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 Brandy 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 Brandy at chapbrandt@cbamerica.org.

Growing Through Adversity

Click here to view Growing Through Adversity Video

”Growing Through Adversity” is a documentary in which several couples share their personal, often challenging, marriage experiences, to provide encouragement to others who want to build strong marriages. U.S. Army Chaplain Corps and Army Leaders, as well as other special guests, open up their lives to the audience, to share a path forward during these difficult times.

Special guests in the film include Tim and Demi Tebow, Tony Dungy, James Woods, Blair Underwood, Johnny Gill, Vanna White, Sam Elliott, Jeff Daniels, and Drew Carey.

The film is designed to encourage the Army’s Soldiers and their Families, by creating spaces where couples are encouraged to grow stronger together

C19 Prison Ministry Impact: Change of Pace and Venue

By Joel Van Sant, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Fort Dix, NJ

Over the past 6 months, I have experienced a lot of change at Fort Dix. At the beginning of the year, I was able to start and lead a program that helped inmates work through the spiritual struggle of pornography addiction. After advertising the class, we had over 70 inmates sign-up and participate. Unfortunately, a few weeks after starting the class, we had to temporarily stop the class due to Covid-19.

Chaplain Joel Van Sant

The past few months have had a different change of pace. Up until March of 2020, the chaplaincy department had been running at top speed. All of that slowed down in the middle of March. As the corona virus began to spread in our area, it was in the best interest of the inmates and employees to move to a modified movement schedule. During these months, we have not had any inmates in our chapel. Instead, we have had the opportunity to go to the housing units. This has been an unforeseen blessing. When the chapel was open, we were almost always doing ministry within the four walls of the chapel. Now we have opportunity to be a spiritual light in the housing units. While we are having an impact on the inmates, we are also able to invest and provide a sense of hope and peace to the officers in the units. It has been amazing to see how a dark situation can provide an avenue for God to work in the hearts of those on this compound.

One of the greatest blessings I have experienced over the past six months was Resurrection Sunday. As chaplains, we have not led any services in the units due to the CDC guidelines. Even though we were not leading services in the units, it was encouraging to hear that the inmates still observed and celebrated Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday in their respective housing units. I was so grateful to hear the news that the inmates were able to celebrate such a special time of year, despite the circumstances.

Though the ministry has changed over the past few months, I have had to remain flexible and realize that my ministry is truly a ministry of service. I continue to bring necessary items from the chapel to the housing units and cannot help but think of the words of Christ, “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve.”

Please Pray:

I encourage you to keep our chaplains in prayer. During this pandemic, our style of ministry has changed from preaching and teaching to more one-on-one interactions. This has been a difficult transition for some of our chaplains.

Also, pray for our staff as they continue to provide safety and security during a very difficult time.

Finally, pray for our inmates who have struggled to be away from family during such a dark time in our world. The days get very monotonous for them.


Join us in praying for Chaplain Van Sant and our 200 other chaplains facing the challenges of the COVID19 pandemic. Despite the obstacles, Spirit-led creativity and persistence is yielding positive results around the world.

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

CB Chaplains Team Up to Provide Ministry in Middle East

By Chaplain Tim Miller, New York Army National Guard, Middle East

Chaplain Tim Miller

This quarter I was able to answer the call from CH (MAJ) Adam Kawaguchi to help provide religious support to U.S. Military forces in Jordan. Adam has become a good friend and co-laborer. Between the two of us and our NCO’s we have been able to provide a good amount of religious support to those in need. This move has resulted in a significant increase in worship services provided, which for me has been exciting!

COVID-19 has put a serious restraint on many religious services, but thankfully my Division has been looking for opportunity to overcome these obstacles. We have resorted to Spiritual ruck marches and many religious field services. Our Public Affairs Officer did an article on our Task Force’s response during this time period.

https://www.usarcent.army.mil/News/Article/2219690/spartan-chaplains-maintain-morale-and-faith-in-spite-of-covid-19/ Both CH (CPT) Matt Granahan and I are mentioned in this article, along with my Division chaplain.

Being over 60% complete with this mission has been an encouragement. I look forward to what else God has for my Chaplain Section, and the rest of my Division.

