Friday, February 5, 2010 at 10:04 am
Choice Christian Greetings!
I never get used to the tremendous ministries of our Community Service Chaplains. They pay their own way for their training and, with little or no salary or compensation, they are on the job 24 hours a day. Let me give you a couple of examples of this ministry.
First, there is Chaplain Deborah Mitchell, a faithful member of World Outreach Worship Center, Newport News, Virginia, with Reverend Bobby Collins, Senior Pastor. Even as I share this update, Deborah is on her way to Ethiopia to work with mountain women and street children, as well as, work to comple a new missions school. She writes, “Through these ministries, our team befriended a man who was Muslim and is now a Christian. This brother is now a very important person in Ethiopia who works with us in a most serious manner. Today, he took me around to several compound properties in the mountains that the government has and is willing to let us use as needed. Through this contact, we will be able to have Mobile Educational programs, which will reach these rural areas; with tribes that are mobile, our school will now be able to “go with them.” How cool is that? He has asked me to spend a week in working with the teachers in these isolated areas. In March, while working with a local church, we will host a two-day seminar about FGM (Female Genital Mutilation.) I will be the speaker for both days. I will keep you updated on these exciting ministries.”
Another CSC leader from the same church, Chaplain Jack Smith, is in Uganda conducting chaplaincy courses. He states, “These courses will give us a total of 1,000 trained local church chaplains in Uganda. Several of these trained leaders are now teaching chaplaincy courses throughout their country. During this trip, I will again be on military bases. We are expecting soldiers from different bases for our chaplaincy course. Thank God for Bishop Solomon, the Ugandan Administrative Bishop, for his support. I will be meeting with General Davis to discuss further expansion of chaplaincy programs on military bases. Several soldiers have been healed during our prayer sessions. We have a chaplaincy revival going on in Uganda.”
Never underestimate “passion and call.” You don’t get passion and call simply by obtaining an educational degree, election to a church position, or, for that matter, even being assigned as a pastor to a local church. Passion and call comes from the bone marrow of your soul. If you are looking for someone to head-up a ministry, don’t ask how educated, how smart, or how politically correct that person is. Start with the question, “Do you have a passion and do you have a call for this ministry?” That is why our chaplains are so effective. They are not there for position, for political clout, influence, or even for salary. Above all that, they have a passionate call. When will we learn that “money follows ministry” and not the other way around? Who wouldn’t want to be a part of such a dynamic ministry?
· We just received a report on retired Prison Chaplain John Threat, Arkansas. In a recent phone conversation, John states: “On January 2nd, I was admitted to the hospital with severe back pain, breathing problems, and a racing heart. After being admitted to the hospital, I even lost track of time. On January 7th, I had back surgery. The discs in my back were essentially gone – just bone against bone. The doctor operated and put-in steel rods and screws. I want to thank God for the prayer support of my chaplain’s family.”
· Hospital Chaplain Phillip Henry, Mobile, Alabama, sent this heart-touching report: “Thank you for letting us know the needs of Haiti, with donations going through Operation Compassion. One of my patients, a victim of MS who is confined to a wheelchair, read the Operation Compassion flyer. She cannot even open her mouth. She came by my office today. She gave me three dollars and said it was for the people of Haiti. I gave her a hug and smiled and told her that I would make sure it got to those in need.”
· Army Chaplain (LTC) Joseph Melvin, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, let us know that this summer he will be transferred from Fort Bragg to Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
· Law Enforcement Chaplain Terry Wigley, Saraland, Alabama, reports, “Thanks be unto God! My reports just came back and they didn’t find any more signs of cancer.”
· We are so thankful for those who are involved in local church chaplaincy ministries. C. Kenna Amos Jr., Local Church Chaplaincy Coordinator at the Princeton Church of God, Princeton, West Virginia reports: “Our church supported Air Force Chaplain, Captain, Jonathan Hurt, while he was in Afghanistan. Continue to pray for Willie Comer, a retired coalminer, who suffers from black-lung disease. His daughter, the primary caregiver, spends 13 hours per day caring for her dad and mom. It is a joy to minister through our Local Church Chaplaincy programs to these and many others.”
· Chaplain Connie Gregory, West Des Moines, Iowa, just completed a three-day women’s conference in Jamaica, with 120 women participants.
· Air Force Chaplain, Captain, Christopher Underwood II, Colorado Springs, Colorado, was recently chosen as “Company Grade Officer of the Quarter.”
· Army Chaplain (LTC) Terry Simmons, Fort Jackson, South Carolina, will be transferring this summer to Fort Benning, Georgia.
· Clinical Chaplain Kathryn Schuck, Lanett, Alabama, sent this touching report: “Recently I was saddened when a friend came to me crying; she needed to talk about her sister who is dying of cancer. I realized that I was still dealing with my grief over the loss of my son. Her questions were similar to my own. In this conversation, I relearned what I knew very well; I cannot get to where God wants me to be by closing myself out to those in need.” (This is an example of what Henri Nouwen calls “Wounded Healers.” While we are suffering, we continue to be an instrument of healing for others).
