This quarter mostly consisted of the completion of my entry level training as an Army Chaplain. I’ll write about some of the things that I learned at Chaplain School in another post. For now I will just say that I am very glad to have that in my review mirror.
Finishing the course took me away from my unit during annual training (AT), but I’m thankful for God’s provision in that another chaplain was able to attend AT with my unit. He did a great job taking care of the spiritual needs of our soldiers and I am truly thankful for that.
Being away meant that I was only able to attend one drill. Here is some of what I was able to accomplish in September.
I had the privilege of counseling several soldiers at drill and 2 by phone prior to drill. My counseling opportunities are increasing. I’m not sure if this is because the needs of my soldiers are increasing, or if this is a reflection that I am gaining more of their trust. Either way these conversations are giving me more opportunities to encourage and support soldiers, and also to share my faith with increasing frequency.
Chapel services can be tricky in the Guard. It’s an expectation that I provide services each drill, but it’s sometimes difficult to schedule these at a time when soldiers can actually attend. When you only have 2 days a month to train every minute is precious. That being said, though, like counseling I am seeing an increase in the number of soldiers who are showing up. This is in no small way due to the fact that more soldiers are beginning to promote the services for me. Just like with church word of mouth advertising is golden. I’m thankful for this and am looking forward to seeing this continue to grow.
The photo at the top of this post is my wife pinning me. This is placing a pin on my uniform that shows I am a fully trained and qualified chaplain. It was a lot of work to get to this point, and I am so thankful to have finished. It was a special moment because of all the work that went into getting there, and also because my wife was able to share it with me.
The last phase of training required me to be away from home for several weeks so graduation meant not only completing the course, but also seeing my family. We had an amazing time enjoying the last few days of school, mostly because we were able to be together again. I couldn’t do what I do without the support of my family. They are one of God’s greatest blessings to me.
For God and Country!