Military Ministry at the Wagner's

Military Ministry at the Wagner's
Thanksgiving Day 2017

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

"Family" Celebrations!

Yvonne and I "adopt" the young servicemen and women who come into our home. We tell them all that they are guests only once. If they decide to come back over after the first time we consider them part of our family. We have a lot of "sons" and "daughters"! And as the years go by, we are getting more and more grandchildren.

So, like with all good families, there are often rights of passage that take place in the lives of our children. Weddings and the birth of babies are two of the most notable. But graduations and promotions also fall in that category.

Last week Yvonne and I had the pleasure of hosting SSG Jeremy Morrison and his family, who came to attend Jeremy's graduation from the Advanced Leaders Course at the Army School of Music.


Wednesday evening we attended an Army School of Music graduation concert. The Army basic course students were graduating and performing. That's the first Army School of Music graduation I've been to in several years. It was very impressive!

OK everybody, look this way!


Gia and PJ


PJ and Opa posing for the "Selfie"

Then on Thursday morning we all attended Jeremy's graduation from the advanced course. It was a fun couple of days.


The Family portrait!




Thursday, May 15, 2014

Pizza, Miniature Golfing, and Ice Cream!

After Robert Moore's graduation Yvonne and I hurried home to be there in time for the sailors to arrive. And we were! We no sooner walked in the door than Jeremy Morrison rang the door bell. We contacted Andrew Raffety to meet us at the Pizza Hut for dinner.

The pizza...does it make you hungry???

The remains of the chicken wings...well some of them anyway.


Look at the expression on Yvonne's face...She enjoyed those wings!




Our menu included chicken wings and pizza. Not a bad combination.

Why's everybody always pickin' on me???
After dinner we went to the Lynnhaven Golf Park and played a rousing game of miniature golf - 18 holes! Check out the pictures and I think you might be able to tell who got a hole in one.  Hint: his initials are JW. It was a beautiful evening for being outside.

Andrew and Yvonne

OK Jeremy, line it up real good...

I made it clear over here! Yea!

Any idea who made a hole in one?????

Then it was on to one more place. Dairy Queen for some ice cream. Great ending to a great day!

I had to defend myself or she would have hit me in the head...ok, well, maybe not.

Dr. Robert A. Moore Graduation

Bishop Robert Moore, the International Director of Freedom Fellowship, the Church of God Military Ministry graduated from Regent University with his Doctorate May 3rd.




Yvonne and I attended as did Frank and Sue Alcorn from Hampton, VA. It was a beautiful day for the ceremony!



Dr. Ben Carson, world renowned neurosurgeon was the keynote speaker for the event. He was awesome!


Following the ceremony Brother and Sister Moore, Brother and Sister Alcorn, and Yvonne and I went to the Olive Garden for lunch. We had a great time of fellowship and discussed ministry to the military. Instead of just getting a bite to eat, we were together until 4:30 pm.

Then for Yvonne and me it was on to our military ministry event for the evening - pizza and miniature golfing.

Maintaining Contact - Brandon and Savannah Justice

Maintaining contact is probably one of the most important aspects of our ministry! Meeting new servicemen and women can be difficult. Building relationships with them after our initial contact takes time and effort. Not to mention personal "chemistry" between them and us.

Yvonne and I tell all the servicemen and women that come into our home that they are "guests" only once. If they come back we adopt them and consider them part of our family!

So, like in any good family relationships, when the "kids" move away because of their careers or college, or any other reason, staying in touch is really important. It's the same thing in our ministry. So whenever we can, we visit our adopted sons and daughters (and grandchildren) where they live.

When Yvonne and I went to Odenton, MD to attend the Warrior Connection Fellowship we had a perfect opportunity to visit Brandon and Savannah and Malachai and Sarabeth at their new home in Pax River.



Their new housing unit was so bright and spacious it looked like they had moved from a closet into a mansion! They have a playground right in front of their unit too!



Savannah fixed dinner for us. And boy howdy was it GOOOOOD! She made home made bread, chicken, and asparagus. She said it was the first time she had tried making home made bread on her own. While they were with us Yvonne had a bread baking class with Savannah and Nicole Peltier. The whole meal was yummy!

I wanted to take some pictures so we went to the playground, thinking that would be the best place to get pictures of the kids. It was!






Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Ministry Presentation at Warrior Connection Fellowship in Odenton, MD

"I hate it here. I miss you guys. I wish there were someone here doing what you do."

This is an email we got from a young sailor who was part of our fellowship here in Virginia Beach; and then was transferred to San Diego.

The dream Yvonne and I have is to see Pentecostal hospitality house military ministries started all over the United States. So when a young man or woman gets transferred from here to another duty station anywhere in this country, that we have a family we can plug them into right away. 

Right now, as far as we know, we are the only Pentecostal hospitality house military ministry in the United States.

