Mission Possible: Chaplain’s wife helps husband achieve the seemingly impossible

By Pastor/Chaplain John Hatfield, Rhode Island Army National Guard

“From whom (Christ) the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” Ephesians 4:16

Last January, I experienced the blessing of being “edified” by my loving wife. It did not occur in a crisis or surrounded by drama. Simply, during a stressful time, my wife showed the love of Christ to me that not only got me through a tough time but also gave me a great personal example I have used to build up others.

In January, I had numerous obligations to meet and was feeling overwhelmed. I developed a plan and looked forward to implementing it. Part of the plan was to complete phase 1 of the Army Chaplains Captain Career Course (C4) online. Upon examining the number of assignments to be done in only two months I became overwhelmed and didn’t think it would be possible to complete it.

Thankfully, the Lord has supplied His church with “parts” that work perfectly together. At just the time when I was feeling perplexed, my wife was there to supply what I was lacking – a detailed plan. She supplied, not just with a word of encouragement, but an Excel spreadsheet that gave me the day and time I needed to complete every assignment.

It was the precision in which even “days off” were assigned as well as time for sermon preparation. It included all kinds of details. What was once an insurmountable obstacle was now divided into manageable parts.

As it turned out, I followed the schedule and not only completed the course but received a blessing of great value. Her care and creativity have given me a great illustration to share with others. The Lord graciously provided what I needed at just the right time, and because I experienced this myself I can teach it to others with humility and understanding. Praise the LORD!

Prayer Concern: Since I have been transferred to a new unit, please pray for relationship building opportunities.

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Director’s Note: It takes large doses of focus, commitment, and time management to pastor a church and serve as a Reserve Component chaplain. In addition to monthly training periods, and two-weeks Annual Training, there are occasional emergency calls and additional online training requirements. A recent report documents the current “strength” of Army Guard chaplains at 84%, or a vacancy of 130 chaplains. It’s the same for Air Force and Navy Reserve.

For those interested in learning more about requirements for endorsement in the reserve military components, contact Andy Meverden at chapandy@cbamerica.org.

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