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Her work visa allowed her to re-enter the country. She arrived on April 29—one day before
her visa expired!
I was so moved by the kindness of Chuck Sligh! I keep asking myself, “Would I pick up a
stranger from a foreign country at 1 a.m. in the midst of this pandemic?” I sure pray I would!
Susan writes: “The young German mom (Sarah) mentioned was one of our converts early in our
ministry here in GRAF. Her husband got out of the military, got a job on post, then they relocated
to California where he is from. The couple was a vibrant part of Grace Baptist Church as they grew
and grew. We still miss them and stay in touch. What a small world it can be in God’s Kingdom!”
Chuck and Susan have faithfully served with BIMI for over 38 years in various cities in Europe, based
on the needs of the ever-changing military ministry. Grace Baptist Church, Grafenwoehr, under
the direction of Brother Sligh, just celebrated its 16th year of loving and serving the people in that
community. May God call more laborers such as these to love and serve people! W
By Bryan Baggett
As Christians and as Americans, many folks wonder how they might have an
opportunity to minister to our local servicemen and women and their families. It
is a question often posed in cities around the nation, especially those cities near
military installations. Of course, there are a variety of ways to show the love of
Christ to any individual, but here is one example of a family that God used to
impact a military child’s life for His glory. This is an email received from that now
grown man:
I doubt that you would remember me since it has been roughly 35 years since I have
seen you. I went to Bible Baptist Church for about five months when I was 15 years old. I
believe you were a year older than I.

My dad was in the military and we had just left Heidelberg, Germany. He had a year left
before his retirement and was stationed at Fort Campbell. Because his time was so short,
we were not on the base. My home was generally a mess, but when we moved there, we
looked for a church anyway. I had kind of grown up in my Christianity, meaning that I
had been saved at a young age but it really became alive in a military church in Germany.

Leaving that church had left me lost and empty. At 15 I was at a crucial time in my life. I
was going to a public high school. I had already tried out through spring training and was
set to be starter on their football team and had become extremely popular in a very short
period of time. None of this was good for me nor was I ready for all of the temptations. I
was angry and bitter at God for taking me from the place that I loved so much and people
who had invested so much in me.

The very first time we visited Bible Baptist Church, probably at your parents urging, you
invited me to go out to lunch with your family. Normally, I would say no for sure as I did
not know you and at the time had no desire to get back involved in any church. But I did
not say no. I said yes and we went to a seafood restaurant. None of that mattered. What
mattered is I saw your family and they were very real and they were kind and it was a great
challenge to me.

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Two weeks later, you asked me to spend the night at your house. Again, something
normally I would never do but for whatever reason, I did. Your family and you became a
great encouragement to me.

I do not remember a single sermon over those five months. I do not remember a single
youth event, but I have over the course of 35 years used the illustration of you and your
family as real Christianity, real kindness, and real compassion hundreds of times.

As a result of that simple act of kindness, my life went one way when it had gotten on
the pathway to go another. I have long wanted to thank you, so I thank my God for the
remembrance of you and your family (Philippians 1:3).

The greatest tool at your disposal for ministry to anyone is how you live your life. Choose to love
others and to reach out beyond those with whom you are comfortable and that you know. Open
your hearts and homes to strangers.

As military personnel and their families move in and out of communities, they are facing so many
changes and in some cases real hardships. It is the responsibility of the body of Christ to reach out,
to love, and to serve—even if you never receive an email like this one. Only in heaven will it be
revealed how God used our lives when submitted to Him for His glory. W
Military ministry is a family ministry.

Number 1, 2021