Wednesday, December 31, 2014
A few days ago while reading my morning devotion, I saw the passage in John 21 with a fresh perspective. The Disciple (John) actually noted the number of BIG fish caught after the weary fisherman listened to a man calling out from the shore, "let the nets down on the right side of the boat."
The last few hours of the year are ticking down and I could provide you with 153 details to "give" to the ministry of Sunshine After Rain. But with schedules, business, and last minute whatevers, you probably wouldn't make it to number (?)! I'll provide the only reason I'm still in this "going forth to make disciples" business after 18 years: Jesus.
Eloquence and evidence, reports and resumes, presentations and pleas all aside, He truly is the only reason for the Season and life itself.
"I was unsure of how to go about this, and felt totally inadequate- I was scared to death, if you want the truth of it- and so nothing I said could have impressed you or anyone else. BUT the Message came through anyway." 1 Corinthians 2:3-4 The Message
I've recently shared this is the longest I've been stateside in 27 YEARS! The geography of ministry is not as relevant as obedience to the call to ministry. On December 23, I completed 365 consecutive days of composing 5* reasons a day for one Marine to stay alive. Last December while hospitalized for issues related to PTSD he asked me to give him 5 reasons a day to be on this earth. I committed - and just before the 365th day rolled around I thought, "so THAT's why (or one very good reason) I haven't left the country. Throughout the past year the list of recipients has grown to over 50+ (not counting the ones they pass it on to). Here is the last day of 2014's:
5 for Seeing
1. His LIGHT shines in my darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it (John 1:4-5)
2. His LIGHT shines in the valleys of my life (Isaiah 9:2)
3. I will SEE Him in the flesh (Job 19:27)
4. I will see His face and CARRY HIS NAME (Revelation 22:4)
5. He is showing me GREAT and WONDERFUL things (Jeremiah 33:3)
I don't know what your personal or private circumstances are on this last day of the year. I don't know if you need five reasons to find your joy, or five reasons not to give up. You may be with much, or with little. You may be in good health, or down with an illness, passing or permanent. You may be with friends or alone. You may be full of energy or downright exhausted. I don't know, but I do care. I'd like to pray with you, and share with you. Somehow you made it on to this "list" and I count you as my community.
After the resurrection, when the Disciples had already encountered the Master, they were probably overwhelmed trying to figure out what to do "next." Leave it to the impulsive Peter to make a leap:
"Simon Peter announced, "I'm going fishing. The rest of them replied, "We're going with you." John 21:3 The Message
All the things that have happened in our world this past year may be too much to take in presently.
All the circumstances that have grieved you, caused anxiety or pain may be too numerous to recount.
I'm going to keep doing the "next" thing He calls me to do, and I pray you'll come along, through prayer, financial support, personal connections, or some other creative way of "fishing" in the Sea of His grace.
One of my favorite passages in The Word is found at the close of the Old Testament:
"Then those whose lives honored God got together and talked it over. God saw what they were doing and listened in. A book was opened in God's presence and minutes were taken of the meeting, with the names of the God-fearers written down, all the names of those who honored God's name." Malachi 3:16 The Message
He's listening AND He's keeping an eternal record!
Let's set out to Sea to see what we can SEE!
Waiting for the BIG Haul (153 at least)
To make a donation by credit card or to set up recurring monthly donations for 2015 visit our website: www.sunshineafterrain.org
Or by post:
Sunshine After Rain Ministries
2610 Lakehill Lane Unit 5A
Carrollton, TX 75006
Gifts postmarked on December 31 count as deductions in that calendar year
*If you would like to receive the Daily "5's" send me an email or text (214-679-5948) and how you would prefer to get them (email or text)
To see the past year's posts visit www.logansfive.blogspot.com
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
We've all seen the signs, "Homeless, help please, God bless." And if you're like me, I turn my head, check to see if my car doors are locked and then pray.
