“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” ~Matthew 1:21
I would like to start by thanking you for your faithful support and prayers to our shared ministry and by wishing you a very:
Merry Christmas and a Christ filled New Year.
We watch as the Lord uses each of you for His glory and honor as we reach out to our military heroes. It is our prayer that in just a few words the Lord can give you a vision of how He is using you in our shared ministry. Each of you has rewards waiting for you in Heaven.
I want to start by saying that the Lord has blessed our ministry in the past year in a way where even a casual onlooker would give Him the credit. We started the year with 12 missionaries on deputation and will finish it with only 9 families still on deputation, the other 3 having made it to the field. One family now serves in Italy, another one at Fort Bragg, NC and one family is helping with PTSD ministry in the Midwest. Our prayer from the beginning of the year remains the same, simply that we would serve in such a manner that only the Lord could get the honor and glory. Through your testimonies of service and faith you have shown us how to do just that.
Our Bible shipping continues around the world. In the last year, the Lord used you to help ship 60,000 pieces of scripture to our heroes. During this year the Lord allowed us to reach over one million Scriptures shipped around the world.
The Lord has allowed us to have a larger evangelical outreach than we have ever had before. Assisting many churches in their communities and local bases, we have seen hundreds accept a loving Savior. I cannot wait to meet them all in Heaven.
The home office continues to assist the finest missionaries in the world. Each month our staff processes hundreds of checks, direct deposits and mail from around the world. Yet through the Lord’s blessing we still rely on you, God’s people, to provide the necessary provision. My brethren this is a testimony to your faith and our Lord’s mercy.
Last year, we helped over a hundred soldiers find their church homes as they returned from military service. Some of you have members because of this relationship. All of our supporting churches are recommended first. In 2017, we hope to help every returning hero and family find a church.
We continue to reach out to our Veterans around our country. The grim reality is that more than 200 heroes die during the average church meeting. Even with fifteen missionaries dedicated to working with our Veteran heroes in some of the largest homes and hospitals, and though we see hundreds saved, we are still only beginning to scratch the surface of the need to help our Veterans. Perhaps your church is located next to a Veterans Affairs Hospital or long-term care center and you would like to reach out to them. If so, please contact us for help in doing so.
During this time of the year we always receive calls about sending cards or gifts to our active military. Unfortunately, the U.S. Postal Service will not accept mail addressed to “Any Soldier,” “Any Wounded Soldier,” or similar titles because if they did, they could be providing a conduit for those who might do harm to armed services members. Such offerings are either returned to sender (if a return address has been provided or if one is found within the package) or donated to charities.
As another option, we do have a couple churches right next to deployment centers and could pass out packages to those heading down range.
On behalf of our AFBM Missionary family,
Brother Doug Carragher
Armed Forces Baptist Missions