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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! :)

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Worship and Leaving

Sunday was the last worship service for me here in Iraq. It was bittersweet. On the one hand I'll miss everyone a lot- we've seen our Sunday evening service grow from around 25 people to over 120 in the last few months. And I'll miss seeing all of them each week.

On the other hand, I'm going home!

I feel good about what I've seen and done here. I don't know what is being said back in the United States, but there seems to have been a dramatic shift for the better here in Iraq in the last few weeks. I can't speak officially, but we've seen a huge drop in casualties. Things have quieted down a lot. Remember, the surge only reached its full strength about a month ago. I went through a period of skepticism, but I'm leaving here feeling like we are on the cusp of some very good things happening. It's going to be a matter of time and patience, but the results of the surge from this guy's perspective is a matter of burgeoning optimism.

As far as returning home... obviously I've got almost unrestrained excitement! There is no way to describe it for someone who has never been here. Going back to my family feels like winning the lottery. I can't wait to see my family and friends back home.

I'll be taking some time off when I get home. I'm beginning a call with a new church (Zion) this fall, but I will have some time to spend with my current church, LCC, and I can't wait to see everyone, and share my experiences with you. I had the blessing of having a member of LCC at my last service here in Iraq (how cool is that!), as we shared communion and worshiped. Nice way to finish out the tour.

I can't be specific about when I'm leaving Iraq, or what the return will entail, but I will probably not blog from Iraq again. We'll see. I'll try and update as I get to Kuwait and on to the demobilization site.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Mom said...

Hi Chris!

I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to see you!! I know how much you miss your family - MA, C and Dubs will be soooooooooo incredibly happy to see you!

I love you and can't wait to see you!!!

Mom

6:29 AM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

I am excited for you. I thank you again for all your blogging, I have learned alot in my pursuit of becoming a chaplain. I would love for you to visit my church and speak about your experiences.

3:43 PM  
Blogger Salomé said...

Whoa! Can just imagine your excitement! :-)
I'll be praying for God's blessing and safekeeping for you.
God bless!

5:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm excited for you to come back home so you can see Sven and so we can see Transformers the movie. I'm really really really really excited. I really can't wait.

I love you Dad. Bye

W

5:06 AM  
Blogger Shane Vander Hart said...

Chris, when you are all settled into being back and being with Zion I'd love to get together for coffee.

Meeting with your new senior pastor later this month, and looking forward to it. He worked with SOY before when he was at Lutheran Church of Hope.

10:21 AM  

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