Prayer Concerns:

  • The continued safety of the 42nd Infantry Division and our loved ones back home.
  • Pray or my return to NY and if the Lord will’s my continuation of AGR orders, or transition to federal technician status as a full-time support Chaplain.
  • Prayers for fellow CB chaplains, CH (MAJ) Adam Kawaguchi, and CH (CPT) Matt Granahan. They have both been great friends and co-laborers in the Lord. I pray they return to their loved ones safe and sound.

Join us in praying for Chaplains Miller, Kawaguchi, Granahan stationed in the Middle East and our 200 other chaplains facing the challenges of the COVID19 pandemic. Despite the obstacles, Spirit-led creativity and persistence is yielding positive results around the world.

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

Living With the End in View: A Timely Book for the Miramar Brig

By Chaplain Dan Klender, USN, Miramar Marine Corps Naval Air Station

While transiting back to the states from the British Indian Ocean Territories in October 2018, I spent ten days in Yokosuka, Japan. While there, I was able to fellowship with one of our great Navy chaplains, Jonathan Stephens, and his lovely family. After an incredibly busy tour at Diego Garcia, I finally had some free time to resume writing a book I had started several months earlier, Living With the End in View: Escaping the Tyranny of the Here and Now

This work is not about the signs of the times, or the apocalypse, but eternal rewards. Unbeknownst to all of us, the COVID pandemic invaded our lives in early 2020.  

As the chaplain for at Navy Consolidated Brig Miramar, California, I began to reflect on how this book might encourage our prisoner population and others. As you might imagine, prisoners often find themselves mired in the swamp of despair. 

While they eagerly anticipate the day of their release, they fear considerable challenges of employment, re-assimilation into society, family reintegration, and social ostracization. 

I began to wonder how the book might offer hope to this segment of the body of Christ. I quickly made several copies available through the chapel library. 

The feedback I received from many of the prisoners reading the book was positive.  

C.S. Lewis asserted, “God is not as interested in what a man is currently, but what he is becoming.” This is a quote I often cite to the men and women at the BRIG. Erstwhile United States Senate chaplain, Peter Marshall, was surely correct while rhapsodizing, “It is better to fail in a cause that will ultimately succeed than to succeed in a cause that will ultimately fail.”  

Below is an excerpt from Living With the End in View: Escaping the Tyranny of the Here and Now.

What Are You Living For? 

Corporal Jason Dunham was born on November 10th, the Marine Corps’ birthday. As a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, Dunham was born to be a Marine. What did Corporal Dunham do to merit the U.S. military’s most distinguished award? He had been leading a fire team of Marines who were ambushed. He quickly found himself locked in hand-to-hand combat with an insurgent. As an Iraqi militant had seized Dunham by the neck, he shouted to team members, “Watch out he has a grenade in his hand!” At which point the insurgent tossed the grenade into the group of Marines after releasing his grip from Dunham. This brave young Marine without a seconds’ hesitation thrust his Kevlar (helmet) and body over the grenade to shield his fellow Marines from the impact. 

Dunham was mortally wounded, dying eight days later at Bethesda Naval Medical Center. For his heroism, he was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor and had a U.S. Destroyer, the Jason Dunham named for him.  

The pastor officiating at his memorial service remarked: “Jason died as he lived, caring more about others than himself.”    

The selfless heroics of this dauntless Marine rise out of a warriors’ mentality that greets death with a wink and a nod. Such warriors, much like America’s founding fathers, “mutually pledge to each other their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.” After hugging their family members before deployment, Navy Seals, Army Rangers, and Special Operations Marines embrace the sobering prospect that it may be their final farewell. In brief, they live with the end in view.  


Once again, a CBAmerica chaplain publishes a timely book on a relevant topic. Published by Covenant Books on May 6th, 2020, Chaplain Dan Klender’s work can be purchased on Amazon and wherever good books are sold.

For more stories by and about CBAmerica chaplaincies, visit www.cbamerica.org/chaplaincy. To inquire about endorsement for chaplaincy, email Randy Brandt at chapbrandt@cbamerica.org.

