U.S. military chaplain ministering to soldiers
A ministry that reaches out to members of the U.S. military is convinced of the accuracy of the old saying, “There are no atheists in foxholes.” But the Soldiers Bible Ministry also believes soldiers need a little help and some answers for circumstances that develop when they no longer are on the front lines, too.
The organization was founded in 2007 to provide American and allied forces with Bibles in their own language.
The group says while the need for spiritual guidance during the intense pressure of a firefight or the uneasy downtime at an overseas base is evident, soldiers have other times of need, also.
According to the ministry, incidents of suicide and posttraumatic stress disorder are growing exponentially among soldiers and returning members of the military. Its directors say there is no answer like a faith in God explained in the Bible to help.
“The solution to this problem is spiritual in nature and is best addressed with the entire armor of God provided to our military personnel,” the ministry explains.
According to an MSNBC report, one soldier in eight experiences symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder but as few as half of those affected seek help. With the American military on duty at fronts in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as a multitude of other hot spots around the world, Soldiers Bible Ministry works on the premise that soldiers dealing with depression and confusion after a tour of duty are helped by the message of the Gospel.
The Bibles it dispatches, then, are intended to minister to those needs.
Soldiers Bible Ministry is part of the Heart of God International Ministries Inc. of Willard, Ohio. It maintains a partnership with Koinonia House and Koinonia Institute for essential resources such as full Bible texts and devotional materials.
In one way, it is different from many Bible ministries; it provides full Bibles, not just New Testaments, as well as study materials for those seeking help.
It also recently announced it will publish the 2010 Soldiers Pocket Bible.
Executive Director John Hoben runs an organization comprised of volunteers who rely on donations from supporters to pay the expenses.
Officials also are providing Bibles to members of the U.S. military stationed in Fort Hood, Texas, where a radical Islamic soldier is charged with going on a shooting spree and killing 13 adults and an unborn child.
“We’ve had the blessed opportunity to reach out to several pastors in the Fort Hood, Texas, area and will continue to support their Bible study needs in the weeks and months to come,” Hoben announced in a newsletter.