Red-White No Blues

Reporting in after the soldiers arrival. One of the first families to arrive had been here in April. The two children ran up and embraced me with an arm load of love. Miss C, you're back! We are so happy to see you. They had my undivided attention being the first to register. They told me about their summer activities that included camps and kayaking and then the boring stuff like school!

When they tired of their tales and more children came they went outside to play. It wasn't long before their mother joined us (my friend S and I) on the floor and shared the saga of family life since the retreat in April. She started by saying, "you know we wouldn't have made it without the retreat. We were headed for a divorce because my husband felt his injury (double amputee)was too much of a burden on me." But he was saved that weekend and now he has the faith and trust in God to make it. Since then he has been shark diving, sky diving, skiing, white water rafting - he is becoming the man God intended him to be." She told of his fear of not "finishing" something he started because he has never been a quitter. She then went on to say they had just participated in the Army 10 mile run held in Washington DC. "I have two herniated discs" she said, "but if he was willing to walk (in his newly fitted prosthetics) I was going to be at his side. There were times we were holding hands and I felt like I was pulling him, but he finished! They left Washington DC closed down for an extra 45 minutes so we could cross the line." Then she laughed, "he did beat the one-legged man".

Many along the sidelines cheered them on and encouraged them. I immediately thought of the verse, "since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses...let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."

Each of us has a race marked out for our lives. For the men and women here at the retreat, the race included a battle they volunteered to fight, but injuries that unexpectedly cut short their tour of "duty". Our duty (that means you) is to carry the burden and lighten the load through prayer, to share laughter or a smile, and at times to listen with the gratitude of a person who enjoys the freedom they sacrificed for. There is more than a "duty" to be served here - there is the upward high calling - sharing the hope of Christ and the eternal victory found in Him.

At the last retreat 8 soldiers claimed "Victory in Jesus". Five marriages were restored and 12 children put their lives in His hands. There are 31 families signed up, 40 children and an army of angels watching over us.

Pray for protection, for open hearts, and for the battle weary to find strength in Him.

"Some gave all, all gave some" but One gave His only Son!

In service for the service men and women.

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