General André Cox and Commissioner Silvia Cox (World President of Women's Ministries) were taken to the hearts of Salvationists and friends during a visit to the Brazil Territory. Over five days the international leaders travelled to three of Brazil's 10 largest cities, sharing worship and witnessing the success of vital programmes that assist some of the country's most vulnerable people.
The visit began in São Paulo, home to Brazil Territorial Headquarters (THQ) and the seventh largest city in the world. The day started with a visit to the Três Corações (Three Hearts) Project, an outreach and assistance programme for men who are living on the street, and ended with a tour of a programme which offers help to women and children who are victims of domestic violence. In between these visits, the international leaders had lunch with current and former territorial leaders, THQ officers, and officers and cadets from the training college. The meal was followed immediately by a visit to headquarters departments and to the training college, where the General gave a lecture to cadets.
In the evening a large number of Salvationists and friends gathered at the São Paulo Methodist Cathedral.The international leaders received a joyful greeting and were warmly welcomed by Bishop Ildo Mello, representative of the Free Methodist Church and the churches of the Wesleyan tradition.
On Thursday, following travel to Rio de Janeiro, the General and Commissioner Cox visited an integration project in the Nova Divinéia community of the city. The programme provides assistance to vulnerable children who are at risk from the many problems found in the favela, including drug trafficking. Before the international leaders toured the programme, the children sang for them.
Salvationists in Brazil celebrate 1 May as 'Salvationist Day', with a congress being held in Rio de Janeiro, where the Army began in the country in 1922. The theme for this year's congress was One Army. Two sessions of officers councils were followed, in the afternoon, by a large prayer meeting which was marked by the powerful presence of the Lord. Commissioner Cox witnessed to the power of prayer in her own life and the General, in his message, urged people to a life of prayer.
The evening meeting was attended by Reverend Guilhermino Cunha, pastor emeritus of the Rio de Janeiro Presbyterian Cathedral (the first Presbyterian church in Brazil), who brought a greeting to the General on behalf of Presbyterian and other churches, and the Bible Societies. The City Council of Rio de Janeiro was represented by Councilman Elisha Kessler, who presented an Honourable Motion to the General.
The following day the General and Commissioner Cox, along with Salvationists and friends from the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul, worshipped the Lord in a holiness meeting in Porto Alegre, followed by a festival in the evening which included performances of traditional music and a powerful exposition of God’s Word by the General. In each meeting, the mercy seat was repeatedly lined as God’s Spirit moved in the midst of his people.
On Sunday morning, officers from the south of Brazil enjoyed two sessions of officers councils, followed by lunch with the General and Commissioner Cox.