I had a very special privilege today to travel with Army Reserve Chaplain, Major Kenneth Koon to where my roots were in the red Georgia clay on the banks of the Chattahoochee River. We drove within sight of the very house I grew up in which used to be so far out in the country that I walked toward town to go hunting. Now it is in the sprawling city of Columbus. We we spanned our old swimming hole on Bull Creek at 70 MPH on a bridge of Interstate 185. And then we entered “the worlds most beautiful military training facility” (I believe the sign said): Ft. Benning, is and has been the home of the United States Infantry since 1918.
Major Koon who happens to be Eleanor’s son, is also a missionary with CRU (formerly known as Campus Crusade for Christ). At least once a month he goes to Ft. Benning to minister to the young troops in various stages of their basic training. Last year Kenneth and his co-workers had the awesome responsibility of ministering to over 22,000 of America’s finest youth. This Lord’s Day they taught about 250 young men. 22 of them who were there for the first time, put their trust in our Lord Jesus Christ.
It was probably one of the most “All-American days” inspiriting patriotism and love of my native land that I’ve spent in my life. You’ll not find a cleaner cut, more polite, disciplined and patriotic group of young people in any Bible School I’ve been in. I met young men from Washington state to Puerto Rico and from Vermont to Southern California. Every one of them volunteers to lay their lives on the line to protect and defend you and me!
I brought my GRANDson here to Ft. Benning when he was just 5 or 6 years old and he got to meet some young men just like these. He was in awe. When we got back in the truck, Jacob held up his right hand and declared he was never going to wash it. “You don’t wash your hand after you shake with a great hero, Papa”.
I’ve got to confess, I didn’t want to wash my hand for a long time today!
Please pray for Kenneth and the men and women who are ministering to our troops. Check out his ministry at http://www.armedforcesmission.com/ or find him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kenneth.koon.9