I'm not praying for the person holding the sign, I'm praying for the traffic light to turn green so I can get out of there before (God help me) the sign holder approaches my car. I'm a "missionary" but - until recently the majority of my "mission" work was overseas. I was notorious for going "where no man would go." The farthest jungles of Africa, remote Russian villages where orphanages housed hundreds of children, even leper colonies in India, those were the places I was comfortable. Thirty-six hours travel time - no problem! No running water - I can bathe with wet wipes! Sketchy food - granola bars are a suitcase staple. But... the lost, living on the streets, and under the bridges in my town... somebody else will cover that territory.
At what I considered the "Eleventh Hour" (twelve days before the largest Christmas Party for the Homeless) I was elected Committee Chairman of Veteran Partners; my responsibility was to bring in organizations for the event to assist homeless veterans who would be in attendance.
"Lord have mercy indeed!"
With the help of dedicated friends of the ministry we were able to serve over 700+ Veterans. We gave out "The Greatest Warrior" pocket New Testaments designed specifically for soldiers struggling. We passed out faith-based "dog tags" with Scriptures and Psalms. We presented "Certificates of Appreciation" (for their military service) and wrote the names of the recipients on each one. There were Gospels of John in English and Spanish handed out to all who walked by that weren't military.
My associate proclaimed the day, "National Hug-a-Vet" Day, so as often as we could, we hugged and we hugged, and we cared and we cried. No chance for the signal light to turn green or a nearby floorboard for me to avert my eyes.
Prior to the day, I suppose I saw "those Street People" as modern day "lepers." The outcast from society, the people no one would get near, and certainly not touch! In Biblical times, leprosy was seen as a "curse." If you had it, you deserved it. And frankly, when I see some cardboard plea for assistance I confess, I judge; "they" must "deserve" to be in the situation they're in.
"Taking a good look at them, He said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." They went, and while they were still on their way, became clean." Luke 17:14 The Message
Thousands and thousands of people walked past us throughout the day. We interacted with the massive crowd. I said "Merry Christmas," more in 8 hours than probably in the last five years combined! Since we were relatively the "First Stop" as the guests made their way into the Convention Center, I had no idea what happened when the throng rounded the curtained corner and disappeared into the 300,000 square feet of services provided.
There are many accounts of Jesus' healing recorded in the Gospels, but when I reread the story of the ten Lepers, I noted Jesus told them to "Go show themselves to the Priests," BEFORE they were cleansed. They had to move out of "hiding" by faith, and believe something would be different by the time they arrived at their destination. In the process of doing what He asked them to do, they were changed.
Somewhere, along the way to the Dallas Convention Center, doing what He asked me to do (at the Eleventh hour), I was changed too. The outward signs of disease vanished from the ten, but in my case, perhaps it was the inward "scabs" (an ugly word, for a process of healing) of indifference, judgment, distancing, and fear, that fell away.
"One of them, when he realized he was healed, turned around and came back, shouting with gratitude, glorifying God. He kneeled at Jesus' feet, so grateful. He couldn't thank Him enough - and he was a Samaritan." Luke 17:16 The Message
As the afternoon hours ticked by, fewer and fewer people made their way through the "Partner Services" area. We asked everyone within earshot, "Are you a Veteran? Are you a Veteran?" When we got one of the last, "Yes ma' m, I am," answers of the day my associate and I jumped up for the embrace. "It's hug a Veteran day," we said with a chuckle as we surrounded the frail frame of a hero. Our Military Liaison, not wanting to miss the action of honor, said, "Hey, I'm going to get in on that! Let's make a Battle-Buddy Sandwich!" And when we did, the Last Soldier wept.
"You, don't know how bad I needed that," he said. We continued the makeshift sandwich of servants until he composed himself.
"Where are the nine? Can none be found to give glory to God except this outsider?" Luke 17:17-18 The Message
It's two days until Christmas. I didn't send out any Christmas cards, I failed to get out my traditional donor "Thank You," gifts, my friends and family will probably think I've forgotten how much they mean to me with my lack of attention to the Season. But somehow, I sense it doesn't matter that much to them REALLY, and I've accepted I can't let my flawed sense of getting Christmas "taken care of" rob me of the joy I feel at my Master's feet.
