Well, we have completed our first month of deployment here in Bahrain. For me it has been a slow start since I have to wait to learn the rhythm of the Squadron before I can adjust to serve the Marines and Sailors effectively and efficiently. We have been busy though setting up our office spaces and implementing our services of ministry opportunities and relationship building activities. I am not conducting any religious services during our time here because there is a Chaplain that is assigned to the base whose role is to provide services so we fall into his Sunday service as well as weekly Bible Studies.
I have started the Holy Smokes Fellowship which is a weekly cigar smoke to allow Marines to get away from the business of deployment and sit back, relax and enjoy time building relationships with other Marines and myself. We have a steady group of about seven Marines that are coming each week to that and we hope to continue to grow but are excited about the seven that are coming.
We have, in our office space, a care package corner where we have shelves full of hygiene, snacks and other entertainment items (books, magazines, movies) for the Marines to take and use. We also have a coffee mess for them to use. These things are great because it allows me the opportunity to see the Marines and interact with them when they come into the office.
We have started doing some cultural tours around the island of Bahrain. We are visiting different sites to allow the Marines to get to know the location and culture of where we are in the world. It is a very different place than what we are used to. It is enjoyable time to get off base and take the Marines to these locations and help them to see something that is new. On the first trip we went to the Bahrain Fort, the Souq (Market), and the King’s Camel
This month was Halloween so the Religious Program Specialist, two other Marines and I conducted a reverse trick-or-treat. A reverse trick-or-treat is where we dress up in costumes and bring candy to the Marines. It was awesome to see the smiles and the laughing because of how ridiculous we looked; but it was worth it.
We have a good schedule out here and it allows for some free time in the evenings to do whatever we need to. I have been doing really well with going to the gym 2 times a day for most of the first month and have lost about 12 lbs. already and plan to lose more as we continue. I have also had the time to get some reading in and have already read a couple of books and keep on reading. The food is good here which means I have to pay attention because it could be contrary to my goal to lose weight! We also have good internet connections in our rooms so I have the ability to skype and email my family regularly so that has been a joy to get to see my family.
The family is doing well in Indiana, staying with my wife’s mom. It is starting to get colder but they are using every moment they can, while the temperature is good, to play outside and go to the zoo. Everyone is getting bigger, especially Avery who is 10 months now. Liz sends me lots of pictures and sends me care packages with letters and art from kids so I can enjoy their many talents. They have even sent me some Lego sets so I can have fun as well!
Thank you for your continued support of love and prayers. Keep them coming. Below I have made a few lists of prayer requests and also items that can be sent in care packages if you desire to send some.
- Safety of our Marines standing post and traveling
- Safety of Families back home
- Relationships that are struggling
- Opportunities to tell Marines about Christ/ encourage them in their faith
Care Package Needs
- Hygiene items – liquid soap, shaving cream, razors, foot powder, tooth brushes, tooth paste, mouth wash, hand sanitizers, lotion, shower shoes, sun screen.
- Food – snacks, candy bars, drink mixes, coffee supplies (Sugars, creamers, NO coffee)
- Entertainment – Books, movies, CDs, board games, musical instruments, thank you cards.
- Holidays – Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year decorations. Cards to Marines and blank cards for them to send home.
Send items to:
Chaplain Boon, Nathan
SPMAGTF MWSS 372 (Bravo Co)
FPO AP 96610-0189