I’m currently sitting on a cot, inside the BAS (Battalion Aid Station) as I write this in what amounts to a wood structure that is crude at best. It’s amazing to me to think that this is the highest echelon of medical care the battalion will provide. The floor is dirty, the instruments crude, and yet doctors and corpsmen will work out of a facility like this to provide care for men at war. There is nothing new here, this has been done for centuries, there are no high tech modern conveniences of the great American healthcare machine in this place. Simply men who with the God-given talent they possess come with various reason to serve the marines of 3/6. Some of them will even walk in step with the marines as they carry out the patrols, the first responders.
I leave today for a week away from the creature comforts of the main Firm Base. Comforts like electricity and, to a lesser degree, Internet.
Some things which you would assume we have are already lost to me, like running water, showers, a real bathroom, clean clothes, food that doesn’t have a half-life of 1000 years and a bed. No, I’ll sleep on the ground for the rest of April, wear the same set of clothes, take no shower, and make do the best I can with what’s around me. The field is, in short, either peaceful or boring depending on your take.
I begin my circuit today of the companies that make up our battalion. Imagine preacher on horseback, take away the horse and there you have it; the role of a battalion chaplain. I will live out of a backpack for the rest of this month, staying in one place long enough to minister to the marines and sailors through a worship service and counseling. The amazing thing about this life of a vagabond is that I’m looking forward to it with a childlike wonder. Ask me in a few months and I may feel differently, but for now the ability to bring God’s Word without all the distractions is incredible. I do communion at almost every service as I find it brings a certain level of sacredness to the moment, setting apart the half hour or so from the rest of the week. There are no stained glass windows or pipe organs here, your Sunday best is usually removing your cover (hat) and Sunday morning worship can, at times, happen on Tuesday at 2 in the afternoon.
The simplicity of the worship experience out here is convicting. I’m learning, in-spite of how free-thinking I am, that worship of God really is at its heart just a matter of worshipping in spirit and truth – all the other visible are irrelevant. God is continually reminding me that His will is sufficient, and He is and has given me an incredible gift to be able to minister to these men.
May I be equaled to the task as I rely fully on Him.
In His Grips,