorial Commander, Zambia) thanked the Coxes for showing Spiritual leadership. She complimented the “dancing General” (“when you visited Africa!”) on his championing of the Accountability Movement, his leadership at the International Congress in 2015 and the introduction of The Whole World Mobilising initiative which she said has had a great impact in her territory.

The commissioner paid tribute to “Mama” Silvia’s impact on souls and particularly her advocacy for women’s development.

Commissioner Massimo Paone (Territorial Commander, Switzerland, Austria and Hungary) spoke about how the General and Commissioner Cox had embraced their roles with “commitment, passion and energy.” He made a particular point to highlight the example that the leaders had made in working closely as a team, saying that this type of joint ministry could be seen as The Salvation Army’s “secret treasure.”

It wasn’t all good news, however. Thanking the international leaders for choosing to retire in Switzerland, he warned them: “From August 3, I will be your territorial commander” and said that he expected them to be coach and mentor to him and his wife … “and I won’t take no for an answer!”

A video put together by the Coxes’ family showed how the international leaders has kept in touch over the past five years while visiting every Salvation Army territory and command. Their children and grandchildren received a postcard from every country they visited, along with a selection of gifts. Some of the grandchildren made their way onto the stage to return the favour, with Sarah Makanjera – one of the General and Commissioner Cox’s three daughters – saying that the next appointment was “as full-time grandparents.”

In response, Commissioner Cox spoke about the “immense” privilege that has been hers and that she was “thankful for the adventures.” She told the congregation that she could never imagined how a shy person who was scared of flying could have done what she has over the past five years, travelling all over the world to speak to crowds that sometimes contained several thousand people. Through everything, she added, she has “learned to trust God.”

She said that she had been aware of the power of prayer, which she knew had been supporting her, and paid tribute to the support she had also received from her husband, who she described as “such a wonderful man” – to the delight of the congregation!

Stirring songs from the ISS, More than Wonderful and All Rise (including soloist Kerry Sampson), led into the congregation singing of Holy, Holy, Holy before a video presentation reminded the congregation of the General’s “I Dream” statements that had underpinned his whole term of office, focusing on The Salvation Army he wanted to see – an accountable, mobilized Army that gave young people a voice.

The General took up the last “dream” statement, then told the congregation – and thousands of people watching the live stream online – that he had been delighted to see some aspects of his dream become reality.

He acknowledged the support he has received as General, from the prayers of Salvationists worldwide to the way that he and Commissioner Cox have been “released” by their family.

Far from being satisfied, however, he warned: “The Salvation Army around the world has the potential to be so much more!” And while he acknowledged that there are successes, he pointed out that when things are going well, it can become easy to stop relying on God. “Woe to us,” he challenged, “if we ever forget the Lord in our Army.”

He told his listeners not to allow compromise to take hold, and to avoid being taken in by the spirit of the world. Asking: “Do we rely on ourselves or do we rely on God’s strength?,” the General pointed out that “the light of our lives can sometimes be diminished by compromise,” and yet “the world in which we live is desperate to see light and hope.”

Referring to Joy Webb’s song The Candle of the Lord, which talks about taking the light of God to the darkest places of society, the General called on everyone listening to join him in saying: “Lord, light me so I can make a difference in the world.”

There followed sacred moments as the ISS sang the song referred to by the General. People moved from the congregation to kneel at the mercy seat in front of the stage. Some members of the High Council moved to speak to the seekers while others quietly stood from their seats, in an attitude of prayer and solidarity.

The General challenged the congregation to “stand and make this song your prayer,” which brought a unanimous response from everyone present. Following the meeting online, many people added comments such as “Amen,” “Praise God” and “Lord, light me.” (At time of writing, the stream had been watched live or on catch-up more than 40,000 times.)

The meeting finished in spectacular, joyful style with O Boundless Salvation!, the song known as the Founder’s Song and, as explained by the Chief of the Staff, “A bit of an anthem for us!”

As the congregation gave a full-throated rendition of the seven verses, the music groups that had taken part joined in one by one, including the fanfare trumpeters who stood on the balcony, and officers from International Headquarters who waved flags, until the final verse, “And now, Hallelujah, the rest of my days shall gladly be spent in promoting thy praise,” reached a glorious conclusion, followed by a long, spontaneous round of applause.

The congregation may have come to pay tribute The Salvation Army’s international leaders and welcome the group that will choose the next General, but they left having praised God and committed themselves – on a very personal level – to being a light for God in the darkest places of the world.

See more photos from the event on the IHQ Flickr site.

For the first time in its 131-year history, The Salvation Army Caribbean Territory will be led by Jamaicans

Jamaicans Appointed To Lead The Salvation Army For The First Time In 131 Years

For the first time in its 131-year history, The Salvation Army Caribbean Territory will be led by Jamaicans.

They are Lieutenant Colonel Devon Haughton and Lieutenant Colonel Verona Haughton who have both been promoted to the rank of Commissioner.

Devon currently serves as Chief Secretary of The Salvation Army Caribbean Territory and Verona is the Territorial Secretary for Women’s Ministries.

Lt. Colonel Devon Haughton has been appointed as Territorial Commander (Chief Director of the work) and Lt. Colonel Verona Haughton as Territorial President of Women’s Ministries (Chief Director of women’s movements), in the 16 countries that comprise the Caribbean Territory.

The Lt. Colonels served in Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica in various appointments including corps officers (pastors), divisional leaders for Eastern & Western Jamaica Divisions and training principals, at different periods, for the territory’s training college.

Similarly, Lt. Colonel Devon has served as Secretary (Director) for Programme and Territorial Evangelist while Lt. Colonel Verona has served as Secretary (Director) for Leader Development and Secretary (Director) for Spiritual Life Development.

They have been married for 36 years and are the parents of one daughter, Tephanie Olivia.

A public installation service will be held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in St Andrew on Sunday, April 22, 2018, beginning at 3:00 p.m.
Meet Lt. Colonel Devon Haughton.

*Born in Portland and is a graduate of Portland High School.

*He entered The Salvation Army Training College in 1979 as a member of the “God’s Soldiers” session.

*He completed studies in Management with William & Catherine Booth Theological College and is now pursuing a Master of Arts Degree in Global Urban Leadership at BAKKE Graduate University in the USA.

*His active preaching and teaching ministry has been evident in several of the islands of the Caribbean.

* Lt. Colonel Devon Haughton was a delegate of the 145th Session of the International College for Officers.

 

Meet Lt. Colonel Verona Haughton.

*Lt. Colonel Verona Haughton (nee Henry) was born in St. Catherine but all her formative years were spent in Buff Bay, Portland.

*She entered The Salvation Army Training College in 1974 as a member of the “Overcomers” session and was a delegate at the Administrative Leadership Training Course in Australia and Training Principal’s conference in London.

*Lt. Colonel Verona holds a Master of Arts Degree in Pastoral Psychology & Counselling and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Guidance and Counselling.

*She also has certificates in Supervisory Management and Public Speaking from Training and Development Services, a branch of Human Resource Development.

*She has passionately devoted time to the training and development of officers and steered the territorial training college to be recognised as an educational institution under the Independent Schools of Jamaica.