Baptizing Chapel Community Members in World’s Biggest Baptistry

By Chaplain Chester Olson, Wheeler Army Airfield, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii

 

Baptizing and Teaching:

April 8th, 2018, on the North Shore of Oahu, we baptized 6 members from our Wheeler chapel community. Prior to the baptism, I taught 5 weeks of pre-baptism classes for the candidates. We had a great time learning about salvation, our commitment to serve Christ and the importance of baptism.

Military life can be challenging for both service members and their families. The chapel community offers a place to call home while developing a deeper commitment to Christ as a family. All those that were baptized in April were family members of Active Duty Soldiers.

 

Learning and Teaching:

Thank you for your prayers!

The kids love their new school and my wife, Nami, is doing well.

I go to class four days a week and read on average 100 pages per day. School is challenging and fast-paced. I appreciate prayer that I will keep up with my work, understand the content, and do well. My area of study is Religion and Culture.  I do not have to complete a thesis.  It was optional, and I opted for two extra classes rather than the thesis.

Princeton is beautiful, and we are enjoying the new community. I should find out in December about my follow-on assignment.  I will either be teaching at the Defense Language Institute at the Presidio of Monterey, California or Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

 

Director’s Note: Chaplain Olson is one of four CBAmerica chaplains in 2018 who was selected for promotion and advanced schooling in the Army Continuing Education System.  Following completion of this graduate program, he will be assigned as a subject matter expert (SME) at an Army educational institution.  Pray for Chester and Nami as they take time to “sharpen the axe” in preparation for future ministry opportunities.

For more stories by and about CBAmerica chaplains, go to www.cbamerica.org/chaplaincy.  To receive a copy of our general and endorsement brochures, contact Chaplain Andy Meverden at chapandy@cbamerica.org.

Ministry to Midshipmen: Baptizing in the Severn

By Chaplain Jon Uyboco, US Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, Intro by Andy Meverden

Chaplains are generally a humble lot.  Occasionally I stumble onto hints of effective ministry and probe a bit deeper and find exciting results.  Completing his first-year ministry report as a battalion chaplain at the US Naval Academy, chaplain Jon Uyboco casually listed leading a contemporary Sunday night service and thirteen baptisms. I dug deeper and this is what I found:

“The Sunday night service is great, and I do bring my family to it. It is one of the few opportunities they have to be a part of what I am doing.  You are completely right about the impact that their presence has on the Mids.  So many of the Midshipmen love seeing and interacting with my four kids.

I’ve been able to participate in three baptisms this year – one was in May before graduation and commissioning, a second was during Plebe Summer Parent’s Weekend, and the third was in September after the start of the Academic Year.  In each situation it was great to be able to hear testimonies of God’s work in the lives of the Midshipmen.  It is an honor to be able to play a part in their spiritual journey at the Naval Academy.  I like to conduct my baptisms in the Severn River. Often, graduates refer to their time at the Naval Academy as “Four years by the Severn,” so it is a very meaningful location for them.  I know that they will always remember being baptized there, and I pray that it will anchor their faith and hope in Christ throughout the challenges they will face in life.

Here’s a bit of Naval Academy Tradition:

The Plebes* are required to memorize many different rates (the trivia/slogans that the plebes are required to memorize) during Plebe Summer.  One of them is a response to the question, “How long have you been in the Navy?” Their response begins with the words, “All me bloomin’ life, sir!  Me mother was a mermaid, me father was King Neptune.  I was born on the crest of a wave and rocked in the cradle of the deep…”

After the baptism, we were all walking back to Bancroft Hall together, and the plebes added another phrase to this answer, “… and baptized in the Severn!” It was a fun time for everyone, and I was happy that they were able to share that moment with their parents.  Of course, I was most excited about the baptism last May when I was also able to baptize my son, Kai. The pictures that I have included are from that baptism.”

Pray for Jonathan and Suzanna (and four children) as they minister to future leadership of the US Navy. Pray for continued impact of Bible Studies, discipleship, contemporary worship and chaplain duties with the Midshipmen football team.

For more stories about and by CBAmerica chaplains link to www.cbamerica.org/chaplaincy.  For information on endorsement in a wide variety of chaplain specialties (military and civilian), email Andy Meverden, Director of Chaplaincy at chapandy@cbamerica.org.

*Note: “Plebe: a newly entered cadet or freshman, especially at a military academy.”

We Won’t be Home for Christmas: Call for Prayer

By Chaplain Phil Persing, USArmy Middle East, with Andy Meverden

Director of Chaplaincy Andy Meverden writes:

Phil Persing is CBAmerica’s newest active duty Army chaplain. His unit has been fighting the good fight in the Middle East.  The commander valued Phil’s ministry so much that he’s keeping him with the main body till the end. That means he’ll miss the upcoming holidays.  Join me in praying for Phil, his Family, his Soldiers, and their Families who won’t be home for Christmas, this year.

Phil shares some of his greatest blessings:

  • Providing care to deployed Soldiers through counseling has been an unparalleled blessing.
  • Many in my unit are on their first deployment (including myself) and are experiencing the unique challenges that come with it.
  • Many Soldiers have encouraged me by sharing that my willingness to sit with them and provide guidance has made a significant difference in their ability to adapt and thrive.
  • One Soldier recently told me, “If you are ever doubting your value as a chaplain, let me assure you that you have helped me more than I ever thought possible.” All I could say in response was, “Praise God.”
  • I am thankful that His hand is at work in my ministry and that He is encouraging me with comments like that.

Phil adds some important prayer concerns:

  • Please pray that my wife Beckie and five boys would continue to courageously trust God and find His joy for the remainder of the deployment.
  • We anticipate that spending the holidays apart will be very challenging, and all the Soldiers in my unit are in the same situation.
  • Thank God for our safety and pray for continued health and safety, salvation of souls, and victory over sin among those in my unit.
  • Beckie and I would also appreciate prayers that God would mercifully provide a buyer for our home in Pennsylvania (it’s been on the market a long time).

Phil’s quarterly ministry summary depicts an intentional, focused, broad, and responsive ministry: Worship services: 13, Bible studies: 14, Crisis interventions: 12, Rededications: 5

“Last month I led the invocation at opening ceremonies for the Air Force birthday. They presented me a certificate of appreciation for supporting them (I am the only Chaplain in our area which has Army, Navy and Air Force presence).  The photo features me with the local AF Commander.”

“On September 11 we organized a 24-hour continuous run with the U.S. Colors, with individuals trading off in half-hour shifts. Attached is a photo of me running with the American flag on my shift. I also hosted a ceremony for Patriot Day that morning.”

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Chaplain Persing is one of 195 chaplains currently endorsed by CBAmerica. A short while ago, he responded to God’s call to serve the Soldiers, Civilians and their Families as their chaplain. His wife, Beckie, and their five young sons eagerly await their husband and father’s safe return home.  Will you pray for them as they serve God and Country every day?

For more stories of and by chaplains, go to www.cbamerica.org/chaplaincy.  For information on what it takes to be endorsed as chaplain, military or civilian, email Andy Meverden at chapandy@cbamerica.org.