Milistary Ministry at the Wagner's

Milistary Ministry at the Wagner's
Thanksgiving Day 2016

Share Your Story With Us!

If you have been involved in our ministry over the past sixteen years and we've touched your life in some way, take a moment and share your story here as a comment. Or, if you have a special memory about your time with us we'ld love to hear it here in the comments section too. Please feel free to post pictures you may have from then and from now. Anyway, I think you get the idea. :)

16 comments:

  1. My son is a Navy veteran, and had his A school in Dam Neck. I was privileged to attend his completion ceremony. Matt was scheduled to fly out but the barracks were closed to them prior to his flight. John and Yvonne opened their home to my son so that he had a place to stay after I flew home to Alabama. I, personally, am so grateful to you all for your ministry, your willingness to share your faith and time with our service personnel. A special thank you for your service to our country...Pat Schroer, Auburn, Alabama

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    1. Thanks Pat. Matt was one of our first sailors. It;s been nice keeping in touch over the years and even visiting him and Liz in Decatur when we come through the area. The kids are great too.

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  2. I have known Jon and Yvonne for about 6 yrs now. When I joined the military my mom was part of this site called Navy Mom i believe. And she found John and Yvonne and read about what they do. Since my first station was Norfolk, VA. We got into contact.They have been great! I went to their church and I enjoyed it. Went back to the their house, had a great meal. Playing games was fun too.They are great people. When I got pregnant with my son, they helped out and threw a baby shower for me and another girl, Savanna, because we were pregnant around the same time. I can't thank them enough for their hospitality and great friendship! I wish one day I can go back to see them! It will happen lol! Love you guys : )

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    1. Thanks Kimberly, You were and are still very special to us! And we're happy you're still part of our ministry and lives. It's been fun to watch Aiden grow and Sofia too! What a blessing it would be to see you again and maybe even be stationed here)we can always hope) :) We love you too!

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  3. I met Ma and Pa back in 2002. (I can't call them John and Yvonne, to weird.) At the time I was rededicating my life to Christ. I desperately needed someplace to call home. Someone to call me son and love me like they meant it. Ma and Pa were there for me. I am so incredibly grateful for the love and support they showed me and continue to show me. I have so many fond memories of the times I spent with them and my fellow military members. Everything from the wonderful home cooked meals Ma made. To the playful teasing and heckling while playing games. Most of all I will remember the fellowship and the guidance. The gentle and loving reminders to keep Christ at the center of my life. Ma and Pa you have truly treated me like a son and shown me the love of Christ in your actions. You will always have a place in my heart right next to my mom and dad. It was truly a blessing to see you this weekend. I love you both and may God richly bless you and your ministry. - Micah Dudley.

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    1. Thanks Micah! We feel the same about you. We were so glad to have you here Saturday and Sunday! We are glad you're part of our family!

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  4. I was at the school house from 2004-2005, and along with my closest battle buddies, we had the privilege of being temporarily "adopted" by the Wagners. It truly was a home away from home. After being in soldier-mode for so long, it was definitely a breath of fresh air to be treated like family as opposed to "tough soldier."
    While there, I got to witness my best friend/long-term battle buddy accept Christ and has now blossomed into one of the strongest Christians I know!
    Because of their ministering to us, I was able to grow so much in my walk with the Lord, along with my closests friends there too. Our time there with them was an unbelievable and even miraculous experience that had God's fingerprints all over it.
    One of my fondest memories was when Yvonne sneakily found out my favorite type of cake and then made it for me on my Birthday! I also love the example show to us in their marriage as a strong couple who is completely grounded in the Lord. This is exactly the same kind of relationship I would want.
    Their ministry was truly a God-send during our extended time in AIT and I wouldn't have traded it for the world.
    Thank you both so much for what you did for us and what you continue to do for all the soldiers, sailors, and marines who come through there.
    Love you guys!

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    1. Amanda, Thank you so much for your comments. You made Yvonne cry. But just in case you're curious, your "adoption" into our family wasn't temporary as far as we're concerned. You're still part of our family! Blessings on you!!

