August 2023 Newsletter

 In May, a Battlefield team went mountain climbing, mountain biking, and canyoneering before taking a motorcycle trek across Italy. This trip was a “multiple touch” effort for Battlefield. Before our team set out to care for people in Moldova and Ukraine, we joined up to do a You Are That Man (YATM) adventure with one of our missionary couples whom we met on an international marriage event. 

This represents our first ever opportunity to hold a YATM event with a group of missionaries in the context of adventure and fellowship, walk through a portion of Proverbs together, and sit around a campfire pondering what it means to be a man after God’s own heart. It was an amazing adventure. It was the walking out of a dream I, Nathan, never even imagined, and once again, we discovered God’s Word is new every morning amongst those who are the called according to His purpose. 

As Nathan co-led the adventuring group, Jane was used in a variety of ways with the wife and children of the family. Heartfelt conversations around the kitchen table discussing life skills as well as how to navigate the rigors of being Light in a Dark community, tucking in with worship around the piano at bedtime, and co-writing a song with their youngest son were part of the daily care of the home while the men were away. 

After the Italy effort, the team traveled on to host a caregivers’ seminar in Ukraine. Over 175 pastors, psychologists, counselors, and lay counselors attended; many of these traveled long distances in order to attend. The purpose of the seminar was to strengthen the efforts of Ukrainian pastors and counselors in helping people more effectively deal with the symptoms of trauma and PTSD. With all that happened in Ukraine during the last 18 months, the goal was to provide spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical refreshment while presenting tools and training to further equip those tending to the turmoil in people’s lives. 

Dr. Chris Wheelus was the main presenter for the seminar, supported by Nathan & Jane. Chris provided a structured, tangible way to express and care for the significant stories being written in the lives of the Ukrainian people, including those attending?the seminar. Worship was meaningful, a comfort and reminder that we are one in the Spirit, regardless of language. The grand finale of the event was awarding each participant a certificate for attending the training. As Chris announced each name followed by Nathan or Jane placing the valuable piece of paper in each hand, the recipients expressed their thanks with full hearts and exuberant faces. After our final words of congratulations, recognizing their hard work over the past three days and thanking them for inviting us, many of our new friends and colleagues lingered longer, sharing their deepest gratitude through “one more hug” and flowing tears. 

We venture to say that anyone who sits across from these courageous warrior lambs will be better/more peaceful for having sat with them, even if only for a few minutes.  

And the Gift goes on……. 

Recently, I was sitting in a car waiting to cross the border to enter the war-torn country of Ukraine. I was thinking, “Tomorrow I will be among and in front of survivors (for today, at least) of the bombs that continue to target the land and homes of those who are attending the seminar. These caregivers are coming with the hope of gleaning tools and skills for dealing with past, present, and ongoing trauma affecting their loved ones, as well as themselves. I found myself pondering Psalm 91; it is a passage from which I have gleaned much comfort over the years. But this particular day, I experienced inner tension rather than comfort around familiar and favorite phrases like, “For He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.” Because He didn’t deliver when the Russians invaded and bombed Ukraine. And… “He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you will find refuge,” when He didn’t and there was no refuge. Or, “His faithfulness is a shield and buckler,” when families were gunned down in the streets and snipers shot at those trying to recover the bodies of family and friends, leaving them to the dogs.   

 

Did you know?

Battlefield Ministries helps sustain mission work by helping those already in place on the mission field Retreat. Refresh. Refuel… by traveling abroad to conduct conferences retreats, counseling, and intensives.

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