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Military A Sock from Heaven by Colonel (select) Allen R. Roberts It was Wednesday, July 5, 2000, when I unpacked the first of three suitcases inside the small apartment that would be my home for the next 12 months. My mind drifted back to less than 24 hours earlier when I had bid my wife and two small children the toughest farewell of my life as I boarded a plane headed for Kunsan, South Korea, and the Air Force's most remote, unaccompanied assignment. As the plane took off, I could see fireworks painting the night sky for Independence Day, but I was in no mood for celebration. My mind snapped back to the present because as I continued to unpack my meager belongings, a small child's sock fell from my handful of clothes to the floor and I immediately knew who owned that sock—my nine-month-old son, Zachary. Tears welled up in my eyes just as they had flowed countless times since I had said goodbye to my family and, once again, I found myself begging God for comfort. I had never been away from my young family for longer than a five-month deployment and it was taking a serious toll on me. I had always been strong, but now I was brought to tears with every little memory of them. Thankfully, God in His mercy and grace had called Pastor Bill and Linda Stewart to be missionaries to the military many years prior. The next 51 weeks proved to be some of the most memorable weeks of my life as God solidified his direction in my life. Pastor Stewart became the first missionary pastor to teach me how to follow a godly leader with a clear vision. He preached the Word in season and out of season; he encouraged me to love my wife and children from thousands of miles away (and taught me how); he taught me to memorize Scripture and he challenged me to minister to others in daily prayer. I will never forget the day God used Pastor Stewart to preach a message that spoke to my heart. God used that message to call me to full- time service and draw me to the altar where I surrendered to do God's will in His perfect time. To God be the glory! 16 BIMI WORLD Number 1, 2014