So part of our work is vision casting. Hopefully we can inspire and train other couples to do what Yvonne and I do. Pentecostal couples that are faithful and committed to Jesus Christ and their local church; established in their faith; with the gift of hospitality; and able to reach out to these young military men and women who are away from their homes and families.

In Matthew 9:38 Jesus said, "Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field." Our prayer is that the Lord would raise up couples with a passion to reach young military men and women for Jesus Christ. To give couples the gift of hospitality if they don't already have it, and call them into this ministry. To enter this mission field.

People who do this become missionaries to the military without even leaving the comfort of their own homes.

The last weekend in April Yvonne and I participated in Freedom Outreach's Warrior Connection Fellowship in Odenton, Maryland. 



Yvonne and me in front of our display board

Presenting our Pentecostal hospitality house military ministry 

Hosted by the Odenton Church of God we had a power packed day of fellowship, worship, listening to ministry leaders speak on a variety of military specific topics, eating together, laughing, and praying together. 

Frank Alcorn and Wade Miller presenting ministry to veterans and returning warriors

Bishop Robert Moore and his wife Patty present the Distinguished Service Award to Brother and Sister Courtney

Wade and Tammi Miller and their worship team from Sand Hills Church of God in North Carolina lead worship

Wade and Tammi Miller and their team from Sand Hills Church of God in North Carolina lead worship

Part of the congregation worshiping during the conference

Dr. Robert A. Moore the International Director of Freedom Fellowship speaking to the assembly 

This was the first of many events like this to come, designed to connect military, veterans, and their communities with a missional Christian family.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Easter Sunday - Resurrection Rolls

Ingredients:




  • One can of crescent roll dough
  • 8 large marshmallows (or one for each roll you’ll be making)
  • Melted butter
  • Cinnamon sugar
  • Bible or Easter storybook

  • Assemble rolls and read the story:

    1. Read John 19 while the oven is pre-heating according to the package directions. If you’re really on top of things, spend the week before reading John 12-18 with your kids.
    2. Unroll the crescent rolls. Explain that this is like the cloth they wrapped Jesus in.


    3. Give your child a marshmallow and explain that it represents Jesus… all white and pure because He was without sin.
    4. Roll the marshmallows in the melted butter. This symbolizes the embalming oils.


    5. Roll the marshmallows in the cinnamon sugar. This is like the spices used to prepare his body for burial.
    6. Wrap the marshmallow in the crescent roll cloth, pinching the dough together securely. Don’t worry about the shape so much, they’ll taste the same no matter how you roll or bundle them. This represents how they would have wrapped Jesus’ body. I like to brush them with more melted butter, but it’s not necessary.


    7. Put the rolls in the oven (symbolizing the tomb) and bake for the amount of time specified on the package.


    8. While the rolls are baking, read John 20:1-18.


    9. Open the tomb and remove the rolls. When they’re cool enough to handle, break one open and discover what happened to the marshmallow. Jesus is risen!



    What an awesome object lesson for the children! Fun to do, a learning experience, and tasty to boot! :)

    Friday, May 9, 2014

    Easter Sunday - 2014


    Awesome Easter Sunday! We had a table full of people, great food, and a ton of warm fellowship. Alex (Marine) and Leah Panos and their daughter Zoe joined us. Rick Matheny (Sailor) just back from deployment came. And then there was Brian and Sarah and Jacob, my daughter, son-in-law and grandson.





    Amy Wilson (Navy spouse) and her daughters Arwyn and Aiden came over.


    Yvonne again out did herself in the kitchen! Homemade bread, roast lamb, asparagus, peas, sweet potato pancakes, regular potato pancakes, And for dessert Passover spice cake and ice cream.



     Alex Panos is Greek and really put his stamp of approval on the taste of the lamb. Oh, my grandson decided to put his stamp of approval on it too.



    Alex said it reminded him of the lamb his mother used to make. 

    Rick Matheny, just returned from a deployment to the Middle East and said the lamb tasted exactly like what he ate a week earlier when he was sitting in a restaurant in Greece!


    And I'll bet if you've been reading my blog you will never guess who made the gravy! ?  Right?? Yup! You guessed it...me!


    So why do we eat Lamb on Easter Sunday? 


    Because Jesus Christ was the Lamb of God that was slain for the sins of the world. By faith we believe that Jesus died on the cross for us and shed His blood for us. He was the perfect Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the earth. Jesus is our Passover Lamb. And like the Israelites in the book of Exodus, we eat the Lamb as a symbol of what Jesus did for us. By faith in Jesus and His shed blood, we apply the blood of Christ on the doorposts and lintels of our hearts. By inviting Jesus in to our hearts and lives, turning away from our sins, and committing our lives to Him, the death angel passes over us, and we are granted eternal life. Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. And that's why we eat lamb on Easter; the day we set aside to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord!