It is now officially fall and I still can’t figure out where the summer went. That could possibly be because it still feels like summer in the Tampa Bay area since there are no leaves changing colors or temperatures dropping–yet. My only solid clue to the season change is that the women at church are wearing muted fall colors instead of the pastels of summer. So, where did our summer go?
In May, we completed MPD and Rick went to MilMin headquarters in Newport News to check in–we rejoiced! I spent some time at the NIH with my friend Leslie, who is recovering from a stem cell transplant. I am happy to report that she is back in Maine and getting better every week! We then visited with our kids and we all attended the wedding of Trey and Maggie Stewart. Trey’s parents, Kim and Don, are our friends from our days in at the Charleston Naval Base. I held Trey on the day he was born. It was a great time of reunion and a recognition that our savior does knit our hearts together!
In June I completed the first year classes as all Cru and Military Ministry staff are required. It felt like it was me and a few hundred 20-somethings, I loved their enthusiasm! I had finished Old Testament Survey and New Testament Survey online and this summer I had classes in Bible Study Methods and Introduction to Christian Theology. I learned a lot and most importantly to me, I learned that I like the Theology of Cru–and I really am a “quasi-reformed Bapti-matic!” Another important thing–I passed!
We were also able to visit with David and Laura Preston; David serves as theDeputy National Director of the Military Campus Ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. David and Laura were able to give us more specifics on the nature and priorities of our work here in the southeast. We, in turn, were able to share with them a walk, dinner, and a sunset on the beach at Clearwater.
In July we participated in a Warrior Walk in Lakeland with Nate and Jenny Garcia, who have recently joined MilMin staff. The Warrior Walk was sponsored by Polk County Veterans and included a performance by the USMC Silent Drill Team. It also gave us an opportunity to share Military Ministry resources with a new crowd that isn’t too far away and make some new friends.
In August Rick was able to meet with the SOCOM (Special Operations Command) chaplain and to discuss how Military Ministry can come alongside the Special Forces, like SEALS and Rangers. These chaplains are so busy and so committed to being there for our troops that its hard for them to find time to meet–Rick met the senior chaplain for SOCOM during a 30 minute brown bag lunch. Please pray with us that we can find ways to complement the incredible work our chaplains are accomplishing.
This month we have had numerous opportunities provided. We attended a Bridges to Healing Conference at First Baptist Church of Newport News, Virginia. There we learned how we can encourage and equip churches to support service members and families within the body and the greater community. Last weekend we represented MilMin at a Weekend to Remember here in Tampa. Only four couples had identified themselves as military before the weekend began, but there were four others who were identified during the weekend. But beyond the active duty heros, many couples stopped by our table to talk about brothers or sons or daughters who were living with the long-term effects of war. It always blesses us to be able to encourage these families, we know Jesus can bring healing.
This weekend, Rick will help lead a one-day retreat at the MacDill Chapel on the topic of discipleship, which you know is close to his heart. The impetus is a video/study series called Not A Fan (by Kyle Idleman), which is great if you get a chance to check it out.
So the time has flown, the summer has passed and our fall looks full. We are thankful for everyone who reads our blog, cares for us, and prays for us. God is faithful and we are working hard to be like him.