Soldiers Rallying in PENDEL

by Robert Mitchell

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” —John 13:34

They’re expecting 200 to 250 soldiers to gather at Camp Ladore on March 15-17 for the Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware (PENDEL) Division’s annual soldier summit.

“We’re really looking to develop our soldiers spiritually and to develop them for ministry in the corps,” says Lisa Collier, PENDEL’s ministry development coordinator.Our division has been doing this for as long as I remember. When I was a kid, I remember my mom going to soldier retreats. This has been a longstanding event in our division.”

Some past summits have focused on prayer, holiness, and refreshing the soul. This year’s theme is “Just Love as Christ Loved,” and the emphasis will be on responding to social justice concerns. With a theme verse of John 13:34, Collier said attendees will grapple with these issues:

  • Who is my neighbor?
  • What’s your story?
  • Developing a “Love in Action” plan.

The special guests for the weekend are Buhle and Stacey Dlamini, senior soldiers from Nova Scotia.

Buhle, a lifetime member of The Salvation Army, is a senior soldier, bandsman, and worship leader at his Westville Corps in Canada. An author of six books, he has spoken around the world at various Salvation Army events. Buhle hails from South Africa and has worked with leaders such as former South African President Nelson Mandela.

Stacey, a wife, mother, and grandmother, helps Buhle lead worship at the Westville Corps and leads the Alpha ministry. She has a heart for social justice and has served The Salvation Army in various capacities in South Africa and in Canada, especially pertaining to the fight against human trafficking.

Collier said about half of the division’s 42 corps typically send soldiers to the summit. Corps officers, while not required to attend, often do and take part in all the activities alongside their soldiers.

“There are some people who come every year, but we also have new people every year,” she said.

Anyone interested in attending should contact their corps officer in PENDEL.