While my family and I were traveling to raise funds for the River City Church plant, I happened to run into a soldier in the U.S. Army. He was traveling home to be with his family for a week or so and we were waiting for the same connection flight. I asked him what he did and he explained his job, which is the Army equivalent to the bomb squad on a local police department. The biggest difference, however, is he defuses bombs in combat situations on foreign soil. I thanked him for his service and asked him how he was doing. I explained that I am a pastor and would gladly pray for him. He explained that he is a believer and hopes to be a light for Jesus to his fellow soldiers who so desperately need Jesus in their lives. He said every day people die or are seriously wounded and wishes they would have believed in Christ. Anyway, he asked me to pray for his recovery as he had recently suffered injuries after a bomb exploded while he was attempting to defuse it. I asked him to give me some details. If he could. Here are the details that tugged at my heart, brought a lump to my throat, and tears in my eyes...
On July 4th, while the rest of the country was celebrating our independence from tyranny and freedom as a nation, this soldier was stationed in the Middle East responding to a bomb call. While we gathered for bbqs, pool parties, fireworks, and time with friends and family, this soldier loyally fulfilled his duty to his country and considered his country worth the sacrifice of his life for our freedom. On July 4th, this soldier received several life-threatening injuries from a homemade bomb so that on July 4th our freedom would continue to exist. He thanked God for his recovery and considered himself blessed to be alive and able to continue serving. What a tremendous testimony to God's love!
I prayed for my new friend and thanked God for men like him who serve the country courageously with valor and honor. He is living as a light in the world saving lives and perhaps by God's grace his faithfulness as a believer will be used by God to save souls as well!
Thank you friend for all you do. You are a soldier in the United States Army who secures our freedom but more importantly you are a brother in Christ who seeks to lead others to the true freedom from the penalty of sin that only He can offer.