BAQUBAH, Iraq (UMNS) - Thanksgiving traditions - turkeys and football - will go on in foreign lands. More than 700 soldiers from every state have recorded video "shout outs" to family and friends they will be missing this year. United Methodist Army Chaplain John Fimple shared his video greeting with a young man in his unit who has no family.
Standing side by side, Fimple and Specialist Woodie Marrisette from Jackson, Alabama, smile at the camera and send holiday greetings. "I told him that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ," Fimple said. The 3-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team will be celebrating with a 5K Turkey Trot, Thanksgiving lunch, and "plenty of football on TV," Fimple said.
"Being an Army chaplain is largely a ministry of prayer. I am all the time praying, not only during my own personal prayer time, but also with our leaders and soldiers. I start our Battle Update Brief every morning with our leaders in a word of prayer. Throughout the day I pray with soldiers who have spiritual and personal problems. I pray at promotion ceremonies, change of command ceremonies, in worship, and in Bible studies.
"I pray with our convoy teams before they leave ... to go on route clearing missions looking for improvised explosive devices or to deliver supplies. I also pray at our graduation classes for Iraqi Army soldiers, as they have been taught skills in mechanics and communications. I have an interpreter repeat my prayers to them in Arabic so they can understand me. I now understand what the apostle Paul meant when he said to 'pray without ceasing.'"