I have had a lump in my throat all day. There have been jumbled thoughts about two children in our preschool who have lost their dads while serving our country….one of them recently. I have been thinking about another new child who has BOTH parents deployed. I have been thinking about those families I have come to know better and others I know well that are keeping down the fort while their spouses are deployed. I have been thinking about ways we can help. I have been thinking about the 2 1/2 year old who has paid attention at chapel time and knows the pledge of alligiance by heart and is beginning to know what it means to respect God and country.
I have been working on a grant proposal for a few months that will help us serve military families better. Today, I have wanted to put it to bed and added Pastor’s letter of support to the grant. That did it! The emotion has been on the surface all day and in a few lines the letter made the everyday challenges of military families so real. I am so grateful to be part of this team and part of this community of faith. So grateful to be part of this school where we teach children how to respect God and country. I am inspired to put more effort into being part of that education. I am inspired to pray for those military families I know a little harder. I am inspired to hug the children I get to see everyday a little longer.
Here is pastor’s letter:
People in trouble or under tension are often more receptive to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, especially when Gospel words have been preceded by Gospel actions. That’s the premise behind Concordia’s outreach to families of deployed military.
The nature of military life is that families are usually stationed far from home. When a spouse is deployed, that fragile support system becomes even smaller. Imagine having several small children, a deployed spouse, and no one but yourself to turn to for help when you needed it. Imagine having several small children, a deployed spouse, and no one but yourself to turn to for help when someone in uniform showed up at your door to give you the news that your spouse had been injured or killed. What would you do? Where would you turn? Who would you look to for help if you were far from home?
Now imagine this. What if the CHURCH could be that support system? What if the CHURCH could be the one who helped these military spouses in need? What if the CHURCH could be home for people all alone and separated from their families? Would people touched by that sort of caring, authentic, and tangible love be more open to the Gospel?
We are in a community with a large military presence where long deployments are commonplace. We have direct contact, through the 175 children in our preschool, with many of those families. And through those families, we have contact with many more deployed families.
With your help, we can help them. We can do good, and we can also have a direct impact for God. That’s why we’re asking you to partner with us in pioneering this new outreach to military families with deployed spouses.
Rev. Richard Schmidt
Concordia Church and School
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