As another school year winds down here at Fort Hood, Texas, the reality of ministry at a military base with military students hits hard.  Sometimes I picture ministry in a stable church environment as a sanctuary in the middle of a placid lake. I’m pretty sure that is not always the case, but it’s the picture that is entrenched in my brain for some reason. On the other hand, I picture what we do like serving on a raft in the middle of a raging river. People are jumping on and off of this raft all of the time as they sweep down these chaotic rapids of military life. We seldom have more than a couple of years with leaders and students to have an impact, to make a difference. So, the question looms: “What do you want this raft to look like Lord? What are you doing? What have you called us to focus on?” We pray, we seek His face, we talk to our leaders, and we act.

We have become a place where military students can re-center on their faith. We have outreach times of bowling, swimming parties, and so on. We have arts night where students can come, hang out and learn something new. We focus on in depth Bible teaching, where students can learn how to withstand the frantic pull of the culture that wants to suck them into compromise and teach them to live to please themselves and others. We hang out with them, answer their questions, pray for them, and listen for a while, even if it’s through a Facebook chat. We take them to camp, where they can spend a week unplugged and outside. They have fun and they are further grounded in the word of God. Sometimes, we have to challenge them in a way that is hard for them to hear, but we love them too much to watch them walk on a destructive path. Time and time again we’ve had students tell us that they were lost and adrift on that raging river, but Club Beyond was a safe place where they were able to discover the God of the universe through faith in Jesus Christ. They’ve told us they were able to come back to Jesus Christ being the center of their lives after they had wandered away. Praying for these students and teaching them God’s word has had a dramatic impact on so many of them. Our words often fall to the ground and are forgotten; God’s word never is. We are so thankful for the privilege of ministering to military families.

Martie Carter
YFC Military: Club Beyond
Fort Hood, Texas

 

 

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