I'm counting on the promises found in His Word that proclaim:
"Ill bring home the homeless..." Zephaniah 3:19 The Message
This Outsider is Glorifying God,
Sunshine After Rain Ministries is a 501 c3, all donations are considered tax deductible. To set up monthly recurring contributions, or a donation by credit card visit our website:
Thursday, December 18, 2014
When will I get an update sent out?
When will I get Christmas decorations up?
When will I get Christmas presents bought (much less wrapped)?
When will I finally get a chance to ________?
Fill in the blank with your own last minute "To Do" item as we count down the final days before we celebrate Christmas, exhale, and collect the wrapping paper trash probably and bit more thankful that "it's over" than thankful for the Birth of a Savior.
I've been busy and I know you have too! It is just the season for it. And just as I was all excited and ready to do the things I really NEEDED to do (like communicate ministry activities), the Lord open the floodgates, and I am choosing to say "of opportunity," because truthfully it feels like a Tsunami I'm about to drown in.
This past year marks the longest period of time I have been in the United States in 27 YEARS. As I encounter friends the first question I am asked is, "where are you off to next?" My time in the USA has been focused on building a website of resources for our Military men and women, and their Caregivers. For the past six years as I have worked with these true heroes, I have been broken-hearted to hear their stories of frustration and the devastation they faced as the bureaucracy (the VA) failed them.
Our website (www.battle-buddy.info) has been fully operational since July and has over 32,000 hits. Our "Info" cards can be found in VA Hospitals, Vet Centers and by the Hand of God even at the military installation in Osan, South Korea!
Ten days ago, I contacted an organization to add as a resource. The President of the company then politely replied, "No, YOU are our resource!" I was confused. She (Susie Jennings) then went on to explain how Operation Care International was hosting "the largest Christmas Party for the Homeless" in the country. She explained how they honor Veterans at the event and need "veteran resources." "Okay," I responded and found out the details, 8,000 homeless people!!! Probably close to 500 of that number veterans.
The Lord has blessed me with an amazing team of volunteers that just happened to be available. Truly, there are more miracles than I can even express right now because, I need to make my way to the Convention Center for a walk through.
Please consider Sunshine After Rain Ministries (and Battle-Buddy.Info our military initiative) in your Year-End giving and definitely in you faithful prayers!
December 20, from 7:00 am - 3:00 pm we will be assisting the homeless, as the come through to receive all we have to offer. There are several big events that assist the under-served this time of year, but the heart of Operation Care International (www.opcare.org) as well as our heart - is to see the lost FOUND! To say to the captive (in the bondage of poverty and circumstance) BE FREE! Those the Son sets free are free indeed.
Pray the Good News is proclaimed boldly
Pray the Resources are of assistance
Pray the broken are ministered to well
Pray the Spirit of God moves in a mighty way
Pray we finish strong, having fought the good fight on behalf of our military!
"Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me - you did it to Me.'" Matthew 25:40
Looking straight into the face and heart of my Master
He probably will not be clean-shaven, or have on a warm coat to fight the winter chill
Sunshine After Rain Ministries is a 501c3 all donations are considered tax deductible. To make a donation by credit card online, please visit our website:
Or by post:
Sunshine After Rain Ministries
10024 Regal Park Lane
Dallas TX 75230
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
But since the end of the first World War, gold stars have also been awarded to mothers who lost sons or daughters in battle. The name (American Gold Star Mothers) came from the custom of families of servicemen hanging a banner called a Service Flag in the window of their homes. The Service Flag had a star for each family member in the Armed Forces. Living servicemen were represented by a blue star, and those who had lost their lives were represented by a gold star.*
Since 1936, the last Sunday in September has been designated as "Gold Star Mother's Day." There aren't Hallmark offerings, school closures or any other public recognition for this day. It's the kind of "club" you don't ask to join, and you aren't aware of until unspeakable tragedy happens.
I wouldn't know about it if not for Social Media and my current ministry work in the military arena. As I "tweeted" and posted Gold Star honoring photos, my heart broke for the loss these families face each and every day. But through the power of Twitter, Facebook, and other outlets, many are turning personal tragedy into campaigns for awareness on a variety of issues.
