|1st February 2013
General Leads 130th Anniversary in Sri Lanka
General Linda Bond led celebrations for The Salvation Army’s 130th anniversary in Sri Lanka in February.
Bond met with the Hon. D. M. Jayaratne, prime minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, who revealed a new postage stamp and first-day cover, featuring a photo of the General alongside the logo of The Salvation Army’s International Vision: “One Army, One Mission, One Message.”
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During the welcome parade, Kandyan dancers and drummers in native dress, the Oriental Band of The Salvation Army’s Dehiwela Girls’ Home and three elephants in festive garb accompanied the General and guests.
Around 2,000 people gathered for a service that included greetings representing the wider church in Sri Lanka from Rev. W. P. Ebenezer Joseph, general secretary of the National Christian Council. Bond’s Bible message, “One Army,” preceded enrollment of 75 junior soldiers and 74 senior soldiers. “[You must be] soldiers of Jesus Christ before being soldiers of The Salvation Army,” she said.
Bond told the congregation that even though there is a great diversity around the world, The Salvation Army must remain united.
Between meetings, the General visited the training college, The Haven Children’s Home and Rajagiriya Boys’ Home. At Rajagiriya Elders’ Home, she met and prayed with 101-year-old Lt. Colonel W. James Wickramage.
“We know who we are,” she said. “We know what we believe and we know why we serve.”
About 350 gathered the next day to witness the General ordaining and commissioning 12 cadets of the Proclaimers of the Resurrection Session.
After leading officers councils, Bond faced the cameras of the national television broadcasting station, Rupavahini, for an interview, which was also featured in TV news reports.