The use of dogs in the military is likely as old as the art of war. The use of Dogs in ministry is a lot newer. One of the challenges in dealing with people who have or may have PTSD and related conditions is establishing an effective rapport. This article outlines how an Army chaplain uses a psychiatric service dog to break down the barriers to recovery for the soldiers she ministers to.
Just over three year ago I wrote The First Responder’s Prayer. It has since been published in three books, and posted on many police and fire station walls. I continue to hear how it brings comfort to those who protect us daily. Ever since I have wanted to do a similar prayer for the brave men and women of our military. I am finally convinced God has given me the right words for that prayer.
The Servicemember’s Prayer
By Rev. Robert A. Crutchfield
Give me your strength, when fear creeps inside me.
Let your strength sustain me, when my endurance fades,
Give me your peace in the face of the horrors I must witness.
Grant your wisdom to those given command over me.
Flow your comfort and companionship over my loved ones while I must be away.
Serve beside me always, as I defend those whom I don’t even know.
This prayer is dedicated to Almighty God , and humbly offered to those serving us in our military. I pray that it offers them some small degree of comfort, and strength.
In my world there is no such thing as being caught up on your reading. That doesn’t mean I don’t try. This morning I was reading up on some Christian religious news when I ran into this article on how Saddleback Church in Southern California, created a branch campus of their church for our military men and women at a base in Afghanistan.
My immediate reaction was that this was one of the greatest ideas I had heard of in a long time. I have the greatest respect for the chaplains that serve in our military. However providing these kinds of efforts to take some of the workload off of them is something we in the church world should have done a long time ago.
I have loved the United States Military ever since I was a child. That love only grew in 1983 when I joined the Texas State Guard. That love for our military inspires me as a minister to try and meet at least some of their needs where God gives me the opportunity. That’s why as we get Compassion Church of Katy up and running “military ministries” is one area I would like us to be involved in.
Katy, Texas where we are planting our church is not near any large military bases. However what Saddleback and other groups are doing proves that we don’t have to be. Technology for one thing is opening many incredible opportunities for ministry. The Katy Area is also home to many veterans, and military families, so this mission field is probably a lot nearer to our doorstep than we think.
As we go about organizing our church, and then growing it I don’t want to reinvent the wheel. However their are others around the country who are doing things much like I would like our church to do. do. Let’s learn from their example, help them where we can and improve on it where we get the chance.