The First Half of 2016 is Done
We are thankful that God has accomplished so much through OR this quarter, so the report will be longer than most. It will be succinct, but not short.
Since April, we have hosted nine events that have been used to serve 143 active military personnel and their family members. That puts the total number of people OR has touched since 2013 to 989. You have already received reports on many of these opportunities, so I am going to summarize the final four events.
In May we partnered with three of our chaplains on a one-day biblical marriage enrichment seminar. One highlight from that event is that one of our speakers was approached by a soldier who asked what it meant to be saved. The OR team member shared the Gospel and asked if he was open to receiving Christ as Lord and Savior. The soldier responded that he understood what was shared and knew it was right but was not ready to commit. The speaker, though disappointed, was encouraged that this Green Beret was searching and suggested he follow-up with his chaplain. We know through other testimonies that God used the truth of His Word to equip marriages to sustain the hardships of military life. (See pics below.)
Another component of OR’s ministry is to actively care for our partnering chaplains and their wives. During the month of May, we sent three couples away for overnight getaways so that they could disengage from the warp speed of serving Special Forces and focus on their marriages.
Our last two events were both fishing based efforts – one on the coast and one in the North Carolina mountains. Instead of me giving you my thoughts about the coastal trip, here is an email that I received from the chaplain who worked with us:
“This is my second event working with OR and once again I am very thankful for the opportunity. The saltwater fishing trip gave me the avenue for having some really good discussions with my Soldiers. On the way to Atlantic Beach, I had a lengthy conversation with three Soldiers about spiritual matters. We talked about the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the state of our souls when we die. So very profitable. I’m not sure this discussion would have happened otherwise. During our dinnertime on Friday night I asked them to share how they maintain themselves spiritually and what are the best ways to grow in the faith. I wanted to provide a venue for them to open up and provide input as the Spirit directed…Since the trip I’ve been able to talk with the Soldiers more on a personal level. Trips like this create valuable bonding experiences between a Chaplain and his Soldiers.” (See his “storyboard” below.)
Finally, our last trip of the spring season was with a group of dads and their sons to the North Fork of the New River in the NC mountains. Here is a brief excerpt from a note Chaplain Kevin Tremble sent shortly after the event:
“We had a blast; you and Dave were such a blessing. The guys talked about the trip today in the Staff meeting. The BC wants to meet you so we can work towards a time when you can come through.” (See pics and storyboard below.)
This significance of this is two-fold: First, the commander of this Special Forces group wants greater engagement with OR. Second, the word about OR is getting out with the men under the care of the chaplain, and this expands his opportunities to minister to his men.
My hope is that you see God is working. I am grateful to Him that every event was used in a unique way to show the truth of the Gospel. I am also grateful that He has linked OR up with solid chaplains who understand that ministry happens in the field, not in some church foyer. Continue to pray for God to open doors for effective ministry.
The second session of marriage enrichment event led by Dr. Archie Bost
Maj. Clebe McClary, winner of the Silver and Bronze Stars for bravery in Vietnam, sharing his story with the group at the marriage enrichment event
Official storyboard from coastal trip
Chaplain Kevin Tremble and his son Capt. Nate Tremble on New River trip. Both are serving in Special Forces.
Dad and son float on the New River
First fish ever
Storyboard for New River