The meeting began with Pastor’s devotion based on Psalm 46. In the Service there are many situations that call for strength and courage after experiencing calamity and horror. Pastor related an incident where a Sergeant witnessed a terrible accident, and he had to report for duty immediately after. He had to rely on the presence of God to give him the courage to move forward. Operation Barnabas has the ability to remind military-connected people that God is their refuge and strength. This is how we can live up to our title as encouragers.
Those present at the meeting included: Pastor & Marty, Billie May & Jim, Warren & Carolyn, Paul & Donna, Bruce, Vicar, and Dawn.
A thank you note was read from Chaplain Joshua Schneider who thanked our chapter for the Christmas gifts that were sent. These were shared with other troops. Chaplain Schneider will be leaving Afghanistan after Valentine’s Day. After checking with the LCMS Office of the Military we may be sponsoring another Chaplain who is assigned to that region.
We will be sending Valentine or Easter packages to Nathan and Karl. Karl has moved up in rank as a submarine specialist in the Navy. Nathan is in the Air Force in Texas now and will be leaving for an assignment in North Dakota.
Our Chapter has assisted three Veterans with housing needs in January. We try to include our cards with the financial assistance we send, and we let them know that we are available at the Stand Downs to further discuss their needs.
Faith Lutheran is forwarding a check for $250 to assist us with the purchase of McDonald’s cards. They are also going to provide the 15 children’s bags that we normally hand out at the Stand Down. This is a thank you to our Chapter for the collected jewelry that we have been forwarding to them. We will continue to collect jewelry, especially for the Women’s Warrior event in September. Also, a $55 cash donation was received in honor of a couple’s 55th wedding anniversary.
A fund raiser was discussed where we could work with a local restaurant who would support our cause for Veterans. Our members would work as servers, bus-people, and greeters. The restaurant would share some of the day’s profits with us. Several possibilities might be Panera Bread and Chili’s. We will approach them with flyers which explain Operation Barnabas and what we support. Possible dates for this activity are April 21st or 22nd.
The next Stand Down is Wednesday, March 11 at the Grand Luxe Hotel on 1365 West Grant Rd. The hours are from 9:00-2:00. Our table will need to be set up between 8:00 and 8:30. I will be leaving my house around 7:20 to arrive by 8:00. Packing the 50 care package bags will take place on Tues., March 3 at 10:00 at the Church.
We didn’t set another date for a meeting. February, with the Capital Campaign, is an especially busy month, so if we need to meet, maybe the first 15 minutes of March 3 could be used to bring up any business that needs to be handled. Since we only have the 50 bags to pack, we should be able to do that in 30 minutes.
The meeting concluded with prayers for fallen soldiers and their families.