Pandemic Ministry: Air Force Chaplains baptize and disciple despite challenges

By Chaplain Steve Kim, USAF, Sheppard AFB, TX

Greetings Sir/Gentlemen,

I hope you had a wonderful 4th of July!!!

The base commander had a fireworks show on base where we could see it from our driveway (on base) – it was great!!

My Wing (senior supervisory) Chaplain retired – it was tough to see him go — he was prior enlisted and served for 36 years!!  My immediate supervisor is transferring to a new location – and it is also tough to see him go.  He has been a great mentor and friend. It is always so tough to see good people leave and to let them go. 

Big praise – I was ranked #2 of 8 chaplains with a recommendation to attend Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) training in the future.  I’m very blessed and humbled by that.  I hope to attend CPE in the future. 

Here are some pictures from this quarter’s baptisms (April – June).  It was wonderful to have the opportunity to baptize an Airman on Easter Sunday and the Sunday afterwards.  Two Airmen are following their call to serve as a military chaplain (and one of the Airmen was my Chaplain Assistant):

My supervisor (Protestant Chaplain) and I had the privilege to baptize these great Airmen during covid-19 – what a blessing!! 

My Chaplain Assistant / Religious Affairs Airman is standing right next to me – he was born in Ghana and he is now a US citizen – his dad is also a Pastor!! Pastor’s kids unite!- lol!!

I pray you & your family are doing well!

Thank you for your prayers and support.

Many Blessings,
Steve

Steve Kim, 1st Lt, USAF
Chaplain (Active Duty)
Sheppard AFB, TX

RESPONSE TO RACIAL INJUSTICE

I have grieved over the murder of George Floyd and grieved for his family as he was laid to rest this past week. Outrage over the incident has spread across the country. People are angry, disturbed, heartbroken. That includes us as leaders of CBAmerica. We are frustrated that these incidences continue to happen with no change in sight. We lament and recognize they are part of American history where thousands upon thousands of names could be added.

I believe that we cannot shy away from these issues. CBA believes that God has created every person in His own image, with inherent value that cannot be taken away. We recognize and repent, that we have not been more proactive as followers of Jesus Christ, that we have allowed indifference, politics and our agendas to divide us. Satan would love nothing more than to see us divide over these issues rather than applying the gospel to them.

When we say that the gospel changes everything, we need to be willing to examine ourselves to see where we need heart change. We recognize that we have not been listening well to the brokenness of all those in minority communities. We have not taken the time to learn about the injustices that they have experienced and endured. We confess that needs to change. Isaiah says, “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows (53:4)”. We want the heart of our Savior, to bear griefs and sorrows, to heal the brokenhearted, provide liberty, righteousness and justice. We ask for forgiveness of any way we have not walked in step with the gospel concerning these issues.

“…the gospel changes everything, we need to be willing to examine ourselves to see where we need heart change.”

We grieve with our brothers and sisters in the African American community, along with all minorities who have similar experiences in life. We can’t possibly understand how this makes them feel, but we do choose to listen to them when they talk about their anger, fears and frustrations.

“We believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ tears down barriers, and that the Church is to provide hope that through Jesus …”

We oppose any kind of injustice. We believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ tears down barriers, and that the Church is to provide hope that through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, the hostility and division that exist between peoples are reconciled. “For he himself is our peace, who…destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility…to create in himself one new humanity…thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility (Ephesians 2:14–16). We believe we should use our resources and the influence that we have to bring true peace.

We also oppose lawlessness as a means of addressing these issues. We believe all authorities, (including police and civil authorities) are ministers of God (Romans 13:1-7). We also believe that all authority and their policies should be under accountability and that there are legal means by which grievances can and should be dealt with.

We are committed to listening, learning and leveraging our network to listen to the voices that need to be heard. We will take action to be a part of the solution, asking the question of Micah 6:8…And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

God calls us to the ministry of reconciliation through the gospel. He gives us the responsibility to call people in broken and estranged relationships to be reconciled to God and to one another through the work of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:18-21) …to bring peace.

God calls us to the ministry of reconciliation through the gospel.

CBAmerica will deeply examine where we have missed God’s calling. It is our prayer that we will join with our Lord, who enjoys the diversity of human creation, which He created for His glory and good pleasure. Regardless of our racial and cultural differences, we will hold the clear and uncompromising teachings of Scripture as our final authority in all matters.

