Dear family, friends and former members of 1/6,
Yes just as we were celebrating a huge success here in Ramadi, just when we were about to shift gears to thinking transfer to the next battalion, we get the news we have been extended. I know this weighs heavy on your hearts. I know you have given so much and waited patiently for us to return. We too are saddened by not being able to come home to you. This past Sunday I preached on the text in John where Jesus turns water to wine. Jesus did not do this for the mere sake of performing a magic trick, but to draw attention to him and what he is able to do for them and us. By turning water to wine Jesus was able to turn the wedding celebration that quickly headed south due to a lack of wine, into a sacred event. I also believe for those of us who feel this extension is like running out of good wine, Jesus through his grace and love offers us new wine. I am certain this wine will manifest itself differently in each of us. Maybe in the form of good friends who remind us we are not alone, maybe in the form of recognizing the success we have had here, and knowing we are still needed a little longer. Maybe this new wine will come in the way of a new purpose or involvement for those of you back home. I do know this, the best wine is in God’s promise of eternal life in this hope I am certain we can get through this with proud hearts and our heads hung high. As I walk around and listen to our guys, they are impressed with how much you love them and how you continue to believe in what we do, even if it doesn’t always make sense.
The other day I went and sat with one of our lookouts in the city. As I gazed through a large piece of bullet proof glass I saw a lot of people walking, men, women, and children. I think some of the children were heading to school. This was amazing for me to watch, since this type of freedom is new to this area. So we will continue to make better this piece of Iraq. We will continue doing what we are called to do. We’ll do it knowing you are behind us, eagerly awaiting us to come home. So until then grab a good glass of wine and remember God promises to us. Soon we will be home to thank you for all you have done to make this possible.