Care Package Thank You from the Middle East!

By Chaplain Dan Rice, US Army

Sir, [Chaplain Andy Meverden]

I apologize for the delay. With the many different computers and redeploying and deploying again, I can only find these 2 photos.  In our work area, we were not allowed to have personal phones or cameras, so we must get a unit photographer to take pictures as we coordinated for them.

Please let our supporters know that their care packages arrived safely in Kuwait and though some were used by our unit personnel located there, most of them we forwarded on to Iraq and Syria where living conditions were harder. Our service members in Iraq and Syria do not have all the comforts that we had in Kuwait.

The donors who so lovingly took time and energy to send us packages should know that their gifts were a blessing to so many. They were God’s hands reaching out in love toward our service members who are far from home and family.  I was totally blown away by how much was sent in Jesus’ name.  Thank you and please thank them for us.

Respectfully,

CH (LTC) Dan Rice
CJTF-OIR Chaplain Section
III Corps Deputy Command Chaplain

Chaplain Andy writes:  One of the best ways to send Care Packages to forward-deployed servicemembers is through chaplains.  Little did we know that these would end up literally on the front lines of battle.  In such situations, the troops are provided with MREs and water.  It’s like Christmas, when a Care Package filled with “lickys and chewys” shows up!  Finally knowing the background, we can understand the delayed response.  For other ministry and Care Package reports go to http://cbamerica.org/category/chaplaincy/. For information on endorsement for military and civilian chaplaincy, contact Andy Meverden at chapandy@cbamerica.org.

Battle Field Circulation: First Deployment Update

By Ryan Luchau, Chaplain
Montana Army National Guard, Afghanistan

Good Day All,

Just want to send a quick update while I have a few minutes waiting to get onto a bird that will take us to our next location to visit our Soldiers.  This is essentially our ministry, getting to travel to eight small remote bases throughout Afghanistan to meet and offer Religious Support to our Soldiers.

We are wrapping up our second round of “BFC” or Battle Field Circulation.  Some of our visits are welcomed and some we are there for a quick visit to gauge morale and then are gone.  I often find myself considering the life and times of Paul as he traveled and was building the Church, knowing he was not always welcomed and in opposition.

I am connecting with 30 of my Soldiers daily with encouraging words through Facebook Messenger and we are bringing snacks and hygiene items to our Montana Soldiers as we travel.  We also just started the small group study “Case for Christ” with six Soldiers at our home base, which has been wonderful for all of us.  We just recently surpassed the 25% mark in the deployment which is hard to believe, and as we move forward I trust more hearts will turn towards Christ through relational ministry.

I will leave this correspondence with some prayer requests. Thank you for your time, love and prayer. I think of my family and our support often and thank you tremendously for your contribution to my journey.

Prayer Requests:
–For visits to see Soldiers to be fruitful and glorifying to God.

–For the Bible Studies and growth amongst some Soldiers who were not Christian prior to this deployment to continue.

–For my continued growth and development. My greatest request to God in this journey has been for Him to place strong Christian men in my path to help me grow and He has done nothing short of this…and tenfold.

–For my spiritual gifts to continue to be utilized.

–For Angie and our kids. Being a “single parent” is proving to build character for all of them.

–And last, for our Soldiers and my connection with them to prosper. Some are experiencing challenges at home.  Because we are scattered, we have been limited with the ability to counsel and encourage promptly, yet at the same time, we have learned how to be resourceful to support immediate needs.

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Director of Chaplaincy, Andy Meverden adds: “Though written to me and a few others, Ryan’s update and insight informs and encourages us all. Quietly, there’s been an uptick in the number of our chaplains deployed away from their families; many into harm’s way.  Join me in praying for Ryan, his family, and the other 195 CBAmerica chaplains and their families scattered across the US and around the world.”

For more stories of and about chaplains, log onto www.cbamerica.org/chaplaincy. For more information about chaplaincy, or to request a brochure, email Andy at chapandy@cbamerica.org.

 

Navy Chaplain Reflects on First Year with the Marines

By Chaplain Donald Nelson,
US Navy, 29 Palms Marine Corps Training Base

Hello from 29 Palms, California!

Over the past year I have served my first duty station as a Navy chaplain in Combat Logistics Battalion 7 (CLB7) at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twenty-Nine Palms, California.

Life in the desert can be challenging at times because of the distance from city life. The challenges are the extreme heat, being off the grid and far from urban amenities. The desert does have its perks, such as great hiking, beautiful sunsets and sunrises, and the best nighttime view of the stars.

Training is the lifeblood of a Logistics Battalion. We are often in a supporting role to other units who come to train at our base. Serving and connecting with Marines and Sailors happens in a variety of ways; whether that be in the field or through “deck plate” (i.e. workplace) ministry.

Those relationships have strengthened my resiliency and challenged me physically.  Spiritually, God has been working on me and allowing me to experience the joys of serving the Marines and Sailors who God has placed in my path.  Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.  And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers (1 John 3:16).  I often remember this text when a challenge presents itself.  My RP (Religious Program Specialist/Navy Chaplain Assistant) often says, “this is good training.”  I have often borrowed this quote from him.

In trials and in times of celebrations I have been trying to cultivate a heart of gratitude.  This has helped me stay motivated.  Thanking God for those things we take for granted keeps me dependent on him, and my attitude upbeat. Marines and Sailors need a voice of encouragement.  As John Maxwell says, “Encouragement is oxygen for the Soul.”  This has been the greatest blessing; to add encouragement to the Marines and Sailors I support.

I pray God will continue to make me  a source of support and blessing to CLB7.  Pray for me, my Marines, and Sailors to grow in unity as a Battalion, and to be resiliently strong as we face the challenges that God puts in our path.

Praying with David, “May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace!”

Donald Nelson
Battalion Chaplain USN
August 2018

 

Andy Meverden, Director of Chaplaincy adds: “The Navy provides chaplains for the Navy, Marine Corps, and US Coast Guard; thus a Navy chaplain potentially can serve tours in all three branches of the “sea services,” each with their own unique culture. Donald Nelson is the newest of sixteen CBAmerica Navy chaplains.  Join me in thanking God for a productive first year, remembering his prayer concerns shared above.”

For more stories by and about CBAmerica’s 195 chaplains, military and civilian, visit our website at www.cbamerica.org/chaplaincy. For information on chaplain endorsement, contact me at chapandy@cbamerica.org.