"...this is the only race worth running. I've run hard, right to the finish, believed all the way..." 2 Timothy 4:7 The Message
It's been a difficult, strange but exciting year of ministry. For the last twelve months we've been singularly focused on our work with wounded warriors, their caregivers, veterans and active duty military members. The website (www.battle-buddy.info) has received close to 18,000 "hits," assisting the Armed Forces community nationwide find help and resources. Since I began working alongside these true "heroes" (military AND their families) I know it is what my "Commander-in-Chief" assigned.
Hardly a day passes that I don't hear testimony of what a "godsend" being able to find help fast has made to a family/servicemember. These are individuals the ministry never would have an opportunity to interface with before. But, hardly a day passes that I don't hear tragedy; suicide, financial ruin, children being adversely affected by secondary trauma, and caregivers at the end of their rope. It's been hard to stay balanced between the oasis of good news and the battlefield of helplessness.
"But you-keep your eye on what your doing; accept the hard times along with the good; keep the Message alive; do a thorough job as God's servant." 2 Timothy 4:5 The Message
This morning as I meditated on the devotion for the day (see text below) I thought of the women I have grown close to during the process of launching a military initiative of ministry. They've shared their pain, their frustration and their lives in hopes that it would be of benefit to other caregivers and military families. Time and again, they say, "I just hope no one else has to go through what we've been through with "_______" (fill in the blank with the VA, doctors, Organization XYZ, benefit denial, disability rating, PTSD, TBI, ad infinitum). The devotional text speaks of "being crushed to be the broken bread and poured out wine FOR OTHERS..." It's not exactly something you would enlist for...
...like receiving membership into The Gold Star Mothers Club.
Pray for all the Gold Star families (over 6,700 Post 9/11 which does not reflect over 10,000 suicides due to PTSD and war trauma)
Pray for our Armed Forces who face yet another Campaign against terrorist forces
Pray for Caregivers of those returning from conflict who wage battles while establishing a "new normal"
Pray for the ministry of Sunshine After Rain as we continue to DAILY impact the lives of our nations heroes
"So let's not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don't give up or quit. RIGHT NOW, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith." Galatians 6:9-10 The Message
We can't fight the good fight without YOUR continued financial support and prayers. We won't reap a harvest without "seeds" sown in faith
Go online (www.sunshineafterrain.org) to make a donation by credit card or to set up a monthly contributions. Or by post at:
Sunshine After Rain Ministries
10024 Regal Park Lane #217
Dallas TX 75230
"All that's left now is the shouting - God's applause! Depend on it..." 2 Timothy 4:8
Armed and dangerous (smiling as a Texan)
*Gold Star Mothers Club ~Wikipedia
**My Utmost For His Highest
"...He gives us a tremendous, riveting pain to fasten our attention on something that we never even dreamed could be His call for us. And for one radiant flashing moment we see His purpose, and we say, "Here am I! Send me."
This call has nothing to do with personal sanctification, but with being made broken bread and poured out wine. Yet God can never make us into wine if we object to the fingers He chooses to crush us. We say, "if God would only us His own fingers, and make me broken bread and poured out wine in a special way, the I wouldn't object!" But when He uses someone we dislike, or some set of circumstances to which we said we would never submit, to crush us, then we object. Yet we must never try to choose the place of our own martyrdom. If we are going to be made into wine, we will have to be crushed - you cannot drink grapes. Grapes become wine only after they have been squeezed... Stay right with God and let Him do as He likes, and you will find that He is producing the kind of bread and wine that will benefit His other children.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
The numbers in the subject line aren't the winning combination to tonight's Pick Three lottery, but they do have particular significance (at least to me). The last day of August I will begin my 55th year of life! And what a wild, weird, wonderful life it has been. 5 is the Hebrew number for GRACE, so I'm proclaiming this to be my year filled with a double portion of His Grace.
"We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that He has already thrown open His door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand - out in the wide open spaces of God's grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise. There's more to come..." Romans 5:2 The Message
55 years of living
18 years of ministry!
I suppose at 18, I realize I have pursued my "calling" and I'm all grown up (in ministry).
