During our May board of
directors meeting we enjoyed a very enlightening special report from Larry
Jones, senior consultant for military and chaplaincy ministry with the Baptist
State Convention of North Carolina (BSC). Colonel Jones also serves as the
State Chaplain for the N.C. National Guard. Joining him were Capt. Tommy
Watson, a chaplain to the N.C. Army National Guard who recently served in Iraq
and Specialist Humberto Kantu.
As I listened to these
soldiers share with members of our board, I was reminded again that our
soldiers deal with many problems and family situations back home at the same
time they are putting their lives at risk on the battlefield. It is hard to
imagine what it must be like to pack up, deploy overseas and not know for sure
the next time you will get to see your family and friends.
I want to share with
you a new outreach of the BSC designed to serve our wounded warriors called “Operation
Crossroads.” Col. Jones has developed this ministry to help soldiers in the
Warrior Transition Battalion, a non-deployable unit in the 82nd Airborne
Division at Fort Bragg.
About 500 sick and
wounded soldiers are part of this unit. Some soldiers are from the Fort Bragg
area, but many are not. The ministry will help match individuals, as well as
local churches, with specific needs of soldiers at Fort Bragg, as well as at
other military installations and in local communities where wounded warriors live
and receive treatment across our state.
exist for this ministry. You and volunteers from your church can sit in the
hospital waiting room with a soldier’s family or visit a soldier in the
hospital. You may bring meals to the family waiting at the hospital or help a
spouse with household chores. This is a great opportunity for your church to be
on mission for Jesus right here in North Carolina. I encourage you to contact
Col. Jones ([email protected]) and find out how your church can get
As I reflect on the
observance of Independence Day, I think about our soldiers. I am so grateful to
our soldiers who serve in order that people can experience freedom and safety.
All too often in this country we take that for granted.
I also think about the
freedom, or liberty, that has come to us through the death and resurrection of
Jesus Christ. Not only has Jesus Christ saved us from our sin, He has made it
possible for all who trust in Him to have the freedom to serve Him and to serve
others. Our salvation in Christ means we have freedom to shake off fleshly
desires and put on an attitude focused on loving others.
This year, on July 4,
thank God for those who have sacrificed in order that you may enjoy freedom.
Thank God for the freedom you have as a new creation because of His Son.
“For, brethren, ye have
been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh,
but by love serve one another.” Galatians 5:13