After sixteen years of pastoral and overseas mission ministry I finally answered the call to Military Chaplaincy in the United States Navy. I reported to my first duty station with the U.S. Marines in Hawaii. I was eager to discover ways to reach the young men and women in the military and share Jesus with them and invite them to join the Adventist family. I preached Christ and the gospel in the chapel and when on exercises in the field, counseled and prayed with them when they faced difficulties in life, and made friends with them and their families. But how could I share with them the unique message of our church. I soon learned.
I met the Yamashiro family in one of the “windward” SDA Churches and learned of their simple outreach ministry for Marines. Every week, they opened their home on Friday night to any SDA Marine they could find. After a simple, informal supper they’d enjoy the evening as the Sabbath hours began with lots of music and sharing. Each Marine was urged to invite a friend the next week. Often, exhausted some would fall asleep on the floor only to be awakened the next morning in time to get ready for Sabbath School and Church.
This very simple friendship ministry led to over twelve Marines being baptized during my tour. I kept spreading the word on base and giving directions to the Yamashiro house. I arranged for the local church pastor to meet these young people at church and include them in the Pastor’s Bible Class and later prepare them for baptism.
I am eager to work with pastors and churches who are located near our military bases in the Northwest to identify several families who will open their homes in hospitality ministry. Please help me find the SDA military members living in your area. Make sure they have been presented with the Military Bible Kit from their home church and get registered with Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries so they will receive “For God & Country” and other church magazines and support. Bible Kits may be ordered by local churches through their conference youth department. For further information call Chaplain Roth at 253-631-2949 and he will arrange to meet with you and your church.