Keeping Short Accounts: Chaplain on a Mission to Make Things Right

Chaplain Jason Dong, Oregon Army National Guard, Kosovo

Dear Friends,

 “At least it wasn’t a person”.  Those were the kind words of a Kosovo Serbian living in Southern Kosovo after a U.S. patrol accidentally ran over and killed one of her chickens that wandered into the road.  I had the privilege of joining the mission to replace her chicken.  It was an adventure buying another chicken and trying to remember the exact location of the “scene of the crime”.  We eventually found her house and surprised her with a beautiful laying hen.  The gesture meant the world to her and she invited our team to have drinks and snacks in her humble countryside home.  This reminded me of the saying, “keep short accounts” and how going out of one’s way to make things right can build strong bridges.  

COVID restrictions have eased up a bit for KFOR (Kosovo Force) so our Unit Ministry Team was able to attend a few events in the last two weeks.  We had a visit with another Serbian Orthodox Priest in a town in the most Northern part of Kosovo. 

We also attended a prayer breakfast on 9/11 at one of our camps.  The keynote speaker was KFOR Chief of Staff Brigadier General Larry Henry.  He gave an encouraging and powerful testimony to God and his Word.  Finally, we were able to have a meeting with the KFOR Commander Major General Michele Risi (Italy).  He was very interested in how the U.S. Army chaplaincy functioned and was very supportive of our role in caring for Soldiers.

Praises/thanks:  1)  Easing COVID restrictions  2)  Words and testimony of BG Henry  3)  Continued opportunities in ministry  4)  Good health  5)  God’s continued provision

Prayer requests:  1)  Diligence in finishing strong  2)  Wisdom/guidance in preparing Soldiers for transition back home  3)  Holy Spirit’s work through chapels and Bible studies  4)  Good health  5)  Peace and protection for family back home

Quote of the Week:  “For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”  –Ephesians 2:8-9 

Thanks for your prayers and encouragement!  Have a blessed week!

Sincerely in Christ,
Jason Alan Dong   

For more stories by and about our chaplains, visit us a www.cbamerica.org/chaplaincy. For information of endorsement for chaplaincy, email Director Randy Brandt at chapbrandt@cbamerica.org.

Mobilized for Ministry: Guard Chaplain Points Soldiers to the Master

By Chaplain John Hatfield, Rhode Island National Guard

Matthew 8:27 “… even the winds and the sea obey him!”

This past quarter I have been blessed by the LORD in many ways. I was activated for the Rhode  Island National Guard back in March and have been serving as Brigade Chaplain for the COVID mission here. During this time, I have been given an unprecedented opportunity to get to know a vast number of Soldiers I would normally not have access to.

Not only to get to know them on a personal level, but to continually and gently remind them that there is a God Who is in control of things and has a purpose in how events unfold – especially when facing unexpected “storms” in life. At a time when so many are disoriented by change and uncertainty, I have had the amazing opportunity to point to the One who speaks a Word and “even the winds and the sea obey him!” At a time when so many are unsettled by the political, social and civil unrest, I have had the amazing opportunity to point to the One who assuredly brings peace. What a great blessing it is to know the stability of the LORD as the storms rage around us! May He continue to sustain us in the stormy days ahead.

Please Pray for:

  • Continued opportunities to share Christ and boldness to make the most of them.
  • Revival in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

God was not caught by surprise. He already had a team of military chaplains to accompany the 100,000-plus National Guard Soldiers called up to help with the COVID-19 response. Join me in thanking God for the holy boldness of Chaplain Hatfield, along with that of the 200+ CBAmerica chaplains called into all aspects of the C19 fray. Pray for wisdom, health, ready-response and safety for these and other Guard members being called up to quell rioting and looting. For more stories by and about our chaplains, visit us a www.cbamerica.org/chaplaincy. For information of endorsement for chaplaincy, email Director Randy Brandt at chapbrandt@cbamerica.org.

Deployed Chaplain Encourages Local Missionary-Pastor in War-torn Balkans

By Chaplain Jason Dong, Oregon Army National Guard, Kosovo

Dear Friends,

Greetings!  I hope this finds you well and standing on the promises of God day by day.  COVID cases among the Kosovo population are going down so that is a good sign.  However, we continue to have positive tests among our multinational partners.  Despite continuing restrictions, I was able to venture out into the community last week.

One of those days was a very special religious leader engagement with Pastor “E.”.  He pastors The Word Church, a Protestant Evangelical church.  He and his wife “F.” shared their testimony.  It was a pure joy to meet these heroes of the faith.  Despite a Muslim upbringing they became Christians as teenagers in Kosovo’s capital city Pristina when a mission team from the Netherlands came and held outreach meetings.  They felt called to plant a church in another city not far from where my base is.  For the first five years they had no one.  Then in year five they began getting phone calls from the community for Bibles.  Then they had their first convert, “F”, whom we met which now serves as a deacon in the church. 

Altogether they have been there 15 years serving approximately 100 families with an average attendance of about 45-50 each Sunday.  Our meeting was the first time Pastor “E” has ever met a chaplain from KFOR (Kosovo  Force). They shared how God has protected them from various threats over the years and are in the process of purchasing a new space that will accommodate more people.  Pictured is also a fast food business that helped support the church, but due to COVID it shut down. 

There are two churches in the U.S. that support them financially for various projects and send short term mission teams each year to hold youth camps and adult seminars.  They hope to move into their new space by October 1st.  It was a privilege to fellowship with them and I hope to be able to visit again as they move into their new space.

Praises/thanks:  1)  Meeting Pastor “E” and his wife  2) God’s continued provision  3)  Good health  4)  Continued opportunities in ministry

Prayer requests:  1)  God’s protection upon The Word Church as they move into their new space  2)  Continued protection, peace and safety for the Soldiers  3)  Continued wisdom and guidance in daily ministry  4)  Physical, emotional, spiritual strength to finish strong  5)  Holy Spirit’s work in those attending chapel/Bible study  6)  Peace, health and protection for family back home.  

Quote of the Week:  “Religion says, ‘I obey; therefore I am accepted.’  Christianity says, ‘I am accepted, therefore I obey.'”  –Alistair Begg

Thank you for your prayers and encouragement.

“Religious Leader Engagement” is one of our military chaplain’s responsibilities.   Taking the initiative to contact leaders of all faiths positively influence civil-military relations. If there’s any place on earth where this has been needed and beneficial, it’s in the Balkans where Chaplain Dong currently serves. Pray for wisdom, grace and health for Jason and his fellow-soldiers, as they serve as ambassadors of good will and safety in Kosovo.

For more stories by and about our chaplains, visit us a www.cbamerica.org/chaplaincy. For information of endorsement for chaplaincy, email Director Randy Brandt at chapbrandt@cbamerica.org.