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SBC chaplains provide encouragement, request prayer for war in Iraq


ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)–Southern Baptist chaplains attached to Operation Iraqi Freedom continue to seek the prayers of Southern Baptists and report evidence of troops demonstrating faith in God.

Maj. Keith Kilgore, a U.S. Army chaplain in Kuwait, requested prayer in a March 23 e-mail to friends for many of the soldiers from his unit and others that are engaged in battle.

“As you have heard and seen on the news, coalition forces have taken casualties. We are praying for the families of those wounded, killed and captured,” he said. “The freedom the Iraqi people and our security from the threat of terror are going to cost us a great price. Please pray along with me that God will be merciful and end this war soon with a complete and just victory.”

Kilgore described nights punctuated by sirens warning of incoming missiles, requiring soldiers to put on protective suits and gas masks and wait in protected areas. But still they are fortunate to live in relative safety. “The soldiers at the front, at the border, and beyond have it much worse than we do,” he said.

LT Michael Brown, a Navy chaplain on the destroyer USS Anzio, said he held a special prayer vigil the evening of March 20 attended by about 25 personnel. “The service lasted two hours. Our God is an awesome God,” he said.

Bible studies have been conducted nightly on the ship since it left its base in Norfolk, Va., in January, Brown said. “The Lord is moving and working in such a powerful way in the lives of our sailors.”

Col. Douglas L. Carver, a chaplain from Rome, Ga., who oversees more than 100 chaplains in the Army’s V Corps, said in a March 19 New York Times report that each morning and evening during updates with senior officers they were greeted with “devotional” thoughts on their computer screens.

“The scriptural thought [today was] … ‘You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.'”

William Twa, an SBC Civil Air Patrol chaplain in Dallas, sent an e-mail to the North American Mission Board chaplaincy staff that reflects the thoughts of many during this time. He wrote, “I rest upon Psalms 27 and 37. Our God is merciful, gracious and just. He will not fail us. Continue to pray for all who so bravely stand as our shields and have faith that they shall return very quickly, victorious not only for us but for the rest of the world.”
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  • James Dotson