Veteran's Day: Extending Hospitality and Sharing the Gospel with Military Personnel
November 11, 2014
The military is a place for both young and old to find their way in life. As a navy instructor in San Diego, CA, between 2005-2008, I saw numerous recruits--who recently graduated from boot camp--and long-time veterans, who were desirous to better develop the skills of their vocation, save money, travel the world, and, most importantly, find their purpose in life.
Veteran's Day is an opportunity to thank military personnel for their service. Many of the freedoms we have in the US is because military servicemen put their lives on the line to defend us. And yet many of the same military men and women who defend our freedom are some of the same servicemen who want to find their purpose in life. Is it simply to travel the world? Is it only to save money? Is it to better understand their vocation? While all of those things are good, one's purpose cannot be defined by how much money a person saves, her vocation, or where she's traveled in the world. Our purpose, ultimately, is found in the scriptures (cf. WSC 1).
Therefore, as you thank military service members for their service today, consider doing more. Consider extending hospitality to them by inviting them into your home and getting to know them. As a former servicemen, I can assure you that many of them will appreciate it. As it stands, I know many military members who feel under-appreciated in this nation. A home cooked meal, especially for new recruits, will speak volumes.
In addition to opening your home, consider sharing the gospel with them. I have had numerous witnessing encounters in the military, and most of the conversations were fruitful. Those with whom I shared Christ were searching for something. Most did not know the thing, or Person, for whom they were searching, but they knew there was something greater to be desired outside of military service, something that provided purpose. As you know, hope, ultimately, is found in Christ. Do not overlook the witnessing opportunities you may have with military personnel. God works miracles, as he has with you and as he did with me while I was in the navy.
It is Veteran's Day! Celebrate with military members! Be hospitable to them and be a witness to the gospel.