“Sir, unless you can swim across the Pacific Ocean, you’re not going to Korea,” the travel agent told me nonchalantly. This news was given to me three days before I was scheduled to swear in as an Active Duty Army Chaplain in Korea. Shocked by this new information, I asked, “Lord, what am I going to do now? I’m out here in California, now unemployed, and I have already shipped all my goods and belongings, and even given my car away.” I was reminded of Philippians 4:6-7(NIV), which tells us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Peace is exactly what I needed; peace is exactly what He gave me.
Finding myself in limbo; having given up my civilian life, and not yet Active Duty Army, I knew that I had to walk by faith, and not by sight. The only way out of this tunnel, was to patiently wait, refusing to give into anxiety or fear. Through a fairly lengthy process, I finally received good news. I had received an exception to policy, allowing me to have a compassionate assignment at Fort Irwin.
On March 24th I swore in as an Active Duty Army Chaplain. From the first moment I stepped onto Fort Irwin, I was inundated with the love of God through his people. The first faces I saw were those of the Chaplains, who graciously walked me through how to in process here, get into housing, etc. The ladies with the Army Community Services made sure that my family and I had all that we needed to live out here comfortably. The community here has left a lasting impression that my family and I will never forget.
I love Fort Irwin! That might sound funny to some, but I am being honest, and I look forward to being stationed here again soon. Fort Irwin just may be the Army’s best kept secret.