The USARCENT SFMF is a command-sponsored, chaplain-led initiative designed to help meet the spiritual and life needs of service members and their Families by partnering with religious, faith based, and civilian organizations in the local community. The Forum fosters collaboration and information sharing for faith-based services, programs, and resources.
Dear beloved friends of The Eagle Commission,
I want to send my heart-felt thanks for your lovely and generous gift at National Conference. Over and over you have surprised us wives, and shown your love and support while at National Conference – it always amazes me, humbles me, and truly blesses and encourages my heart! There is such blessing and support in knowing we are part of a very special family, and I want to tell you again how much I value that support and cherish the love. May God bless each one who had a part in the love gift to Chaplains’ wives!
Love in Christ,
June 2013 – Rejoicing! James returns to States
Rejoicing! He arrived about 1:00 Sunday afternoon, greeted by his own personal Yellow Ribbon! The year is behind us now, yet it will always bring back memories of God’s love, grace and protection over our lives, our hearts, our fragile weaknesses during this time. And we will always rejoice in the way God was able to take James to the Kuwaiti mission field – amazing relationships were formed, and I know he was a tremendous blessing to our wonderful Soldiers, Chaplains and assistants in Third Army, but also to those he encountered in the Kuwaiti national forces, some very regularly whom he came to love, and they him. I thank God for the good health He gave us both – James suffered quite a bit over there with many bouts of bronchitis and lung problems due to the desert dust. Also, last time he came home from a year’s deployment (to Afghanistan), he came home to a wife with cancer – this time, things were much brighter. It is God’s wonderful grace upon us, and we are very grateful. Thank you to all for your prayers, love and support during this long year – it means more than I could ever say! Believe it or not, he’s already at work today, though he didn’t go in until afternoon. He will work this week, overlapping with the current Deputy Command Chaplain in this office, whose last day is Friday. So they had to get this overlap in. Then, a week from today, we are off to see our new granddaughter in Texas and a reunion with all our kids and their spouses – yippee! That’s enough for now – had to share with you, and thank you again for your love and support!
Again, rejoice with us!
Latest report from CH James Schaefer - James was responsible for organizing, and was able to see to fruition, an important event where more than 50 UMT members (Chaplains & Chaplain Assistants) supporting Third Army/U.S. Army Central, were honored guests of Islamic Affairs Officers and Director of Moral Guidance and Public Relations in the Kuwait Army (the Kuwaiti equivalent of Chaplains), for a feast, fellowship, and a cultural exchange at the Kuwait Armed Forces Officers Club, in Kuwait City. They especially honored James, and his boss, CH (COL) Jonathan Gibbs.
This will likely be the capstone event for James, as he is scheduled to return from his year deployment the last part of June. This has been an amazing year of ministry for James, with both ministry to troops, and ministry to Kuwaiti nationals. Your prayers for him (and his wife Elizabeth) have been so appreciated. Please pray for him as he assumes his duties at U.S. Army Central Command, back in SC, and rejoins his wife. In July, they are looking forward to seeing their kids’ families (first time in 18 months for James), and greeting their new granddaughter, and plan to attend National Conference in Atlanta as well.
Recently, James was able to visit a Kuwaiti counterpart, outside the wire, with his boss, CH Gibbs. Below is a picture of James, on the right, pictured with the Kuwaiti staff of the “Ministers of Moral Guidance and Public Relations,” which in effect are Muslim chaplains in the Kuwaiti military service.
Regarding his security: Security varies due to Bedouin demonstrations and issues with neighboring countries. However, events like this visit (in pic) are key to building bridges to senior Kuwaiti leadership; they seem to want this, and trust our Chaplains as men & women of God. We are grateful for your prayers for James, as he continues to need wisdom for everyday decisions related to 100 staff, and sometimes is called upon to speak at large gatherings – such as a number of Thanksgiving events, and upcoming Christmas events. Praise God for these open doors! On the home front, I have been able to make a few trips – to Chicago to see Gracie and Adam, and to Texas to see Tom and Ashley. We are rejoicing, because Tom and Ashley are expecting our first grandchild! We are also very thankful for our home church (Clinton, MD), and the Eagle Commission, for their wonderful prayer support and kindness to us. It means so much! May God bless you, Elizabeth
Thank you so much for praying for us while James is deployed for a year in Kuwait. He has a huge load to carry, supervising about 50 chaplains, plus their assistants, in addition to all the meetings/briefings he has to attend each day. He is working maybe 16 hours a day, and is working in 125 degree weather! We’re thankful he has been issued a bike, so he doesn’t have to walk/run the 10+ miles in the heat to get to all his meetings! Please pray that God give him wisdom, discernment and creativity in dealing with each day’s tasks and challenges. As for me, I am thankful that we moved to SC, as I am closer to my sister’s family now for this year while James is gone. I have also enjoyed staying with the Penfolds for a couple of days, and praise God for putting me just an hour from them. I’ll be visiting our daughter in Chicago before long, and plan to see our son in San Antonio, perhaps in October. As the fall schedules kick in, I will be focusing my ministry through the Shaw AFB chapel, the woman’s Bible study there (PWOC), and our unit family functions. It means so much that you are praying for us! Thank you for continuing to hold all your Chaplains and wives up in prayer, as missionaries to the Military! It’s a privilege, and a huge blessing! God bless you all! Elizabeth
Okay – it’s official I guess! James got his RFO this week (Request for Orders); official notice is given that he is to report to Shaw AFB, SC (Army Central Command) no later than 18 June. We will therefore likely move by 1 June, I would think. The great news is, he was selected to be the Deputy Command Chaplain. We are so overwhelmed with this amazing opportunity that GOD has done! The difficult trade-off is it will require 1-year deployments, likely to Kuwait, likely beginning in July. (one year gone, one year at Shaw, one year gone again) – unless things change, of course. Please pray for us as we begin to consider a transition & move. We need to get settled before he has to leave. We would like to make a trip to see our kids, too, before he leaves, perhaps in May. He is already scheduled for a 2-week LTC course for 1/2 of April, so things are going to get tight real soon. He is overwhelmed at work right now, as well. They are preparing major moving orders for his unit, so he is working weekends in addition to 14 hour days. Your prayers for all of this are so appreciated. We are definitely excited about how God has opened amazing doors for us! Elizabeth for the Schaefer’s