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Bible study for Marines sees interest grow like ‘wildfire’

OJOJIHARA MANEUVER AREA, SENDAI, Japan (BP)–“These meetings have been spreading through the company like a wildfire, and I’m very thankful for that.”

So prayed Cpl. Michael Anderson, while his head was bowed, eyes were closed and hands were interlocked with two other Marines during a Bible study earlier this year.

When Marines and sailors of F Company, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division stepped foot on the training grounds for Exercise Forest Light, a small group of Christian Marines began what they planned to be nightly classes discussing the Bible and how that information could pertain to their current situation. But as the exercise progressed, the number of attendees did as well.

Anderson, a Baltimore native, said the Bible studies started out with an attendance of 20 and climbed to more than 50 a night in a matter of just one week.

“I think the reason so many Marines have started coming is because it helps them to get closer to God,” Anderson said. “It helps them to deal with problems they have on a daily basis because if they know God is taking care of them, they get through them.”

Shaun Oates, a 1st Plt. rifleman, said the Marines and sailors also come there to learn more about God.

“It can build a lot of people’s faith during an exercise and also help them to become better Marines,” the Charlotte, N.C., native said.

Lance Cpl. Danny Brannon said he came out of curiosity.

“Someone came up to me and told me about it and I figured I’d see what it was all about,” said the Fentress County, Tenn. native. “This was my first time going to something like this and I’m glad I did because I learned what the Word of God is about.”

According to Sgt. Aaron Zielinske, one of the goals of the Bible studies is to help those who are unfamiliar with the Bible and Jesus Christ to become more aware.

The Bible studies also offer fellowship and association among Christians.

“There are a lot of Christians in this company and it is important to have fellowship all the time,” Zielinske said. “Hanging out with other Christians helps them get a closer relationship with God and offers better associates.”

He added that one of the most important reasons to have Bible studies in the field is to acquire patience.

“Studying helps us to become more patient and cope with our problems,” he said. “If we ask God, have faith and act according to His will, it will happen.”
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: INTENT.

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  • Matthew Barkalow