Those who attended The Salvation Army’s Prayer Breakfast were expecting to be inspired by International Leader General Linda Bond’s words, but few could have guessed they’d be moved to tears.
General Bond spoke of the Army’s work throughout the world during the event Friday morning at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch, saying as long as there were children in dysfunctional homes, families going to bed hungry, and an entire population of people in need, she will keep fighting.
“Just like a boxer, I’ll go down fighting for them,” she said. “I will fight.”
She told the story of a young woman whose family sold her repeatedly to be used as a prostitute and the life of substance abuse that followed her as a result. And one day, after more than 20 years of working as a prostitute, she found her way into a Salvation Army.
“And the first thing we told her was, ‘My dear; we’ve been waiting for you,’” General Bond said.
The woman eventually became a soldier in the Army, helping hundreds of women with similar stories and fighting for social justice.
General Bond spoke with such passion for the Army and its mission that she moved many guests to tears, especially when her own voice broke as she spoke about the people who rely on the Army every day.
Majors Lonneal and Patty Richardson, Midland Divisional leaders, spoke of the prayers answered daily by The Salvation Army in St. Louis.
“When people wonder how they will put food on their family’s table, overcome substance abuse, clothe their children, or afford the medication they need to survive, we are there to answer those prayers,” Major Lonneal Richardson said.
“But sometimes, prayers cannot be answered tangibly,” Major Patty Richardson continued. “They request the repair of broken hearts, the strength to overcome illness, and guidance on how to handle life’s cruelest curveballs. Even then, The Salvation Army is there to answer these prayers. We know shelter, food, and monetary assistance are important, but we also realize that a listening ear and friend are imperative in the road to spiritual healing.”
Reverend Dr. Robert C. Scott of Central Baptist Church also spoke of a divisional church initiative to help raise funds for The Salvation Army and its work across the Midland Division.
The breakfast kicked-off a full schedule of activities for the Army’s annual Family Congress and Commissioning June 7-9, which welcomed more than 3,000 Salvationists and their families to St. Louis and included addresses by Salvation Army leaders, workshops, worship services, musical performances, and the commissioning and ordination of Salvation Army cadets who received their first appointment during this time.
Each of 23 Worship and Community Centers in the Midland Division accept prayer requests at any time and offer church services every Sunday. If you need someone to pray with you or simply listen to what’s weighing on your heart, we encourage you to utilize this aspect of The Salvation Army. The locations of each of our Worship and Community Centers can be found on our website, www.stlsalvationarmy.org.