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Caring for Military Members
 By Garry Losey

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Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.” Matthew 24:4-8.

When you read these verses and look at the world around you, it is easy to recognize the times in which we live. As nation rises against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, it is inevitable that some of our members will join the military and serve their country in special times of need.

So how can pastors support their members who serve in the military? Here are seven suggestions:

1.   Assure your military member that you support their decision to serve, and that you will pray for them and their family. Your military member needs to know that you are there to support their family while they are away. This is especially true if the military member is on a hardship tour far away from home.
2.   Notify Adventist Chaplain Ministries (ACM) that a member of your church has joined the military, and where they are stationed. ACM can then stay in contact with them and provide support where needed.
3.   Send a gift Bible Kit to your military member from AdventSource.
4.   Find out what installation the soldier is going to and contact a pastor near that fort or base. The local pastor can then contact the military member and provide support while they are in the area.
5.   Stay in touch with the family members back at the home church. See how they are doing. Ask if there is anything you can do for them, especially when their loved one is directly in harm’s way and family anxieties are high.
6.   Put your service member’s address on the church bulletin board and encourage the church family to write letters and send care packages, especially if the service member is in an area of conflict.
7.   Remember the most important thing: Keep your service member and their family in your prayers. As it says in Ephesians 6:18 –
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Chaplain Garry Losey recently retired from the US Army Reserves