Released 8 April 2011
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Dubai, UAE – More than 260 delegates from the United Arab Emirates (UAE),
Oman and Kuwait gathered in Dubai
on 18 March to celebrate the growth of The Salvation Army in the Middle East. Unfortunately, delegates from Bahrain were
denied travel visas due to current unrest in that country. The Salvation Army
has officially been in operation in the region for three years in Kuwait and one
year in the UAE.
Middle Eastern delegates were joined in their celebrations at the Deira City
Centre Hotel, Dubai, by Texas Brass Band from
the USA Southern Territory, members of the newly formed Middle East Advisory
Board and Colonel Ross Gower (Under Secretary for South
Asia, International Headquarters). The event was hosted by
regional leaders Majors Mike and Teresa Hawley.
The Middle East countries – officially
designated as a Salvation Army region from 1 April – contain vibrant and
devoted soldiers whose excited faces revealed the joy they felt at being able
to worship together. A worship service led by delegates from Kuwait, Sharjah
(UAE) and Abu Dhabi (UAE) brought much delight, as did contributions from Texas
The region's young people were seen to be a source of particular strength. A
service for young people, led by members of Texas Brass Band, demonstrated
their passion for their church.
The event served not only as a celebration of the Army’s past but also as a
consecration of its future. Major Mike Hawley made clear the purpose of The
Salvation Army in the Middle East – to be
light and salt for a uniquely available group of international people.
At the end of the gathering the visiting band travelled to Kuwait for
further performance and worship opportunities. Guided by Kuwait Regional
Officers Majors Stewart and Heather Grinsted, in partnership with The
Lighthouse Church, the band participated in multiple services and conducted a
This was the first known visit of a Salvation Army band to these countries and
was a great encouragement to friends and soldiers of The Salvation Army living
and working in the Middle East. There is every
indication that there are real and extensive opportunities for growth in this
new and exciting region of The Salvation Army. To God be the glory!
Report by Colonel Ross
Gower, International Headquarters
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the
universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in
need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United States.
Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each
year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing
food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled,
outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and
opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar spent is
used to carry out those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more
information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.