Dear Friend of TMS,
I recently received this moving note from Navy Chaplain, Lt. John Eastman (M.Div., 2004). His Christmas time serving with the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines in Afghanistan put Christmas in perspective for me.
"Many are witnessing their share of the ravages of war -- its wounds, its hunt to take the precious lives of our men. Please pray a special prayer of comfort for the ‘Hand’ family as sadly their son, Lcpl Hand became our first loss. As I write, we just received word about our second loss; his name will be revealed at a later time. So, needless to say, I write with a heavy heart.
On Thanksgiving, I had the opportunity to get to most of Fox’ battle positions, naturally, it was hard to say, ‘Happy Thanksgiving’ in this type of setting but, we tried. The Marines and Sailors were good spirited and amazingly focused on doing their best. The Muslims meanwhile were celebrating their own holiday, remembering the great test placed on Abraham by God to see if he would sacrifice his son in obedience. But, just as his knife went up, God provided a ram instead. Abraham passed this great test of faith and will forever be known as the father of the faithful (Gen 22:1-14).
Speaking of this sacrifice, it was in this very vicinity thousands of years later when God Himself would make the ultimate sacrifice by sending His own Son to die for our sins. This is what we should be pondering as Christmas fast approaches.
… ‘for the child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son; and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins…’ (Mt 1:21).
Lord willing, I will have the opportunity to spread this message of salvation to Marines and Sailors throughout our area of operation."
Please join our TMS family in praying for the vital ministry of Chaplain John Eastman.
Richard Mayhue, Th.D.
Senior Vice President and Dean