Jul 28, 2011

Results & ECA Progress

It sounds like the interview went great. While Mr. H. was in KC, heading to the meeting spot, the Chaplain called him and switched locations on him. When Mr. H. got to the interview, the Chaplain mentioned that he was glad Mr. H. could rearrange his plans at the last minute because that's what military life is all about. So, we are wondering if switching the plans last minute was kind of a test. Anyway, Mr. H. passed!

Towards the end of the interview, Mr. H. was told that he will make a fine Navy Chaplain. I don't know how much weight this guy holds, but it does sound like he will write a good recommendation for Mr. H. and that can't hurt.

He was emailed a list of questions that he was to answer and bring with him. While I would love to share his answers with you all, I don't have his permission and he's funny about that kind of thing. I will tell you the last answer though, because I'm with him on that!

Some of the questions Mr. H. had to answer were the following:

1. Tell me a little about your spiritual journey, and how you came to discern a call from God to ministry.

2. Why do you want to be a Navy Chaplain?

3. What is your concept of Institutional Ministry?

4. What has been your experience working with clergy of other faith groups. And do you feel you can minister to a Muslim, or Wiccan, etc.?

5. Will you be able to work with/for men/women?

6. What has been your greatest challenge in ministry?

7. What do you think is your greatest strength?

8. How have you and your family dealt with the possibility of you going into harm’s way?

9. As a pastor in a civilian parish you’ve been “in charge.” How do you feel about working on a staff with multiple chaplains and being the junior person? What if you don’t agree with the senior person on how he/she is handling things?

10. What would be your dream duty station if you could be detailed anywhere you wanted to go? ITALY

Next up is scheduling his MEPS appointment. If that all goes well, he will be flown to Washington DC to meet with a board of chaplains. Mr. H. would like for me to go (on his dollar), but I don't know if that will work out. I don't exactly know when this will take place. I think there's a board meeting in September and one in October. We don't know if we'll have all our ducks in a row by September, so we'll see.

We received an email from ECA that all of Mr. H.'s endorsement paperwork has been filed. Now we wait for them to approve him. In the email it said they can process up to 200 applications at any given time. I have been pleased with how quickly they've responded in the past, so I don't think it will take longer than a few weeks.

Stay tuned.....

Jul 24, 2011

First Interview

Today, Mr. H. has an interview with a senior chaplain in Kansas City. I know he's got a few hours of travel to get there, plus he's nervous. Please pray for him if you think about it. I have no doubts that he will do just fine. The chaplain emailed him a list of questions that Mr. H. was supposed to fill out and bring with him. When I read through Mr. H.'s answers, I just knew the Navy would be crazy to reject him! I'm not sure what happens after the interview or what the chaplain will say to Mr. H., but I'll post the results, if there are any!

Jul 20, 2011

It's Really Happening....

We're on this rollercoaster now, baby!

We've been meeting with some of our deacons and their wives for the past few days. Most of them expected that we would tell them that we're leaving for another church. None of them expected the whole Navy thing. ALL of them have been supportive and promised their prayers. Such a blessing to us to have a great church family. People who really care about us and our lives.

Mr. H. has a Men's Retreat coming up this weekend-- he's actually leaving this evening. Anyway, he's going to be gone until Sunday. A few days ago, he was contacted about meeting a Chaplain in KC for an interview. He decided to meet up with him on Sunday afternoon. He'll be driving there from Oklahoma.

Pray for him please! He's nervous! He isn't sure what to wear to this type of thing-- any ideas? I don't know what we learn from this interview, if anything. I'll keep you posted!

We'll be on vacation all of next week, so I might not have updates until after that.

Jul 19, 2011

Why, Oh, Why?

Awhile back, we decided to go full force with the Navy. The Army recruiter was kind of being...not nice. He basically told Mr. H. that he's not qualified to join the Army as a chaplain. Okay, that's fine, we like the looks of the Navy anyway. Thank you, Lord, for closing that door and making it obvious to us that the Army is not where we're supposed to be.

Fast-forward to July 9th. We get a voice mail from the Army chaplain recruiter. He's just checking in to see where Mr. H. is at in the endorsement process. What? Why would you care-- you said he wouldn't get in anyway. So, he calls Mr. H. again on the 14th (Mr. H.'s birthday). He said they had a lot of chaplains leave/retire and now they're taking about 90% of those applying to fill all those spots left vacant. Um, okay....now what, Lord? We did pray for open doors, right? Is this an open door?

If you know Mr. H., he takes days and days and agonizes and analyzes and frets and worries about things. I was gone to Iowa for a mini vacation with some family while Mr. H. was busy at home worrying and wondering about what to do. He sought advice from his deacon friend and his wife. He asked me about it. I would waver. I think he would enjoy the Navy more, but this door to the Army is WIDE open.

