On Tuesday, January 1 at about 2300 Anchorage time, I walked away from my lovely bride, my home, my entire life and stepped onto a plane. My final destination: Afghanistan.
On Saturday, July 12 at approximately 1430 Anchorage time I returned and got to see my friends and, most importantly, my beautiful wife.
But it’s that … in the middle where it gets complicated. How do I put six months of indescribable experiences into words?
The most important thing I can tell you about my experience is that something very simple has been proven to me: God is ALWAYS with me. When the Bible says Immanuel means “God with us” it really means God with us.
He’s always with you, too. If you don’t believe me, go somewhere else. You’ll realize He’s there too. And if, at your new location, you rely more heavily upon Him, He’ll be ready to provide the strength you need. Of course, we need Him constantly. His Spirit is as necessary as the air you breath.
Another thing I’ve learned is that the Body is everywhere too. What I mean is this: no matter where you go, God is with you and so are other Christians. I’ve met some really great people during my travels and I’ve learned a lot from of them. I only hope I was able to encourage them too.
Also, God shown me something very simple. If I ever want to reach other people and change lives; if God will ever be able to use me for His glory, I MUST, MUST, MUST love other people. No matter what I try and no matter who I meet, if I’m not empowered and motivated by love, then it’ll never have impact.
It helps me to read Ephesians 2. In that passage, the author reminds me that I wasn’t always good (and honestly, I’m still not good without the grace of God). The passage reminds me that I was once a filthy sinner in need of being shown the love of God. Now I’m just a filthy sinner who has accepted the forgiveness of God.
What am I trying to say? Basically…I’m not better than anyone and never will be. I am, however, better off than people who haven’t accepted Christ. That’s the only difference. We’re all drowning is a world flooded with sin. The question is, have you received rescue yet?
There are a hundred other experiences I could describe to you. I was sent to Afghanistan as a videographer with a simple mission: Tell the Air Force story. If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words is six months of video worth? http://www.bagram.afnews.af.mil/library/bagramvideos.asp
I will tell you one thing though. In my experiences I’ve had the privilege of working beside some amazing men and women who are working hard to bring freedom and a better way of life to the men and women of Afghanistan. Our servicemembers have inspired me with their selfless service working for the freedom of ANOTHER COUNTRY! We have an all-volunteer force. No one got drafted. None of these people have to be there, but they are. And I’m honored I was able to meet them and do my best to tell their stories.
I know I haven’t told a lot about my experiences in Afghanistan, so if you have any questions send me a message and I’ll be sure to answer them.
It’s good to be back. I love you guys and I hope that 2008 has been good to you! God bless!