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  5. I arrived in Norfolk, VA at the start of November 2011. I had been an engaged Roman Catholic, going to church on Sunday mornings, praying the Rosary and during lent I would refrain from pop or candy. When I was a senior in high school, I looked into going into the Seminary. This did not work out…by Devine Grace! One Sunday after Mass, my mom called me and after talking a while she told me about a couple who hosted a Military Ministry out of their home.
    I was curious so I called and talked to Pastor John and Yvonne about the Military Ministry. They explained that on Saturday they invite servicemen/women to their house for dinner and to play a board game. On Sunday, Pastor John explained, after Church Services servicemen/women go to their house for a FULL home cooked meal. I explained that I did not have my car yet. John told me he would pick me up at base. I agreed that would work.
    The weekend before Thanksgiving 2011 was my first visit to the Wagner house. We had some conversations about faith. I explained to John, I was Roman Catholic but I knew I was missing out on something. I told John about some experiences I have had in the past where “Christians” were trying to “convert” me, I did not want to be pressured into anything. I wanted to find my way on my own with some guidance. John was understanding and respected my request. He never pressured me into a belief, but he did ask me questions. Most of the questions I had already asked myself but never took the time to find the answers. He helped me find the answers in the Bible, allowing me to read God’s word on the subject matter. Allowing me to actually read it for myself sometimes.
    In the summer of 2012 my ship the USS OAK HILL was sent to the yards. During this time I was able to go to the Military Ministry’s weekend activities. I had asked John if he could do an evening Bible study during the week. He was available for a Bible study so I start going to see him, asking questions and looking in the Bible for the answers. John had a video series “The Truth Project” by Focus on the Family. This series posed some basic but imperative questions. One of these questions was… “What do you believe to be really, real?” What is your reality based on? This caused me to search for the real truth.
    One night I was setting at my desk I see 2 books. Which is the “truth”? The book on my right is the Catholic Catholicism, explaining to a Roman Catholic the beliefs of the Roman Catholic Church. On my left is the Holy Bible “God’s eternal word”. It came down to one question for me …”Do I want someone’s opinion of the Bible or do I want to form my own opinion of the Bible?” … I chose to read the Bible and form my own opinions. With the help of the Holy Spirit and Pastor John’s guidance I began to discern Jesus’ will for my life.
    I started going to Azalea Garden Church of God, with Pastor John and Yvonne. When I first went I was greeted with open arms. After a short time, I had accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior and was baptized. I became more involved, joined the choir, helped with some youth activities, and took pictures for church events. All along the way growing in my spiritual life and finding my way with the guidance of the Holy Spirit and John. One Sunday morning during Sunday school, John began to explain the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
    John explained praying in the Spirit (praying in tongs) the purpose and reason for it. Shortly thereafter I was at my apartment praying and I had asked Jesus for the baptism of the Holy Spirit and was then baptized with the Holy Spirit. The next Sunday in service I was praying the Spirit.
    After many hours of discernment I had come to the conclusion that Jesus wanted me to move home to Ohio. John helped me locate a Bible believing church to attend before I left for Ohio.
    John and Yvonne Wagner have made a very positive impact on my spiritual walk. I encourage any serviceman/woman in the Norfolk area to hit them up for a good ol’ home cooked meal and great fellowship!

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    1. Thanks for sharing your testimony on here and for all of your kind comments. I am so thankful to the Lord for letting us play such a significant role in your life. You are a real blessing to us too! We love you!

