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My Vision for Military Missions by Dr. Jeff Alverson The Bible tells us in Proverbs 29:18 that where there is no vision, the people perish. Every Christian should have a vision of missions and see his responsibility to reach the world for Christ. Someone once defined a missionary vision as “A blending of correct INFORMATION and Spirit-begotten INSPIRATION that leads to definite INVOLVEMENT in fulfilling our responsibility to world evangelization.” When it comes to Military Missions, we also should have this information, inspiration, and involvement as we take the Gospel message to our military personnel around the world. My vision of military missions involves several goals. First, the vision involves the PURPOSE or our goal. Simply stated, the goal is to reach our military personnel and their families for Christ wherever they are stationed around the world and to train them to serve the Lord through the ministry of the local church. Presently, we have 2.16 million men and women who wear our nation's uniform. Most are without Christ, needing the Gospel. Second, the vision involves our PHILOSOPHY or how to reach that goal. The goal of something is the aim or the end towards which an effort is directed. The philosophy is the methods we employ as to how we reach that end. Many organizations working with the military employ the means of Servicemen's Centers, which is mainly a ministry to singles and the unaccompanied. They have recreational facilities and hot meals at times that are a drawing card for the service personnel and have a Bible study or a soul winning time included in their program. We are grateful for any method to reach our military. Our philosophy for BIMI is to reach the military personnel through the emphasis of the local church. Therefore, we go into areas near military bases primarily overseas (stateside there is usually a good church near the base we can recommend) and start a Bible-believing Baptist church and minister to that military community through that local church. A missionary pastors the church and the military folks and their families have an alternative to the government methods or the chapel programs. We understand that a chapel is not a local church and a chaplain is not a pastor, although we encourage our missionaries to work as closely as possible with the base chaplains. They will have the opportunity to touch the lives of folks we cannot and we will reach many for Christ they will never reach. When a BIMI missionary operates a Servicemen's Center, we recommend it to be done through a good Bible-believing local church. One of our missionaries is having great success reaching many for Christ even during their Boot Camp training. Third, our vision is a PROGRAM that is involved. How do we go about ministering to our military personnel? We c an m i n iste r t h rou g h EVANGELIZING the GI with the method of distributing Gospel literature and doing door- to-door soul winning visitation. Often it is difficult to get into housing areas for that purpose but we have found that God will, indeed, open the Jeff & door if we are fervent and willing. Joyce Alverson We can minister through ESTABLISHING local Bible-believing churches near military bases. BIMI missionaries have planted more than 50 churches near bases worldwide and God has given great success with it. Thousands of young men, women, and children have been saved through these efforts and hundreds have been called to the ministry. They have finished their tenure of military service, gone on to Bible school or Christian colleges and entered into the ministry. One church in Japan has reported more than 400 preachers to come from that work in its 45-year history. Another in Germany has had more than 100 during its 27 years; while another in Spain has seen scores surrender their lives to the ministry from its congregations. We can minister through EQUIPPING the troops by local church training, thus preparing them to serve the Lord in other ministries after they transfer to their next duty station. Our missionaries know that they are only going to have them for a short time since military people are constantly rotating. Therefore, we do our best to teach them the simple and practical truths of how to live for God and grow in His grace and knowledge. We can minister through ENRICHING the lives of our military personnel with Bible-centered programs such as children and youth ministries, singles ministries, family seminars, ladies fellowships and Bible studies, just to name a few. Then our churches have revival meetings, Bible conferences, missions conferences as well as other meetings throughout the church year. In addition to this, some churches have Christian schools and Bible institutes to further studies in the Scriptures. We can minister through ENCOURAGING lonely GI hearts by Christian fellowship and activities. So often many of these young men and women are shipped overseas, having never