“I believe that every prayer you pray in support of our chaplain ministry anoints every minute we have with our Soldiers with supernatural power. To illustrate, I wanted to share an excerpt from a letter I received not too long ago from a company commander I served with over three years ago. I joined his company one night for a 12 mile ruck march. (Editor’s note: ruck marching involves walking at a fast clip over rugged terrain with a weighted backpack.) I remembered talking with him about Christ, but never thought much about it again. He since moved onto other things. He just sent this letter a few weeks ago. It serves as a reminder to me that it is prayer that empowers what we do–your prayers and my prayers. God is at work on a plane we often never see. But we affect that plane and influence it through prayer and through being available to the opportunities that arise.
‘Pete, …I just wanted to share with you that things have finally clicked for me. I also just wanted to thank you as I feel that you were instrumental in helping me take that journey. …I will say for years to come that it was on a road march at Fort Campbell at the trail of a formation during an unintentional conversation with a Chaplain that someone cared enough, in just the right way to tell me what I already knew, but that i had been keeping from myself, was that i wasn’t saved...’
“In the letter he went on to share about his new faith in Christ and what God has been doing in his life.
“We often never see these results, but we keep laboring because it is the Holy Spirit through the power of the Gospel that saves. Prayer is the fuel. We are the vehicle. To God be the glory. Thank you for being a part of this incredible ministry with us chaplains.”
Chaplain Pete Stone has added something new to his outreach to his soldiers. He says: “One of the challenges about military ministry is feeling like I often spend more time reacting to the bad situations in soldiers’ lives, rather than getting ahead of the storm and helping soldiers build better lives to begin with. Because of that, I have been looking for ways to be more proactive in encouraging soldiers to make good decisions and build their lives on the truth of God’s Word. I decided to use a blog and a podcast as a tool for that purpose.”
Website Name: www.livingontherock.org. Podcast name: “Word for the Week Podcast.” Listen to it directly from the website above or subscribe to the podcast in iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/word-for-the-week/id791896446. Pray for this to be an effective outreach to his soldiers.
Dear Friends, we have finally begun the downhill slope toward the end of our deployment. That’s great news for those of us wanting to go home. That’s not so great news for guys who dread returning to a broken home.
I was standing on the flight line late at night as the massive rotor wash of a Chinook helicopter beat down on me and one of the senior Soldiers I was standing next to. I hadn’t seen him in a long time and was happy to be reunited with him. I sensed something was wrong though. I had an idea I knew what it was. He had met and married his girlfriend not long before we deployed. He was so proud of her. She was a beautiful lady that to him was somewhat of an affirmation in life that he at least had something going for him. He is a gnarled, calloused Soldier who has given his life to the Army–along with a great deal of his health and previous broken relationships. This girl he met and married was his statement to himself and to the world that he was still valuable and significant. She was always the proudest thing he had to talk about with me.
The Chinook didn’t lift off, waiting for some unknown reason. “She left me, Chappy” is all he said. He inhaled on his cigarette one last time and flicked it away in the darkness. My heart broke for him. “What happened?” I asked. “I don’t know. She said she just wasn’t ready for marriage.” I fumbled for words to say to this experienced war veteran. “I’m sorry, man.” What else could I say? There was really not much else to say. The Chinook heaved away from the pad and disappeared into the darkness. It was quiet.
The Army–especially in a deployed environment–is like a microcosm of society, I think. You get to see the truest nature of people come out. I think pressure and stress does that–it forces out of us what’s inside and reveals our truest natures. When we build our lives around objects, people, or ideas that we trust will give us purpose, significance, value, and joy, and then those things crumble, we realize how empty life can be. It happens all the time in the lives of those around us–and many times in our own lives. And it seems to happen with greater devastation during a deployment.
Please pray with me for our Soldiers that God would move in their hearts, causing them to see the unsurpassed worth and treasure of knowing Jesus Christ.
CH Pete Stone, Forward Operating Base, Afghanistan.
Pete Stone and his wife, Monica, came to the FGBC from an independent Bible church in Arkansas and have joined the Fountain of Life Grace Brethren Church in Johnson City, TN (Dr. Vic Young, Pastor). Pete successfully passed his ordination exam as a Grace Brethren minister at the 2008 FGBC National Conference in Tampa, FL (see picture). Pete is a graduate of Bryan College with a B.A. in Christian Education and a minor in Bible and received an MDiv from Gordon Cromwell Theological Seminary. He has had a number of ministry experiences in his career to this point, including missionary service in Bogota, Columbia and Manila, Philippines, and as Director of Operations for Shoot for Life in Montgomery, AL.