"For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world..." 1 Corinthians 1:26-27 NKJV
It has been a year since the Lord has taken me to distant shores and I admit it has stretched my faith. Whenever I encounter friends I haven't seen in awhile, the first question asked is, "Where are you going next?" It seems I became noted for heading off to exotic "Ends of the Earth" locales. From Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka to Zanzibar, Tanzania I traveled with the enthusiasm inspired by Isaiah 6:8 (Here I am, send me!) But contrary to the notion that I randomly pick a place or time for ministry, I go where AND when, He tells me, and for the last year He's had me stay in the "good ole US of A."
In the past year, I have worked harder, been more disciplined and diligent about the current direction of our ministry's work. I have been out on the "skinny branches" far past what had become my comfort zone of uncomfortable places. I've been focused on 22.
The US government reports AT LEAST 22 veterans EACH and EVERY day commit suicide! Let that number sink in, with all its calculating realities. That equals 1 soldier almost EVERY HOUR, who finds this life hopeless and chooses to end it. One an hour equals EIGHT THOUSAND THIRTY (8,030) per year. As of April 2014, after 13 years of conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan there were 6,802 casualties (without the suicides factored in); pretty staggering statistics.
The cover of the July 23, 2012 issue of Time Magazine was a silhouette of a soldier playing taps. The headline read "ONE A DAY." In two very short years the increase is catastrophic to thousands of spouses, parents and children of those who served our country.
How does this happen? Where does the sense of hopeless frustration come from and what can be done to stop the casualties of war once our military return home?
I've been focused for the last 12 months building a website Resource Directory for military personnel and their caregivers. I've shared the story in past communications how I learned from a caregiver that help and assistance was difficult to find and even harder to access.
Battle Buddy Info (www.battle-buddy.info) has now reached thousands of soldiers and families across the United States, with over 10,000 hits on the website. We've put Resource Cards in Vet Centers, VA Hospitals, and churches from coast to coast. We have an army of volunteer retired wounded warriors who are sharing the message (hope CAN be found) and who have found new purpose for life after their military career has come to a close.
Recently, our Military Liaison was on a retreat in Alaska hiking down the mountain with his group from Operation Heal Our Heroes*, when another group was encountered hiking up. Everyone recognized it was a good place to stop, make introductions and encouragements. Being an outgoing and gregarious, he quickly introduced himself to a fellow wounded warrior (who is a representative of Wounded Warrior Project) and said, "You guys really need to start getting the word out on this website. It really is a game-changer as far as getting help to families fast. Here let me give you my card, the site is www.battle-buddy.info." The other soldier reached in his wallet and ...
pulled out one of our cards! "Is this the site?"
What are the odds?
Shock and awe at the greatness of our God were exclaimed! "How did you get that? Wow!" On a mountain side in Alaska two wounded warriors meet - to encourage and be encouraged!
I'm encouraged as well.
"...we continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next." Romans 5:3-4 The Message
I have found favor in this extraordinary community of heroes. Heroes that went to war, and the heroes of spouses and children who continue to "fight" a battle seldom mentioned in the media. I press on, for I know my calling. I need your help to continue.
Consider becoming a monthly supporter of Sunshine After Rain Ministries or a one time donation:
$55 - Years of Life
$18 - Years of Ministry
$22 - To assist Heroes find hope and help!
Let's partner together to win the battle (the war is won)!
Fighting to stay a float
Smiling in His service
To make donations by credit card, visit the website www.sunshineafterrain.org
Sunshine After Rain Ministries
10024 Regal Park Lane
Dallas TX 75230
*Greta van Susteren On the Record will be broadcasting a special program Monday - (Labor Day) featuring her time in Alaska with Franklin Graham and a group of Wounded Warriors and their spouses. It airs on Fox News 7:00 EST, 6:00 CST.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
I have resorted to bribery.
But before you drop to your knees and call the Prayer Chain, let me explain: I'm trying to win over the heart of a three-year old girl named Sophia.
In February, my oldest son married a wonderful woman and got the gift of an instant family. Of course, I'd been around this little precious bundle of cuteness before then, but I wasn't quite comfortable in launching my all-out campaign for her affection, until I was sure my zealous antics wouldn't frighten her mother away!
