God bless you as we come with this vision of how we believe the Lord would have us lead an Outpost and a Home Front Ministry in our area.
I have experience leading an Outpost Ministry while stationed on Ft. Carson, CO. The Home Front ministry will be a new endeavor for Jamie.
My initial vision for a ministry such as this came to me while I was stationed at Ft. Carson. The Lord spoke to me by way of prophesy that I would minister to soldiers and their families. The prophesy was confirmed by Pastor Billy Long and by Scripture (1 Cor. 7:20-24). This ministry was fulfilled for two years at Ft. Carson.
Over many years I have ministered to military families at Ft. Knox, KY and Ft. Benning, GA and to numerous National Guard and Reservists. Later, I began to minister to veterans and their families. It was during this ministry to veterans that Jamie and I met and eventually married. During our first anniversary vacation, God gave each of us pieces of a vision that began to fit together. Although I became anxious and started to chomp at the bit, Jamie remained steadfast to see the Lord work His wonders. And he did.
As the Iraq war unfolded, my own PTSD triggers were being activated and I knew I needed to pray. With my wife supporting me, I prayed for my own peace and began to get specific messages from the Lord through Scripture and from His Holy Spirit. One of the first messages was from Hebrews 5:12a (NIV), "In fact though, by this time you ought to be teachers..." As I prayed in support of myself, I found the Holy Spirit guiding me more and more to answers I did not expect.
In the quoted passage, God was leading me to recruit and, as needed, train Vietnam vets to begin to take our places as the fathers (actual and spiritual) to this generation of Americans at war. Why? The Lord revealed to me that this is our (Nam Vets') children and in some cases grandchildren fighting the war against terrorism. This is the second time in the Middle East for many, since some were also there in Desert Storm. And Jamie was the first recruit. God gave her the vision and heart to join me in Home Front ministry.
I frequently watch news programs to keep abreast of development. As I saw the Iraqi army collapse and many of them began to fight as guerillas, I saw many frightening parallels to Viet Nam. I saw Iraqi soldiers hide as civilians and use white flags only to suck our soldiers in and ambush them. Iraqi soldiers were using temples and hospitals as staging areas and ammunition and supply points. They'd return to them for sanctuary after attacking, just as the Viet Cong did. And just as Charlie did, the Iraqi soldiers used civilians as shields.
Our soldiers loaded body bags. Our medics helped enemy and friendly wounded, combatants and noncombatants alike. The entire world saw the absolute fear on the faces of our POWs, paraded before a conflicted nation, as we saw our first daughters killed in combat and rescued as prisoners from the enemy's hands.
Another part of our vision is to encourage the Church to step up and minister to home-coming veterans in a way that was not possible during the Vietnam War. We do this by teaching elders, pastors and church bodies about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), its symptoms, its dangers, how the Lord can heal it, how to receive the veterans home, how to equip the Church and family to receive the veteran, and expected outcomes from a spiritual standpoint. While blending this teaching with Christlikeness inherently taught in the Scriptures, we intend to strengthen the body of Christ to not only reach to the veterans and their families, but to also be able to reach to the community as a whole.
In Hebrews 5:12a, I knew that the Lord wanted more from me and He wanted it teamed with my wife. Jamie's vision for the Homefront goes hand-in-hand with the Outpost ministry. While the Point Man Outpost works to help veterans heal and prepare to minister to soldiers, the Home Front Ministry works to help the family members and loved ones understand and support those veterans and soldiers. Both ministries work together to equip the veterans and their families with coping mechanisms and strategies for handling Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The Home Front and Outpost ministries make themselves available to support churches and other ministry activities in order to teach about PTSD, its causes, symptoms, the insidiousness of the disease, its cyclic nature, and what can be done to help the returning soldiers. The teaching will also cover what family and friends should not do, how to avoid triggers, and how to find the triggers.
It is our commitment, through this outreach, to teach and strengthen the Kingdom. We can help build the Kingdom by showing the unsaved the mercy, grace and compassion of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our desire is to birth Christlikeness throughout the communities we touch.