“surrounded by hundreds of young warriors that would someday experience the reality of combat, I was overcome with a deep urgency to help them know and experience the God who died for them…”
Hi, I’m Ben. I run a ministry that reaches the military with the love and support only Jesus can give. Our typical approach is to spend time on an active military base, speaking and training soldiers—preparing them for the rigors of military service and the inevitable pressure of serving in combat zones, where their lives will be placed in extreme danger. Our heart is to equip and prepare.
On this day, we were leading a training with a crowd of Military Intelligence trainees, infusing value into the lives of these young soldiers. Our training centered around emotional intelligence and resiliency, but we didn’t stop there. With the 580 soldiers, we wanted to do something fun—it had been months since they had a treat of any kind, so we hosted a dance off with doughnuts for the winner. The competition was lively and fierce!
We spent the next 90 minutes speaking, training, and illustrating how to strengthen decision making skills and thrive in a community. At the end we gave soldiers the opportunity to leave if they weren’t interested in the spiritual or faith portion. Some left, many stayed. I preached the Gospel with every fiber of passion left in my soul after weeks on the road speaking and training. Hundreds came to Christ. After the training, around 30 people were waiting in line to talk—to ask questions, tell their stories, or get prayer. This is always the best. I love when people share their stories—it fuels our passion to reach soldiers with the good news of Jesus to a greater degree.
A young, unassuming man approached me, sheepishly and fighting back tears began to tell me his story. Word by word, he choked out his story of loss and sadness—his grandmother had passed away, which was a devastating loss for him. Beyond that, he experienced another unimaginable tragedy…His best friend was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.
This young man’s name was Israel. As a boy he grew up in church and followed Jesus closely. Went to youth group, retreats, church events and Sunday school. In his late teens, the party scene enticed his heart and he began to wrestle with doubt—determining if he could believe in and follow a God who he could not see.
At an event Engage Your Destiny hosted 4 months ago, Israel recommitted his life to Jesus, coming home for good. He did everything we said to do. He took every piece of advice and dove in wholeheartedly: getting involved in chapel and a bible study, and re-engaging in an active prayer life.
Israel looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, “what you showed me, what you led me back into, a relationship with Jesus prepared me for all that has happened and He has not left my side. I’m going to get through this, I am getting through this and I am have a purpose in this life.”
The name Israel means; He struggles, wrestles with God, and may God prevail.
Israel has had his struggle with his God. God prevailed giving him the desire of his heart, the purpose and destiny we all long for, a thriving relationship with the one and only Jesus Christ.