Last year when I first got to spend an extended amount of time with Sophia, her mother asked what I wanted to be "called." Grandmother, and Granny just didn't feel like a hand-knit sweater I was ready to wear, so I did the next best thing when you're trying to find a quick answer: I Googled "cool southern grandmother names."
"Sugar" made the top five. Admittedly, my heart melts just a little every time I hear that tiny voice say, "Where's my Sugar?"
The "Sugar Campaign," began the day after the wedding, but I've recently upped my game. When the "Sugar Sack" (a purse filled with goodies, toys, crayons, games and the occasional piece of candy) failed to eek out a hug, I had to resort to a more subtle form of persuasion. Everyday I text a picture of a cute baby animal, delicious food, or even bugs to convey how much I love her. "I love you more than strawberries that are delicious and juicy and ready for whipped cream on top." "Your love makes me feel like a princess in the Kingdom of Hearts." You get the picture (well you didn't get the picture that accompanied the text - but...)
Now, when I see her, she says, "I love you like all those pictures you send me." I'm getting there slowly but surely. One of these days she will be overcome and just run into my arms and give me a great big hug.
Sunday, that thought just overwhelmed me.
The sermon I was listening to was on receiving God's supply for all of life's demands. The Pastor quoted many familiar verses on grace, but then illustrated John 1:15-17 like the waves of the ocean hitting the shoreline. "Grace upon grace, upon grace..." Wow!
He closed the sermon with the parable of the Prodigal Son. I've heard it preached hundreds of times, but the key point he brought out was the "grace" of the Father.
"When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he RAN out, he EMBRACED him, he KISSED him." Luke 15:20 The Message
"The son, had a rehearsed speech about how sorry and unworthy he was - BUT the actions of the father were done BEFORE he uttered a word!
When you SEE the LOVE, you can't say, "let me earn it!" (God if You will just get me out of this mess, if you will just give me what I think I need - I will.....) The son's motive for coming back was imperfect, but when he SAW the overwhelming love of the father, his heart changed. The hero is the father, not the repentant son.
The older brother needed to change his mind about his father, he felt he needed to work hard and "earn," what he had. In fact he felt because he had worked hard, he deserved it!" ~Pastor Joseph Prince
And that's when I started crying.
The energy and enthusiasm I have for my little granddaughter came flooding in. HOW MUCH MORE is the Father delighting in us? He is constantly creating ways to capture our hearts, thrill us, surprise us with His love, in ways we can understand; in the taste of cold watermelon on a summer day, a furry baby kitten, a butterfly's wings. He is communicating, "I love you so very much!"
If we could but SEE!
We would never negotiate, we would never try and earn what He has already given. My little granddaughter doesn't need to do ONE thing for my love. It's there, waiting for her to SEE.
One of these days, she will SEE, and one of these days
So will we!
With open eyes
Smiling in His service
The work of the ministry continues to grow in the military community. Our efforts with the website Directory of Resources (www.battle-buddy.info) are making an impact across the nation, with users from coast to coast. We've got Resource information cards in Vet Centers and VA Hospitals in Texas, California, South Carolina, Ohio and Iowa. We could use your financial support and prayers today!
To make a monthly commitment or a one time donation by credit card, visit our website: www.sunshineafterrain.org
Sunshine After Rain Ministries
10024 Regal Park Lane #217
Dallas TX 75230
Thursday, May 01, 2014
I'm back from the Joni and Friends Wounded Warrior Getaway, where the Battle-Buddy Info website was received with great enthusiasm. On Monday, while I was driving all over Dallas unpacking the cargo van loaded with costumes and crafts, our Military Liaison was "reporting for duty" at his job as the Office Manager of the largest Vet Center in the USA. I was exhausted - he was excited!
His enthusiasm and encouragement have kept my "vision" of a Resource Directory for Soldiers and Caregivers alive over the long months of tedious data entry, website issues and declining financial support. When I would discover something that made me feel like I was wasting my time, I'd put a call in to him. His response never wavered. Perhaps it comes from being a soldier wounded in battle. "Don't look at them, what we are doing is what soldiers and their families need. Keep going!"
