Through the friendship of Debby Akerman, national WMU president, and Captain Michael Coleman, Chaplain with the 101st Airborne in Afghanistan, we have learned about the development of a Soldier Center. Captain Coleman and his assistant are re-purposing an old office space and turning it into a Soldier Outreach Center. The purpose of the building is to provide Soldiers a gathering place where they can come, recharge and be filled spiritually. Our first question was, "How can we help?"
Captain Coleman says that they "have a whole host of Bible studies, morale related events, recreational opportunities and other various events that will all provide a conduit to ministry here in Afghanistan." He has provided us with a "concept of operation" that provides information about where this ministry is headed. To fulfill the dream, several WMU leaders from states with connections to Captain Coleman, volunteered to help obtain various items for the center. Items on the wish list for the Solider Center are things that cannot be obtained in Afghanistan. Many will be used to facilitate Soldier morale programs. While many events with Soldiers are not overly spiritual, they are a conduit to ministry. If chaplains can spend time with Soldiers through recreational and other events, the door is opened for a relationship and that can be the beginning of ministry.
Jennifer Hamilton, New England WMU president, is coordinating the project. She has the master list of items and is keeping up with which items have been spoken for to provide for the Soldier Center. If you wish to participate, please follow the steps below. You will need to contact Jennifer to let her know which item you would like to purchase. Jennifer will check the master list and give you the go ahead or suggest another item for you to purchase. We are suggesting the items be purchased from Amazon.com and shipped directly to Afghanistan.
For added value, each donor group or individual is asked to send a picture of those involved and write a short note of support to the soldiers. If a group would like to send a flag, Captain Coleman says that he would make sure the flag flies during an operation or mission, and then he will send the flag back to the donor for a keepsake.
All purchasing and shipping will be done by the donor. No money will be collected or sent to the outpost.
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Operation Soldier Center - Afghanistan