Pro Deo Et Patria- An Army Chaplain

I am a chaplain in the US Army, serving in Iraq. I'm keeping a blog to share my thoughts and experiences while deployed. They are my thoughts and they don't necessarily reflect the opinions of the US Army! :)

Sunday, August 13, 2006


Today I received what has been my greatest blessing since I got to Camp Shelby: hospitality.

This morning I went to chapel, and heard an excellent sermon. After that I went to the hospital off-post to visit a sick soldier. Finding him sound asleep, I left a short note and a devotional by Henry and Richard Blackaby, called Experiencing God, in a version written exclusively for soldiers. After that I headed to a coffee shop to check my email, and grab a cup of tea. While there, I struck up a conversation with a woman reading her Bible. I soon came to find out that she works at a Christian sports camp in Arkansas, and that her family attends a Methodist Church here in Hattiesburg and she was back visiting. I shared that my father-in-law and brother-in-law are Methodist pastors. We spoke a little about churches, and she proceeded to invite me to her church. I was hesitant at first, not being used to southern hospitality, but I decided to go, and drove over to their church, Main Street Methodist Church in Hattiesburg. I attended their contemporary service called “The Fellowship.”

I was blown away. I can’t tell you how much this service ministered to me. First of all, the worship was very similar to Church of the Cross. They used some of the same songs, and the pastor even used a video clip I had used in a sermon. I felt like I had come home! Not only that, but the sermon was about community and inviting people; in short, it was about hospitality. It was excellent. The worship center was alive with the love of Christ, and you could feel the Spirit moving. The pastor used a cool sermon illustration in which he brought people forward to a table set at the front of the sanctuary. Afterward, I can’t tell you how wonderful everyone was.
The family that brought me to church invited me out to lunch, and even treated me (after my initial protest). It felt like I was back at home with people from LCC. I don't think this family realizes how much they embodied the love of Christ to me. I love being on post, and I love my work in the Army, but it was nice to get off post and hang out with a family, and just enjoy the company.

Next week, if I’m still in town, I plan to go back worship there, and bring some people from Camp Shelby. If you’re ever in Hattiesburg, check out Main Street Methodist Church. They’ve got a good thing going there.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so glad you are keeping us posted on what you are doing. I check often. I am very glad to hear that you had a good church experience today.
We miss you!

4:13 AM  

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