Thursday, October 23, 2008

Snapshots in Kuwait

Well, it's about 100 degrees every day, and really dusty. For instance, if the wind blows a little bit, there will be dust in your eye. You can put glasses on, you can put goggles on, you can squint, but when there is a breeze, it doesn't matter, there will be dust in your eye. You just have to get used to there being sandpaper between your eyelid and eyeball. It's cool though.It's been pretty slow here. We do some training, but mostly we sit around so we can acclimate to the 8 hour time difference and temperature.God is still being good. I slack off on him sometimes. I'm reading the book of Phillipians still. Wow, can you say jammed with good stuff? Take this verse just as food for thought:

"I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me."
Phil. 3:12

So lately, I've been praying for God to bless me like he did Joseph. There is a promotion coming up that I want, but as with everything, there are politics to it. What do you think of praying for God to improve your situation when you don't need it? I want to be able to represent God in everything here, and I want Him to increase my sphere of influence. I also want Him to give me a roommate who doesn't snore. Do you think those are legitimate prayers? If so, please keep them in your prayers, along with strength and joy through this entire deployment. I love you guys. Please stay in touch.

Monday, October 13, 2008


So I got a chance to go home and see my family for four days last week, and my good friend, Jon Carr came up from Moody Bible Institute (where he's going to college) in Chicago to see me. During some of our fantastic discussions, he mentioned how during this summer he and some guys at the summer camp he was a counselor at had challenged each other to 3000/12. A challenge in which they did 3000 push-ups and memorized 12 Bible verses in twelve days. In the ten weeks they were there, they did 15,000 push-ups and memorized 60 verses.
Well, I came back up to Ft. McCoy, and found a friend who was willing to join me in this adventure (check out the video that's coming to a youth group near you to see how I found a friend and answer to prayer!). We decided to take up the challenge, and memorize starting in Philippians. While I was reading ahead, I ran into a suspiciously amazing verse, Philippians 1:21, and it says "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain."

Isn't that a neat perspective? What can you say to someone who thinks like that? 

Could you imagine being one of the guys trying to intimidate Paul?

"You quit talking about Jesus, or we'll beat you up," 

"I would count it a privilege to suffer for Christ"

"You quit talking or will put you in jail"

"Put me in jail, and the word of God will spread more rapidly"

"You quit talking about Jesus, or we'll kill you!"

"For to me, to die is gain... I get promoted, I'm excited about the day I die."

Seriously, what would you say to someone with that perspective? Nothing else would matter if we could get to that mindset. No suffering, nothing would compare to the privilege we get in Jesus! That is so cool.

Alright, that's all from me for now.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Dear World

Well, this is my first post, and I guess I will give you the thorough update of what's going on. I'm on a four day pass up in Wisconsin. For the past month and a half, I've been at Ft. McCoy, an Army National Guard Fort which has the purpose of training up National Guard soldiers for overseas missions. The National Guard trains one weekend a month most of the year most years, so I guess the Army has the wisdom to realize that we need to be retrained in order to be prepared for war. I think that that is a fantastic idea.

Some of the things that I've been training on: 
As a medic, I've been training on how to do IV's under less than ideal circumstances. I've already been trained on how to do IV's and different kinds of medications (antibiotics, pain-killers, etc.) to push, but we've been training for the less convenient situations we may face. We've done training in different environments- in the rain, and in the dark using Night Vision Goggles; and in unique anatomical places- in the jugular veins and ankles.
We've learned how to suture, and how to do nerve blocks to numb localized parts of the body for minor surgeries.
As a soldier, I've gone out to different ranges, using my M4 to shoot targets on a qualification range, and different kinds of moving ranges in a Humvee (one of the modes of transportation we'll be using). I've also retrained on how to do different kinds of evacuations of injured soldiers, via Humvee or helicopter.
The training has been good.

The people are pretty cool. I have fairly good leaders this time, which is really nice. WE've barely butted heads. They keep us really well informed of what we're doing and what our mission is. My squad leader, Staff Sergeant Wilson, is a good boss. He is constantly putting our needs above his own. From making sure that we all eat before he eats, to making sure we have good equipment, to making sure we're constantly training and prepared for each day, he shows that he wants to make sure that we're ready for everything. He's also really detail oriented. We have a great relationship because he comes to me for advice based on my experience as a medic who's already been deployed (he was  Military Police when he deployed in 2003), and for some of my people skills, and I come to him for support and for tactical advice. Please keep him in prayer. He's newly married and has a little girl, and is definitely seeking spiritual answers.

Well, that's all I've got for now. My e-mail address, if you'd like to reach me, is 
I love you guys, and hope to hear from you all often.

In Christ,