The Chief of the Staff (Commissioner William Roberts) and Commissioner Nancy Roberts (World Secretary for Women's Ministries) were at the heart of celebrations recognising The Salvation Army's 150th anniversary during a visit to Mexico. The visitors were received with enthusiasm by Salvationists, friends and members of the wider evangelical church community.
At an inter-faith gathering on Thursday, Commissioner Nancy Roberts spoke about the special anniversary, giving particular mention to Founders William and Catherine Booth, who, she said, never lost their passion and enthusiasm for souls.
In his Bible message the Chief of the Staff explained that The Salvation Army sought a high public profile 'not to bring attention to ourselves, but to Christ'. He ended with a prayer: 'Lord help us to be worthy of the One we serve.'
Later, the international visitors were received by the United States Ambassador to Mexico, Mr Earl Anthony Wayne. They were accompanied by territorial leaders Colonels Ricardo and Sonia Bouzigues, Territorial Public Relations Secretary Captain Miguel Rodriguez and the Territorial Advisory Board President, Mr Pedro de Koster.
An event at Christ Church, an Anglican church in Mexico City, included participation by diplomats, representatives of non-governmental organisations, Anglican church members and Salvationists. Residents from the Salvation Army children's home in Mexico City made a great impact through their testimonies, explaining the circumstances that had led them to live at the home and the positive change they had received. The Rev Canon Francis Hebert, from the host church, thanked The Salvation Army for its work with the needy in Mexico.
On Friday the Chief of the Staff spoke at the officers councils and many people knelt at the mercy seat.
Saturday's activities began in a park close to where The Salvation Army had started work in Mexico 78 years ago. Different activities were presented in public to celebrate with the community the international Salvation Army's 150th anniversary. An open-air meeting was followed by a march of witness, with brass band, timbrels, flags, balloons with a big Salvationist crowd marching and saluting the Chief of the Staff and Commissioner Nancy Roberts, who took the salute from the place where The Salvation Army started in Mexico.
The visit ended with the commissioning of cadets of the Heralds of Grace Session. Territorial Commander Colonel Ricardo Bouzigues received the declaration of faith and promises from the cadets and then invited the Chief of the Staff to ordain and commission them as lieutenants. Commissioner Nancy Roberts had encouraging words for the new officers, calling on them to 'fix their eyes on Jesus' and to continue learning at every step of their ministry.