Military Ministry at the Wagner's

Military Ministry at the Wagner's
Thanksgiving Day 2017

They Come From The North, South, East and West!


In his book The Power of Vision George Barna wrote: “Vision is a picture held in your mind’s eye of the way things could or should be in the days ahead.” In 1993 Yvonne and I were pastoring in Grand Junction, Colorado and going through a period of transition in our ministry, trying to determine God’s direction for our lives. During my Bible reading and prayer times God spoke to my heart and gave me a vision. The vision was huge! So huge in fact, that I was overwhelmed! I knew that if it would ever be fulfilled it would have to be God that made it happen. I knew I could never accomplish it in my own strength. Initially I thought the vision applied to our ministry in Colorado, and at first it did, but it wasn’t until seven years later, after God brought Yvonne and me to Virginia to minister to the military, that I understood where the vision really applied. Even then, the fulfillment of the vision unfolded gradually as we stepped out and obediently followed God’s direction. I’ve carried this vision in my heart for over twenty years now.


One of the Scripture passages the Lord gave me was Isaiah 43:5-7. In it the Lord said,

Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, 'Give them up!' and to the south, 'Do not hold them back.' Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth – everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.

In these three short verses God laid out the future direction of our entire ministry to the military. In saying He would bring us children the Lord was saying our ministry would be relational and family oriented. In saying He would bring our children from the north, south, east, and west, and even from the ends of the earth God was saying He would bring our children from every direction of the compass; that our ministry would have both a national and an international dimension. And finally, speaking of both sons and daughters the Lord said He would bring both young military men and women to us.

Later I read another passage of Scripture that stood out to me in Micah 7:11-12. In that passage the Lord repeated the promises in Isaiah. He said, “The day for building your walls will come, the day for extending your boundaries. In that day people will come to you...from sea to sea and from mountain to mountain.” That was in 1993. We moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia in the summer of 2000, seven years later.

Since then we've had 545 sailors, soldiers, and marines come through our home! The men and women who have been in our home have come from 45 American states: from Virginia in the east to Hawaii in the west, and from Maine in the north to Florida in the south. Internationally, they have come from seven different countries: from Canada in the north, from the Philippines in the west, from Puerto Rico in the south, and from Kenya in the east. But the blessings didn’t stop there! God also allowed us to minister to 13 young men who were from the militaries of three other nations including 8 Brazilian sailors, a Navy chaplain from Latvia, and a fighter pilot from Poland.

God keeps His Word! The parts of our vision that have been fulfilled have encouraged Yvonne and me to go on and believe that the rest will be fulfilled as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment