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Book of military chaplain stories

November 10, 2009

A month or so ago, my husband and I had dinner with a childhood friend and his wife. Gary's a military chaplain and his wife an ordained minister.

We spent a few hours catching up -- we hadn't seen each other since our teens! -- and then Gary wanted to tell us a story. It was about a care package we'd sent him while he was deployed to Afghanistan a few years ago. Because it was nearing Christmas, I'd put in a small plastic Christmas tree and bags of candy. I also packed in some brownie mixes. Gary wanted to tell us what happened to the brownie mixes.

Not having the ingredients or means for making the brownies himself, he approached the kitchen staff on the base, who said they’d see what they could do. Meanwhile, Gary began preparing a Christmas Eve service.

Normally, Gary said, only two or three soldiers came to his Sunday services. Even so, he expected a few more for Christmas Eve. He was thrilled to receive another package in the mail, one from his wife that contained small gifts to distribute at the party. He also got word that the brownies could be made up for a party following the service.

Preparing to start the service, Gary glanced around the chapel and was astonished to find the seats filling up. He counted 30 personnel in attendance, including himself. After the service, the group gathered to enjoy the treats and gifts laid out for them. On the table were 30 gifts and 30 brownies. Exactly enough gifts and exactly enough brownies to go around. Imagine that!

After finishing the story, Gary said in passing, "We chaplains have hundreds of these stories!" Immediately, I thought, "What a great book idea!"

So, that's what I'm working on now. A book of stories told by military chaplains. If you are -- or if you know -- a military chaplain, I'd like to hear your story. I'm looking for stories that show God's grace to the military in everyday ways, or in ways that are experienced as miracles.

To tell me your story, contact me through the e-mail address to the right of this blog. I'd be happy to contact you by phone or e-mail to talk about your story. I've already heard some wonderfully inspiring stories and look forward to more. Thanks, Gary and Rosalind, for the idea!

Comments

  1. August 28, 2010 7:48 AM EDT
    This story of the chaplain and the brownies remind me of the miraculous timing of God's miracles. I have learned of the workings of God's wonderful hands, through life's experiences and stories told by my parents. One such story recounted to me by my father stands out in my mind these past 50 plus years.
    Dad was a minister at a very small country church in north Florida back in the 1950's and he also worked a full time job as a drag-line operator on a muck farm. A salary for small time, country preachers back then was little to none. Feeding a family with four children, ages 3 to 13 was, at best, challenging.
    My parents never wavered in their faith that God always takes care of us as long as we aspire to do and be our best. One evening we sat down to a simple but tasty pot of beans for supper. Albeit, as young children, were oblivious to the fact that those beans were the only food that we had left in the house until payday.
    Not knowing our plight, we children said grace, thanking God for the family and good food on the table. We then proceeded to be served what possibly, was our last meal for a few days. As Dad said Amen, there came a light knock on the front door.
    As the door was opened, there on the porch, sat four huge anonymously placed bags of groceries. My parents could hardly eat due to their tears of joy and thankfulness to God.
    - Linda Formy-Duval Pearson
  2. August 28, 2010 8:11 AM EDT
    Thank you, Linda, for sharing this incredible story! My husband and I have several missionaries in our family, and we have heard some wonderful stories of how God provided in times of great need. You are going to love the stories from the 55 chaplains in my book. Some of them you would be tempted to say couldn't possibly have happened, and yet they did. I don't doubt my chaplains!
    - Nancy B. Kennedy