The RLDS Peacekeepers newsletter is available in an e-mail and a "dead tree" edition. Active-duty military members who join the association can receive either edition for free. Non-active-duty members receive either edition with a paid membership.
I will attempt to bring you up to date on what's going on. Tim Kunzweiler is back in CONUS. He has been sent to Davis-Monathan AFB at Tucson, Arizona. That's only about 85 miles south of Mesa where we will be for the winter. So far his promotion has not come through to LTC.
Scott Jobe is still at Eglin AFB and is looking for his Captaincy to come through before very long. He is a RLDS Chaplain on duty with the Air Force. Kim, his wife, is secretary to this organization. We'll keep hoping, Scott.
Brenda and Meredith Mitchell are back in CONUS and their article will appear in this newsletter. We're sure glad that they are back with us. -CH
Apostle Linda Booth gave a sermon at Far West Reunion this summer and I was privileged to sit under her ministry. She has been gracious enough to recount her words for our uplift. Here is her contribution. -CH
After the story they gave each child pieces of cardboard to make a manger, some yellow paper to tear up for straw, and a doll-like baby Jesus cut from tan felt to place in the manger.
The men walked amongst the children, watching them eagerly constructing the mangers. One man stopped before a 6-year old boy named Misha. In his manger were two babies. He asked the translator to ask the boy why there were two babies.
Misha leaned back, folded his hands across his chest and began to tell the story. It was accurate until he got to the part when Mary laid the baby in the manger. Misha said, "When Mary laid baby Jesus in the manger, Jesus looked at me and asked me if I had a place to stay. I told him I didn't have a momma or a poppa, so Jesus told me I could stay with him. But I said I couldn't because I didn't have a gift like the wise men. I thought about what I could Jesus. Thought I could keep him warm if I lay down in the manger with him. So I asked Jesus if that was a good gift. He said that keeping him warm was the best gift I could ever give him. He said if I help keep people warm, then I am with him always."
You see, Jesus had shown Misha "the way."
In the 13th chapter of John, Jesus showed his disciples the way. Before Passover Jesus knew he would be betrayed by Judas, tried, sentenced, and put to death. During that meal with his friends, he got up, took off his outer garments, and with a towel and basin of water he began to wash their feet like a slave. They were horrified, embarrassed. Jesus was their Lord, not their slave. Simon Peter spoke up: "You will certainly not wash my feet." Jesus answered him: "Do you not understand why I do this?" Jesusí common service to his friend was a parable in action. He said, "For I have given you an example that as I have done to you, so you should do for others." Jesus took a common action and made it sacred. Jesus showed his friends and you and me that what we may believe to be insignificant actions can make a profound difference in the lives of others.
In lowly service to others, the genuineness of our Christian profession is shown. Whatever our circumstances, whatever our professions, we proclaim the love of Christ through our actions and words. As we act like Christ's servants, we give flesh to the Holy Spirit, showing others they are loved. As we simply serve, we help Jesus "keep people warm."
Linda Booth, Apostle to Central Field
So far, we are enjoying our return to the beautiful eastern coast of the United States. But we are finding the prices to be HIGH here and the traffic to be hectic. We'll adjust to the latter, if not to the former.
In our 18 years in Europe, we had the privilege of meeting and working with many fine church members, several of whom we have met and/or worshiped with in the VA area: The Ken Miner family; Blair and Ruth Bryant; the Dennis Clark Family; Tony, Jennifer and Janet Redfern; Max and Trish Hernandez and boys maybe I should say 'men!) Steve Smith; and our pastor and his wife, Dave and Ginny Condit, with their two children, son-in-law and two grandchildren. It's great to be HOME among friends and loved ones.
Europe gave us the opportunity to serve in various capacities-as pastor to the military, as group leader in a German/American congregation, as Church School Teachers, as a member of the German National Church Leadership Team, as retreat directors, cooks, bottle washers. We had the opportunity to develop our leadership skills, bring ministry again in a multi-cultural setting, and visit in the homes of members in several nations. If we were asked what the highlight of our time in Europe was, it would be hard for us to choose. The highlight experience was usually the one in which we were participating at the time because we were never disappointed with the ministry we were receiving from others.