"The generous hand of my God was with me in this..." Nehemiah 2:8 The Message
The depth of the hurt soldiers and their families are experiencing was once again brought to light at the Getaway (soldiers never retreat). Stories of forced retirement, lack of proper medical treatment for injuries, friends who took their own lives, financial crisis due to the VA being 300 days behind (you read correctly) on benefit payments, are heartbreaking to hear, how much more to be experienced! All the soldiers and caregivers involved with the website were anxious to share the resource with others.
Share they did; in breakout sessions, over meals and when they returned to work on Monday.
An "improvised explosive device" is about to go off.
When the PURPLE HEART recipient Office Manager handed out business cards with our website printed on it (to a soldier in need of resources for help), he was called into his superior's office. They questioned him with suspicion over what this "website" was exactly and why was he giving it out to veterans. He responded quickly and assertively - it was a Resource Directory designed by Caregivers and Soldiers to help each other. The long and short of it - he was told to "cease and desist." He was then required to sign a document stating he understood.
"...they were very upset, angry that anyone would come to look after the interests of the People..." Nehemiah 2:10 The Message
The next day, he was called back in to take a conference call from the higher ups in Washington and Dallas. As he took the "dressing down" he point blank asked, "You're telling me I cannot offer ANY resources to soldiers who come here looking for help, even if I know an organization that will help them?" They responded with, "that is correct. We are not here to provide resources, we are here for transition back to civilian life. If we give out a resource and the soldier ends up committing suicide that's on us."
My friend replied, "if a soldier comes in here needing help and you don't tell him where to get it - it IS ALREADY on us."
As he related this chain of events to me I grew concerned. What if he loses his job? What if he is put in financial hardship because he was trying to share the Battle-Buddy resource? And then I remembered what he shared during one of our first conversations about his role in service to our country...
...he was a Medic.
You may not have heard this aspect of enemy operations during the current conflict, I certainly hadn't. When a convoy is traveling through enemy territory oftentimes the enemy will instigate a small "attack." This will result in the Medic being sent out to assess and dress the wounded soldier. Snipers will then take aim at the Medic to "take him down." For you see, if a Medic isn't present a convoy will not proceed. If the enemy can take the one stopping the bleeding, saving the dying, they have shut down the advance.
Does this scenario sound familiar?
It did to me! I encouraged our Military Liaison. "You're still a Medic! You're still on the front lines of the battle. You're still rescuing the dying and the enemy is still trying to take you out." He laughed in agreement, "Yeah, you're right."
"The God of Heaven will make sure we succeed. We're His servants and we're going to work, rebuilding. You can keep your nose out of it. You get no say in this..." Nehemiah 2:20 The Message
With the military suicide rate of over 25 A DAY, you can understand how critical it is for them to get resources quickly, efficiently, when they NEED them. As I was reading the Word for encouragement I was led to the story of Nehemiah, whose heart for his "people" living in an "unwalled city" brought him distress and the attention of the King. Friends, our soldiers and their families are living in an unwalled city of despair. WE have got to REBUILD the "wall" of hope everlasting, mercy overflowing, and love without end.
Like Nehemiah, there will be ridicule and opposition to this seemingly insurmountable task. But just like Nehemiah, we will hold a trowel in one hand, and a sword in the other (Nehemiah 4:17). It was not "soldiers" who were defending the building of the wall, it was FAMILIES, stationed, working, and ready to fight when the trumpet was sounded.
Six months ago I had a vision of an "Angie's List/Yelp-styled" website where soldiers and caregivers could not only FIND resources, but could also have a voice to REVIEW them. It has been a labor of love for the heroes of our nation who have inspired, encouraged, and least any one of us forgets, fought, sacrificed and bled for our freedom! Truly, how can they hear the love of God, if they don't see the love of God through His people?
"There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears." Philippians 1:6 The Message
Like Gideon, we are going against a far greater enemy. We are outnumbered (11,000 resources listed on the government website). But like Gideon, God has called us to the battle, and He will bring the victory!
Would you care to guess how many resources are listed on www.battle-buddy.info ? (see Judges 7:8)
We need your help TODAY!
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The trumpet is sounding, let's work together and get this wall built!
Fighting with a smile!