‘Serving Globally Reflects the Character of God’

Aug 14, 2023 | by Brad Rowland

‘Serving Globally Reflects the Character of God'

By: Major Frank Duracher

Commissioners Brad & Heidi Bailey were the featured guests for the Ninth Annual International Service Fellowship Breakfast with the theme, "Compelled by Love." The event was held during the 2023 Southern Bible Conference and was conducted by Lt. Colonel Karol Seiler and Majors Evelyn & Larry Repass. Interestingly, Commissioner Heidi Bailey was the guest at the first International Service Fellowship gathering nine years ago.

The fellowship is open to Salvationists who have served overseas, as well as those expressing an interest in missions work around the world.

"For the USA Southern Territory over the years, 272 workers served overseas during our territory's history," reported Major Evelyn Repass. She later revealed the coincidence that at present, another 272 individuals represent the number of active officers who last year expressed an interest in global service.

"Among those gathered here for this breakfast who have already served overseas, have done so in 30 different countries, with representation from all of the Army's five International Zones," Major Repass continued. "Forty-one percent have served in the Americas & Caribbean Zone; 26% in Europe; 13% in Africa; 10.5% in South Asia; and, 9.5% in the South Pacific & East Asia Zone."

Majors Alan & Mary Gonzalez, originally from Venezuela, gave testimony of their tenure in Spain. Despite Spanish being their mother-language, they admitted to not expecting the profound differences in culture and customs they discovered during their term. But they also acknowledged God's goodness and blessings on their work in that country. They also shared about God's healing during a near-death experience for Major Mary.

Commissioners Bailey then made their presentations. Commissioner Brad first lauded those who have served in past years as a well as those who are prayerfully considering ministry on foreign soil in the future.

"The Bible is an intensely missionary book!" he marveled. "A seeking God is also a sending God. For your part, a courageous willingness to serve in a context not of your own proves a life of reconciliation, a spirit of inclusiveness, and a desire to manifest the heart of Jesus by example, not just words."

Saying that "God places an extremely high priority on mission," Commissioner Brad asserted that reflecting the character of God is the foundation of who we are as Christians and Salvationists.

Commissioner Heidi then shared an emotional incident she encountered in a Kansas City airport with a woman named Judy, who was traveling back to Kenya to bury her mother. Just being a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, and giving a heartfelt prayer for Judy and her family made for an unexpected, but sacred hour for both women.

"An ordinary place can become ‘holy ground' in extraordinary ways," Commissioner Heidi said.

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