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    2. Toree and I met at the Military School of Music on the Little Creek Base. He is a Marine Corp Drummer and I was a Navy trumpet player (05-2012). Toree and I were invited to go to John and Yvonne's home after a Chaple Service one day, way back in 2005. Toree and I were not dating at the time but we began dating shortly there after. We were both 25 and had joined the military after college. We were both Christians and desired support from people who could encourage our Christian walks. John and Yvonne and their daughter, Sarah were an amazing encouragement during our time at the SOM. They provided encouraging Bible study and worshipful prayer, loving relationship and faithful service to us and the Lord in their home ministry. We grew closer to the two of them and prayed together about Toree and my relationship, in truth and love. There home was a safe and relaxing place. Yvonne provided beautiful and delicious home cooked food for many people. The Wagners cultivated spiritual relationships among the group members and took personal interests in each of us. Praying for us, discipling, and supporting everyone. We became so close that even after leaving to New Orleans, Toree and I stayed I contact regularly. We all prayed for each other. Eventually Toree and I got engaged and asked if John and Yvonne would be willing to come to New Orleans to marry and share in the blessing of the love God had created with Toree and I and also to share the harvest with The Wagners in what they showed into. We have continued our relationship with the Wagners over the past 11 years. We continue to pray, encourage, challenge, and love each other. My husband and I have been blessed to be a part of the Wagners ministry and their love and support. We continue to love on each other and recently have been able to visit with them as they have visited us in Hawaii. Thank you guys for your faithfulness to God in your ministry. You have sown into our lives on so many occasions ( allowing us to live with you with our three dogs after I received surgery). Thank you so much, we love ya like our own family!!

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    3. Thanks for sharing your story with us Nichole. We love you guys too! You're a very special part of our family!

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  6. I met John and Yvonne in 2005 while in the Army, I was at the Armed Forces School of Music. My good friend George McCausland was stationed there in the Navy and told me about the Wagner's. I went once and was hooked. I ended up going there at least once a week from then on, and sometimes more than that. It was a great encouragement to meet Christians who wanted to encourage us in our faith and have us over regularly. Yvonne is a very good cook and that was also a big draw for me, as a single soldier I was all about good food! It was also nice because while John was former military he was not actively military, so it felt like I had a place to go away from the base that was sort of like a second home. Without the Wagner's there my AIT experience would have been very different. We played games, went places, watched movies, ate good food, talked about God, prayed and fellowshipped. I love the Wagner's for so selflessly giving of their time and resources and I know they have been a blessing and encouragement to many young military members!

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    1. Thanks Jonathan! You have been a blessing to us over the years too! We are so glad you are part of our extended family...and always will be! It's nice that we have a new daughter-in-law and a new grandson too! We love you!

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  7. I met John and Yvonne Wagner when I was at the school of music from 2006-2007. I cannot believe it has already been 10 years! To say the least, they were a great blessing to myself and my wife while we were away from home. Every week they sacrificed their time, and home for Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines at the School of Music and other local military installations. What I remember was the warmth and encouragement of the Wagner family, the fantastic food, and the wonderful trips they would arrange for us to get us out of the mundane routine of training/classes. Praying God's special blessing for you both as you continue to show the love, and grace of Jesus wherever you are. Thank you for all you have done, and continue to do! Love - Aaron and Priscilla Wagner

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  8. I met John and Yvonne shortly before they were married. John and I were stationed at NavComSta Wahiawa in communications. I remember the day very well when I met John. I was eating in the commissary and I saw this sailor who was going from table to table talking about God. I tried to finish my eating and leave, but John made it to my table before I could finish. He asked me if I knew Jesus and I told him I had been raised in a conservative religious home and I wasn't interested in religion. John pressed me again and asked me if I knew Jesus. It took the Lord and John about 3 months before I knew I had to have Jesus as my Savior. The evening I finally said "Yes" to Jesus John was there. We were walking and talking together about Jesus. We had walked out on a road on the base which lead to a locked gate at the rain forest which was adjacent to the base. We turned and begin the long walk back toward the base and John was inquiring what was holding me back from accepting Jesus. I told him I felt I would need to be freed from my 1-2 packs of cigarettes I was smoking a day and the game of Chess. Chess ruled my life at that time. John told me Jesus would rescue me from those two habits if I asked him to and urgently pressed on me not to put God on hold over those habits. By the time we arrived back at my barracks I said "Yes, I am ready." John and I knelt down in the barracks' parking lot and John helped me to pray the prayer which marks the place and time in God's heart when I said "Yes, I believe in you and I want to be your child." That evening was 43 years ago. What a thrill it is to have caught up with John and Yvonne, and realize that same focused passion to lead the "unsaved" to Jesus has been the hallmark of all these years since God used John to bring me to Him. May our Lord continue to richly bless John and Yvonne's ministry to the military.

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