· Army Chaplain (LTC-P) Bryan Walker, currently deployed to Iraq, tells us that things are going well. He gives credit for their success to the other chaplains serving under his supervision. He notes, “Ministry in these areas is like a pick-up basketball game. We take the floor and play against all comers. In addition to my administrative duties, I have the joy of pastoring the gospel service, enjoying the worship choir, and preaching. I am greatly blessed to have a solid extended family and Sheryl, my wife, who continues to grow in grace, beauty and wisdom as she keeps our family strong during this deployment.”
A Report on Chaplains Commission Training
· An Instructor’s Training Seminar, held in Cleveland, Tennessee, with 11 Americans, of which two were Hispanics (one from Puerto Rico), two from South Africa, and one from Romania, who attended the entire 16-hour class via Skype. These trainers will be those that will be authorized to conduct chaplaincy courses around the world.
· We have now brought online our internet training; with a recent two-hour continuing education seminar taught to 43 chaplains in Des Moines, Iowa. Using the Skype platform, Dr. Jake Popejoy and Dr. Dean Yancey taught a course to these participants on prison and jail chaplaincy ministries.
· Completed a Community Service Chaplains Basic Training Course in Chicago, Illinois, at the Life Church of Chicagoland, with Reverend Freddie Steel as Senior Pastor. Twenty-three students were in attendance. Dr. Jake Popejoy served as the Primary Instructor, with Vernon Landreth and Steve Wallace as Covenant Instructors.
· Completed a Community Service Chaplains Basic Training Course in Fenton, Michigan, hosted by Administrative Bishop Mitch Corder, with Frank Crank serving as the Administrative Coordinator for the class. Nineteen students were in attendance. Dr. Paul Stockard served as the Primary Instructor.
· Completed a Community Service Chaplains Basic Training Course in Dayton, Ohio, with 28 students present. Dr. Jake Peopjoy served as the Primary Instructor, with Richard Popard, Dr. John Corcoran, and Vernon Landreth as Covenant Instructors.
I am sure that most of you know that one of our most fascinating chaplaincy programs is centered at the South American Theological Seminary, Quito, Ecuador. This is the only educational institution where we have a fully-funded chaplaincy academic chair. That chair is occupied by Dr. Erik Vasquez, who has done an outstanding job in helping us to develop chaplaincy programs for all of our South American countries. He informs me that in August 2009, the South American Seminary authorized and implemented a “Bachelor of Chaplaincy” program. They have eight students who are studying for this degree, with the expectation that there will be many more. In January 2010, SEMISUD (South American Seminary) adopted an MA in Chaplaincy. Within six months, SEMISUD will accept students for this new graduate program.
The church, not only our denomination but all denominations in the US, like a wounded individual, is going through what we therapists call the “down, in and hopefully, up and out.” In this corrective process, which I believe is designed by God, often, like a patient trying to get well, we have to get a little deeper in our pain before we come to our senses and find our way up and out, and again on God’s solid ground. There can be no healing without pain. Chaplains know well that process. Oftentimes, whether dealing with a drug addict, a person struggling with cancer, or a soldier, distressed in a combat zone, you have to take them deeper, and most likely with much more pain, before they, along with the help of God and good support, can rediscover hope. As a Clinical Pastoral Education Supervisor in a hospital, if I had a student who was fearful of death and dying, guess where I would put him? Of course, I would put them in either the intensive care unit or the emergency clinic. There, the pain gets focused and more intense. You don’t only deal with one death and dying person, but over a 24 hour period, a dozen. You experience, in a short period, lots of pain…rape victims, children injured in car accidents, old folks who are dying, surgeries that went amuck, and all the other traumas found in a busy clinical setting. It’s in places like this that you flush out the students greatest fears, anxieties, and eventually, to hear them say, “Yes, I can make it; even in this state of pain and distress.” God is taking us down; and He is going to let us sit deeply in our pain until finally we, like the children of Israel, begin to cry out for Him to deliver us and our future generations from this place. Don’t give up just because the pain, personally or within our denomination, has been intensified. Like a mother having a difficult birthing process, the child is on its way, hope will again brighten the faces of our church and all of its ministries, because God is not finished with us yet. It simply means that we have got to go deeper into our pain to discover our true identity with Him and the place in His kingdom where He wants us to be. Down, in, and eventually up and out for continued ministry to a hurting world.
Robert D. Crick
Weekly Bible Verse
For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are.
Hebrews 4:12 (NLT)
Director, Dr. Robert D. Crick, email@example.com
Full-time Chaplaincy, Dr. Jerry McNabb, firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Service Chaplaincy and Training, Dr. Jake Popejoy, email@example.com
Public Relations and Recruitment, firstname.lastname@example.org
Special Projects, Reverend Tom Offutt, email@example.com
Prayer and Family Care, Elaine Offutt, firstname.lastname@example.org
General Information, email@example.com
Web Site/Page: www.cogchaplains.com
Categories: Weekly Update