It began with Lee and Sandy Ecker meeting us at the airport and putting up five weary travelers who had no sponsor to meet them, with Jim Graham driving over 100 miles one way to pick us up and take us to our first Easter retreat a week after we arrived in Karlsruhe-we were transportless at the time.
I remember vividly the tears that flowed the first time we met in the Cordova home and some of us sang "The Old, Old Path" in English and some in German, and I realized once again that although we are hindered by language barriers, God isn't. He accepts and loves the praises brought to Him in any language. There was the first Berchtesgaden retreat where I had the opportunity to renew my friendship with my former Graceland "roomie," Gayle Parker, and her family. The Christmas retreats in Ludwisburg directed by Jerry Shelton, the Book of Mormon for all ages classes so ably prepared by Trish Hernandez, the British Isles reunions, the Huelsa reunions, the communion services in the car with Nathan in Wildflecken, the months in BDU's in Hungary where we had the opportunity to visit Miklos Csorba-our only Hungarian member at that time-and his wife and friends, the pre-baptismal class with Eric, Erinn and Justin, the Bible study classes in the chapel and on and on the list goes. We felt the Holy Spirit with us in groups of over 300 (BI reunions) and in groups of two (ministering one on one with an isolated or needy brother or sister).
But life didn't end when we returned to CONUS. There are people to visit, sermons to prepare, families to invite over for a meal, souls hungering to hear the beauties of the gospel to feed, and a Master to serve. We are looking forward with anticipation to what the future may bring, believing with all our beings, that we are loved and accepted by God and loved and accepted by our brothers and sisters. Life has not always been easy; we have no promise that it will be easy from now on, but we know there is One whose hand we can take with assurance that He will be with us through thick and through thin. He is dependable; we hope, earnestly, the He can say the same of us.
May God continue to bless each one of you, wherever you are stationed. Not only is God not hindered by language, He is also not hindered by location. Wherever you go, He is already there. Just look Him up. You'll be glad you did!
With love in Christ,
Brenda and Meredith Mitchell
Not everyone agrees that the logo that we have been using is appropriate. In order for us to present all views I am printing a letter to me from Col. Ron Edwards who is stationed at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO.
Thanks for your newsletter and your good efforts at communicating with the military around the world.
I don't think the new logo is a very good idea: to picture a dove in the attack mode is not a peaceful symbol for me. I know that it stirs the pulse of those 82nd Airborne graduates and affiliates, but the Screaming Eagle and the Dove definitely have different purposes in life.
In my many years on active duty, there have been many situations in which our call to be in the world but not of it have caused me to look carefully at my calling in life and my job, as I'm sure it has for many others. I believe we can stand for peace while in uniform, perhaps more easily in 1999 than ever before as our national and world wide goals align themselves more toward peacekeeping efforts. We can stand for and fight for what we believe is right, but we should only fight when all peaceful means have failed. To represent the world's classic symbol of peace, the dove, as primarily using talons-barred attack dive as its main behavior, I don't think fits at all.
Perhaps others have opinions.
Sincerely, Ron Edwards.
I have recently received an e-mail from Patricia Sefcik who is stationed in Bosnia. If any of you are there I'll be happy to supply her e-mail address and perhaps you can get together.
May each one of you receive the blessings you seek from the Lord and may he keep you from harmís way. Remember where ever you are that you are witnesses for Jesus Christ. Remember you ARE witnesses not it is up to you to determine what kind of a witness you will be.
Those of you that haven't returned your postcards or e-mail that haven't furnished the information PLEASE DO! I am trying to put a map together to show our various military members and where they are located. Just your name, rank, parent unit, military installation and if you are an APO or FPO whether you are in Asia or Europe.
Additions? Corrections? Questions? Contact the Ministry to Military Personnel at CofChristPeacekeepers@yahoo.com!