News Articles

She comforts other wives as her husband ministers abroad

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP)–Jennifer Cook is used to life as an Army wife. She realizes the stresses and strains that come with the territory.

But Operation Iraqi Freedom is an addition to an already stressful time for Cook. Her husband, Capt. Eddie Cook, a 2002 Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary graduate, is a chaplain in the 3rd Battalion of the 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment from Fort Bragg, N.C., currently deployed in the Middle East.

Except for chaplaincy training, this is Capt. Cook’s first time in deployment. He’s been away from home for nearly two months, which is difficult enough in normal circumstances. The fact that the Cooks are having their first child as war occurs just increases the stress level.

But Jennifer Cook understands and accepts it as God’s will.

“It’s difficult,” she acknowledged. “Eddie’s having a hard time with it. His son will be born and he wants to be here. But if we can see soldiers come to know the Lord, then it’s a small sacrifice on our part. When you look at the effect the Kingdom of God has on people and what we’re doing in a difficult situation, I think it really helps him not to be here.

“Sure, it would be easier if he was home, but this is part of military life. We could have four kids and he might not be here for any of them. It’s part of his calling. But there’s plenty of support here in the military. So many other women call me daily to see how I’m doing. They let me know they support us.”

Jennifer Cook has helped organize a military wives’ prayer group for the 3rd Battalion. Nearly 40 women have taken advantage of the time of fellowship, support and ministry. She is looking to add the 1st and 2nd battalions as well.

“Many [wives] are having a very difficult time during this deployment and they need to know the strength of Christ,” Cook said. “I led one young lady [17 years old] to the Lord. We are seeing fruit and we praise the Lord for that.

“The whole principle [of the prayer group] is evangelistic. It’s not a time to light candles. There are wives here who do not know Christ and have a rough time with their husbands’ deployment. He is the peace the world can’t give.

“It’s not a threatening environment. We pray for our husbands. We hear the salvation message and the Word of God. The main emphasis is seeking God as a refuge. … The format has very much a church service feel. We do an opening prayer, we talk on Scripture, do some singing. I do the devotion, which is about 10 to 15 minutes long. We pray for the president as commander-in-chief to the military personnel. Each wife stands and represents her husband and we pray for each company.”

Capt. Cook said the prayers from home have greatly increased the effectiveness of his prayers while serving overseas.

“I have noticed a positive answer to my prayers in very tangible ways,” Cook said from the Middle East. “My wife has a great prayer base back home. God is moving and many of these ladies are coming to a saving knowledge in Jesus Christ. We are having a revival both here on our combat deployment and with our wives back home. We have had amazing answers to prayer as I have had nearly 100 professions of faith and been able to baptize these men.”

Jennifer Cook realizes that the Army wives look to her for spiritual support because she’s a chaplain’s wife. The built-in expectations are there on a daily basis. She said she struggled with the responsibilities, but her faith has led her down the path the Lord wants her to take.

“As a chaplain’s wife, people ask, ‘Why don’t you do something? What are you going to do?’ Some have the calling and some don’t. I haven’t felt forced to do something. When we got here in July and prayed, the Lord said to me that it wasn’t time for me yet. He said He has plans for what He wants me to do.

“When the rumors of deployment came up, I approached Eddie and told him that God asked me to minister to the wives. The Lord opened up doors. I’ve received a lot of support from the chaplains here. It’s been a wonderful experience.”
(BP) photos posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo titles: SPIRITUALLY PREPARED and EXPECTANT MINISTRY.

    About the Author

  • Jerry Higgins