The Salvation Army hosted its first All Africa Congress at the National Sports Stadium in Harare, Zimbabwe, Aug. 24-28.
In a country stricken by political and social chaos, the presence of some 7,000 young Salvationists from 17 African countries celebrating the salvation in Jesus Christ gave new hope to Zimbabwe and Africa.
The gathering, "Africa for Christ," was the first Salvation Army congress in Africa where all the members from the continent congregated.
The considerable scale of the Congress had attracted the interest of even secular businesses. According to the Zimbabwe-based Herald news agency, Finhold, a leading banking corporation in Zimbabwe, donated $250 million Zimbabwe dollars to the Salvation Army in Zimbabwe for hosting the historical congress, which was used to cover the printing cost for the Congress.
"This congress would avail an opportunity for us as a church and country to share ideas relating to people's welfare, for instance, the prevalent HIV and AIDS pandemic," Commissioner Stanslous Mutewera, head of the Salvation Army in Zimbabwe, said to the Herald, prior to the congress.
The Congress also aimed at educating the youths about the dangers of carelessness and encouraged women to take up high positions in society, the Herald report added.