In the end, we decided that we would stick with the Navy. For a few reasons. It seems like a good fit for Mr. H. Lots of different opportunities. He had already begun the paperwork for the Navy. And for me, one last reason....if we went for the Army, what kind of glory do we give God? The job was practically handed to Mr. H. Where is the Sun Stand Still in that? Could someone look at this situation and see that God did something BIG? I didn't think so myself. If Mr. H. gets into the Navy (which is quite competitive), then we will have no doubts that the Lord made the sun stand still on our behalf!

Mr. H. made the call to the Army recruiter and said no thanks. Mr. H. called the Navy recruiter and continued the process. Right now, he's still working on his security clearance. He's still got to go to MEPS. It sounds like that will be scheduled pretty quickly. MEPS is the Military Entrance Processing Station. It's like an amplified physical. Then he also has to be interviewed by a Chaplain when he comes to the KC area. I'm not sure when that will be scheduled.

His entire packet (paperwork, MEPS info, interview info) will go before the board in October sometime. Depending on when that is, we'll know by late October to mid-November whether or not he was accepted as Active Duty  Navy. As I understand it, he will then leave in January for 12 weeks of "camp." The first 5 weeks will be Officer Development School in Newport, RI. Then, he has another 7 weeks in Fort Jackson, SC. There will be a week-long course for me to attend, if I choose to and then there's graduation for Mr. H.

During or right after his schooling, we will find out where we're going to be stationed. My daughter and I are hoping for Hawaii. :)

Please pray for us, as we're letting our church families know this week. Some will know today and some will find out on Sunday at the Men's Retreat.

Jul 12, 2011

Security Clearance

Mr. H. is working on his security clearance. In fact, he has been for the last few nights. Apparently, it's a pretty long form. He is able to do it online, save it, and come back to it again and again to finish it. To give you an idea of what he's doing, it's a lot like this form. This form probably isn't the exact one he's filling out, but I imagine it's similar. This one is 21 pages long!!!!

There is so much paperwork that he has to fill out, it's ridiculous. But I'm glad the military does this. All this leg work would probably deter some from joining. If you don't want to work a little, you don't deserve this amazing opportunity!

Mr. H. told me the other day that he feels like he's alive again. I was thrilled to hear that from his mouth. It seemed like for awhile he was so down in the dumps. I, too, feel as though our life has a little more purpose now. I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for our family. I KNOW it won't be all butterflies and rainbows, but I also know the Lord will be right by our side.

Yesterday Mr. H. met with a group of pastors where he told them about our plan. They were very excited and quite encouraging it sounds like. Mr. H. is always surprised when people find out and they don't insult him or think he's crazy. (Well, I suppose some of you think we're crazy, but hopefully in a good way.)

Here's a link about the Navy Chaplain Corp
Also a Facebook page
And last, but not least, a youtube video. (By the way, how AWESOME would it be to go to church on top of an aircraft carrier, which can sometimes hold up to 5,000 people!?)

Click photo to see larger.

Jul 8, 2011

Heart Murmur, Be Gone!

Mr. H. went to the doctor today to see about the heart murmur he had as a child. In 2004, our doctor did not hear it, but it had to be confirmed again for the Navy. Our doctor did not hear it today, so that's a praise! He will put it in writing so that Mr. H. can submit that with his Navy paperwork.

Mr. H. is busy, busy with all his Navy paperwork. He just finished his essay on why he desires the chaplaincy. He has a professor that he is going to ask about reading it, just to see what he thinks. I thought it was a very good paper. He's a good writer though.

Jul 6, 2011

So Much Has Transpired...

Okay, here we are....up to date....

Mr. H. is submitting his ECA paperwork today. He has all his personal and ministerial references ready to go. Because of this, we had to tell a deacon (and his wife). This particular deacon was very supportive and excited for us. He even admitted to the fact that he had once thought about joining the military. So we know that they are praying for us.

We told our families this past weekend. His family first. They sort of knew a little bit anyway. I had sent out an email to my entire family (my 4 brothers and their families, plus my parents) letting them know that Mr. H. and I had something to discuss with them. In the meantime, we all had a family wedding reception to attend. Everyone kept asking us what our news was. These guesses were tossed around: moving, having a baby, Mr. H. taking a job at his alma mater. My middle brother said, "I know what it is." But he wouldn't tell me right then. So I walked him out and HE KNEW WHAT IT WAS. Seriously, he said, "Mr. H. is quitting the church and becoming a military chaplain." How could he have known?

Anyway, my family gathered in one room on Monday, July 4th. Mr. H. told them. I expected some hesitancy and there was some, but nothing major. Mainly concerns and questions about it. Most of them voiced that they were supportive and/or excited about it. I can't tell you how good it feels to have our families knowing and praying for us.

So, after much consideration, Mr. H. and I feel as though we are being called to the Navy, and not the Army like we had expected. Mr. H. spoke with his Navy Chaplain professor and the Ft. Riley Chaplain suggested he look into it also. So for the past 3 years, we've been thinking Army, and now the Lord is showing us who's in control by pointing us towards the Navy. WE ARE SO EXCITED!

I know I have one Navy wife follower and I would LOVE to hear from you about any tips/advice. I'm going to try and get some more Navy wives' input also.