Thursday, April 17, 2008

Notes from the Front Line

A friend is serving in Iraq as a chaplain. He just sent an update - the first since he got to come home to sw MO for a two week R&R break.

He's nearing the end of his 15 month deployment (another ministry acquaintance just landed in Iraq for the start of his deployment as a chaplain).

Anyway, several things jumped out of Gary's update....I thought I'd share them with the bloggy world.

It helps me remember, that outside of my little world in NW Ark, there's a lot of things going on. It's a reminder that we need to pray for our service men and women - regardless of your personal feelings of the war. We need to pray for the families of those serving on the front lines.

We also need to pray for the Iraqi people. It's been a long war. Dear God, let there be an end soon for everyone.

From Gary....
When I got back to Iraq, the soldiers said I was a lot more relaxed and smiled more! Guess it was good for us all! (A Happy-Chappy is a good thing!)

We’ve lost two more of our soldiers, which hurts deeply, and yet there was potential for much greater tragedy. Many soldiers are struggling with their personal relationships back home and we are near enough the end of this tour that new questions about job and reunion are now “front and center.” This chaplain is very busy! And now that the end is in sight, it gives new meaning and urgency to each day’s ministry. The enemy obviously doesn’t tell us who they will target next (except that their target is the nightly news!) but I also know that the day will soon be here when this opportunity to impact soldiers will be gone forever. The fight I’m in really matters! (As does yours!)

I’m excited that there is another soldier awaiting baptism (that’s 4!) and knowing that conversations I had along the way have made a difference is very gratifying. The impact of deployments is tremendously hard on families… to the point that nearly one out of three of our younger married soldiers considers or intends to divorce or separate upon their return home from theater (according to the latest mental health study)-- plenty yet to do!

The deployment will end, but the ministry will carry forward for many months after we are home.

1 comment:

  1. My cousin just returned - she's still in debrief so I haven't heard any stories yet.

    Also, the hubby of a good friend just went back for his 2nd tour. Ack!

    ReplyDelete

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