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September 21, 2016

SA Officers Play for Refugees in Greece

The General speaks at public gathering in Athens as Army holds strategic planning conference

A large, diverse crowd greeted General André Cox and Commissioner Silvia Cox, World President of Women's Ministries, at the public gathering in Athens, Greece held in connection with The Salvation Army's European Zonal Leaders' Conference this month. Refugees and asylum seekers were at the event, as were two ambassadors, the leader of the Anglican Church in Athens, Salvation Army leaders from across Europe and local Salvationists from Athens and Thessaloniki.

Ensemble of Salvation Army officer brass players provide music.

Heracles Moskoff, the Greek government's National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings, greeted the crowd, and an ensemble of Salvation Army officer brass players and a male voice group provided music. In his Bible message, the General encouraged Salvationists in Greece to live out their faith in visible ways.

The previous evening, in support of the recently established Salvation Army presence in Athens, a small group of officers taking part in the conference visited Victoria Square in the heart of the city, formed a band and played to some of the refugees who remain encamped there. Some of the children had never seen or heard “live” music, and they stood still and silent through the musical presentation. The opportunity to briefly and respectfully share the gospel message with a predominantly Muslim audience was a moving experience for all involved.

Major Polis Pantelidis, regional officer for Greece, shared something of the story of The Salvation Army, gave his personal testimony and concluded the activity with prayer. A volunteer offered translation for the refugees.

Later, the General and Commissioner Cox joined International Headquarters representatives and leaders of The Salvation Army from across Europe for the zonal leaders' conference, held every three years to consider strategic plans for the the Army in the continent.

Video footage of the band playing in Victoria Square can be seen on Colonel Henrik Andersen's Facebook page: sar.my/vsband

Source:  Report by Europe Zone, International Headquarters

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