Milistary Ministry at the Wagner's

Milistary Ministry at the Wagner's
Thanksgiving Day 2016

The Present House to be Greater Than the Former House!


In June of 2000 the Lord brought Yvonne and me to Virginia Beach to reach young, single, servicemen and women between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five for Jesus Christ. We originally thought we would pattern our ministry after the Port O’ Call, a servicemen's center in California where I got saved; with a building, hosts and hostesses, and ministry on a large scale to reach the thousands of servicemen and women stationed in Virginia Beach. But one day, while I was praying about where we should look for a building, God spoke to my heart and said:

“I don’t want you to look for a building; I want you to minister in your home.” 

I was surprised and asked, “Why Lord? We could get so many more people into a different building. We can only fit, at most, about twenty people in our home!” 

He said: “I know, but the young people in the military today are different than you were thirty years ago. When you were eighteen you came from an intact family, you had a church background, and you believed in God and the Bible. Most of the young people in the military today that you will be ministering to, will come from broken or dysfunctional families, little if any church background, and little or no belief in God or the Bible. Servicemen and women today need a loving family environment where they can see Christ’s love lived out in front of them. They need to be loved into the kingdom.”

I knew at that moment that God wanted us to open our home and invite them in.

I was praying and reading my Bible at another time and came to Haggai chapter one and verses five and seven. The words “Give careful thought to your ways”, repeated twice, really stood out to me. Then in chapter two and verses four and five I read, “Yet now be strong…be strong…and work. For I am with you declares the Lord Almighty. This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.”

His direction was clear: we were to carefully think through what we were doing in our ministry. We were to be strong. And, we were to work. We were to do all of this because God Himself was with us, and His Spirit was among us. He covenanted all of these things with us when we came out, not of Egypt, but out of Grand Junction, Colorado. And He said again, that we were not to be afraid!

I’m always thrilled when the Lord says things to me that reflect just how intimately He knows me. When I read Haggai 2:7 & 9 God said, “…I will fill this house with glory,' says the Lord Almighty….The glory of the present house will be greater than the glory of the former house, says the Lord Almighty. And in this place I will grant peace, declares the Lord Almighty."

God knew what we had done in Grand Junction, ministering to over 200 high school students in our home. And He was telling us that what we would be doing in our home in Virginia with young military men and women would be even greater. He would grant peace to those who came into our home in Virginia Beach just as He had done in our home in Grand Junction. At the time of this writing we have had more than double the number of young people in our home in Virginia than we had in our home in Colorado! 

Through Isaiah 43:8 the Lord said we were to: “Lead out those who have eyes but are blind, who have ears but are deaf.” Having spent most of my life in the military, I understand the spiritual condition of young men and women serving in the military. While all have physical eyes and ears, most are spiritually blind and deaf. 

In Isaiah 43:10 God said we were His witnesses and His servants whom He had chosen. And in verse twelve He again said we were His witnesses; witnesses that He is God. So many young military men and women have no idea who God is, have no faith or belief in Him, and actually could not care less about Him. God was sending us to them to give them the opportunity to know Him.
In Isaiah 43:18-21 the Lord repeated some of the things He said to me in Isaiah chapters forty-one and forty-two. He said,

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the desert and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.

The Lord was telling me a second time that He is doing a new thing. But this time He added that it was springing up, and that I was to forget the former things and not dwell on the past. He was focusing my eyes on the future, on what lay ahead, rather than on the past and what was behind.

He said, as He did in Isaiah 41:17-20, that He was making a way in the spiritual desert and creating streams in the spiritual wasteland. This is a fitting description of the spiritual climate in the military. Figuratively He said the wild animals, jackals, and owls honor Him because He is providing this spiritual nourishment for them. And in Isaiah 43:25 He said, “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” He longs to receive and forgive, and draw these young people to Himself. He longs to make them His people.

So He provides spiritual nourishment for them, for those who are His people, His chosen, the people He formed for Himself, so they could declare His praise. All of this is about salvation. God raised up this ministry to provide spiritual nourishment for young men and women in the military, to draw those who are unbelievers to himself, that they might believe in Jesus Christ and have a personal relationship with Him.

We had eight teens and one parent receive Jesus Christ as their Savior in Grand junction. We have had over thirty young military men and women, and some of their parents, receive Christ here in Virginia Beach so far!

God is keeping His word to us. What He has promised He is fulfilling!

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