It is our prayer, that our Lord’s Kingdom will come, that His will is done, on earth as it is in heaven. That we will celebrate now, what all followers of Jesus will one day experience:
And they sang a new song, saying: You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:9-10).

Thank you all for coming alongside us as we develop a better CBAmerica as we venture together, advancing gospel-centered transformational churches in every community we touch!

Sincerely,

Dr David Whitaker
President, CBAmerica
on behalf of the Regional Executive Directors

COVID19 Ministry: Reaching Airmen through Innovative Means

Chaplain Torrey Garrison, USAFR, Keesler AFB, Biloxi, MS

Chaplain Torrey Garrison is a United States Air Force Reserve Chaplain Major assigned to RAF Mildenhall north of London.  He is married to Carrie and has three children and two grandchildren. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic the military grounded all reserve members from traveling overseas.  He fell back to Keesler Air Force Base to tele-work.  During this time, he was assigned to provide a series of sermon videos to be used for their members on Sunday morning.  This is his sermon from Memorial Day Sunday, “Five Qualities of a Good Soldier.”

Also, you can keep up with Chaplain Garrison a little at www.torreygarrison.com

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Join us in thanking God for inspiring creative response to COVID19 restrictions through modern means.  Despite, limitations due to social distancing, Chaplain Garrison, along with other CBAmerica chaplain colleagues, have taken a lemon and made lemonade.  Pray for their resilience and sustainment through these difficult days.

For more stories by and about CBAmerica chaplains, visit http://cbamerica.org/category/chaplaincy/.

To discuss endorsement for a wide variety of chaplain subspecialties, email Randy Brandy, director of chaplaincy, at chapbrandt@cbamerica.org.

New Dress Code for Hospital Chaplains: COVID-19 PPE

By Chaplain Gordon Ruddick, Peace Health Medical Center, Springfield, Oregon

Chaplain Gordon Ruddick

As chaplains, we’ve always been required to wear “business casual” to work. Still true. Now, though,  there’s a new addition. All employees are required to wear a yellow, slightly itchy, hospital mask during our workday. In order to enter one of only three entrances we must all successfully pass the temperature check, give our identifying information, and tell them how we feel. Then the mask. No exceptions. And no homemade masks allowed in the hospital. Only the yellow ones, except in special situations when N-95 masks are required for more dangerous duty.

These days it’s more “serious business” and a lot less “casual.” The war continues. And we are the front lines. As a chaplain I am not seeing COVID-19 patients directly, but definitely am at times involved with other staff who have been in the heat of that battle. My job has changed focus from patients to staff. There are no family or visitors these days, except for those on both ends of life, the ones coming in and the ones going out. Those folks can have very limited visitation from a family member. Of course I still see patients as well. I am one of their few visitors.    

While this pandemic is a bother to many in our community, a loss of business for a multitude, and a definite disruption to schedules and plans to millions, it is as well a source of concern and danger for us who are serving in this place. You are supposed to stay home. We are supposed to go to work. And there are days when that is not easy. Especially the first few days when everything was very eerie. It is a place of danger as well as a place of duty. This is who I am. This is what I have been called to do. We feel that way. It’s why we stay faithful. That does not mean we are never afraid. It means we let go of the fear and hang on to faithfulness.

We and our families appreciate your prayer for our safety and effective ministry to the givers and the receivers of health care. The risks are great. As are the rewards. Our God is faithful. May that continue to be our legacy as well. “For such a time as this.” 

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While many Americans are “staying home,” front-line medical personnel in infected areas are working overtime; that includes hospital chaplains. Pray for Chaplain Ruddick and the other 23 CBAmerica hospital chaplains, most of whom are designated “essential personnel.”  Join me in praying for God’s protection and guidance as they minister to staff and patients.

For more stories by and about CBAmerica chaplains ministering during the current pandemic, visit https://cbamerica.org/chaplaincy/.   For electronic brochures describing chaplaincy ministries and the endorsement requirements, contact Director of Chaplaincy, Randy Brandt, at chapbrandt@cbamerica.org.