I just received this email from a fellow GEM candidate, and thought I would post it. This is definitely a cause worthy of our prayers.
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2005 08:34:12 -0500
Subject: Update letter
Dear Committed Pray-er,
We are nearing the end of the year-long deployment for the 1st Infantry
Division and their supporting units. As I write, most of the 67th CSH unit (a
hospital unit) have returned and been reunited with their families. Each day
soldiers are returning as units send advance parties back to Germany to prepare
for the full return of soldiers in a few weeks. We are thankful for their safe
return and continue to pray for the return of each and every soldier.
We would ask that you pray for several significant requests pertaining
to the return trip and reunion times for these soldiers. However, before we
highlight those requests, wed like to really focus on the elections which will
be held in Iraq on January the 30th. This is a monumental event with great
historical and spiritual implications. Please join us in praying that Gods
hand will be evident during this time! We want to share with you a letter
which was recently received from a chaplain in Iraq. His soldiers are closely
involved with the election process and he asks for specific and concentrated
prayers during the next few days.
As a transportation battalion, my unit will be delivering the voting machines
and the ballots to villages and cities throughout Iraq during the upcoming
elections. (January 30/31) Our convoys are prime targets for the insurgents
because they do not want the equipment to arrive at the polling stations nor do
they want the local Iraqi citizens to have the chance to vote; timely delivery
must occur so that the elections occur.
Encourage your friends and family members and those within our churches to pray
specifically for the electoral process.
Historically, the previous totalitarian regime would not allow individual
citizens to vote. Democracy will not be realized in Iraq if intelligent and
competent officials are not elected to those strategic leadership positions
within the emerging government; freedom will not have an opportunity to ring
throughout this country if the voting process fails.
Announce this prayer request to your contacts throughout your churches,
neighborhoods, and places of business. Those with leadership roles within the
local church post this message in as many newsletters and bulletins as
possible. There is unlimited potential for God’s presence in this process, but
if we do not pray then our enemy will prevail (See Ephesians 6:10-17)
A prayer vigil prior to the end of the month may be an innovative opportunity
for those within your sphere of influence to pray. This is a political battle
that needs spiritual intervention.
A powerful story about God’s intervention in the lives of David’s mighty men is
recorded in 2 Samuel 23:8-33. David and his warriors were victorious because of
God’s intervention. We want to overcome those who would stand in the way of
freedom. David’s mighty men triumphed over incredible odds and stood their
ground and were victorious over the enemies of Israel. (Iraqi insurgents’ vs
God’s praying people). They don’t stand a chance.
I will pray with my soldiers before they leave on their convoys and move
outside our installation gates. My soldiers are at the nerve center of the
logistic operation to deliver the voting machines and election ballots. They
will be driving to and entering the arena of the enemy. This is not a game for
them; it is a historical mission that is extremely dangerous.
No voting machines or ballots. No elections.
Your prayer support and God’s intervention are needed to give democracy a
chance in this war torn country.
CH (CPT) Lyle Shackelford
Please pray for the elections in Iraq! Please also pray for the smooth
transfer of authority from the 1st Infantry Division to the units which will be
replacing them. We ask for safe travel for all the soldiers and timely
returns. Please pray that there will not be delayed returns because of
aircraft or transportation glitches. As soldiers return, please pray for
smooth transitions with their families. Although homecomings should be
wonderful, they may also be painful and awkward. We ask that you would pray
for smooth transitions for these military families who must readjust to being a
complete family. The returning soldiers have been in very stressful situations
and we pray that they will have mental, emotional, physical and spiritual
health and refreshment.
As we are looking forward to celebrating reunions and the end of the
deployment, we know that this means that many others are just beginning long
periods of separation. Even within our community, there are those who are
going back to Iraq for a second tour after being home for just a year. Your
commitment to pray for the 1st Infantry Division is nearing the end, but we
hope and pray that you will continue to pray on behalf of the soldiers who
continue to serve in Iraq, as well as in Afghanistan.
Thank you for your faithfulness in prayer for our deployed soldiers and
their families. We are so grateful for your support in prayer!
Bill and Kristin Smoot