Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Nathan Wagnon's Journey

One of my very close friends, Nathan Wagnon, is serving overseas in Iraq. Nathan sends updates often to what is going on with his team.

I asked him for his permission to post his emails to my blog so that you can be praying for him and his team. Nathan is a true man of God and has a heart not to just serve his country but to win his peers to Christ, which is very hard to do.

Here is an email he sent me today:

I hope this message finds you all well. I know everyone is pretty crazy busy, so I appreciate it that you guys take time out of your day to pray for us over here.

Things here fluctuate. That's probably the best way to describe it. Our area is rural farmland that makes excellent terrain for the enemy to ambush us while we attempt to complete our mission of securing the population, so most of our interaction with the enemy in our area is purely kinetic. During the winter months we gained a lot of ground because there was less of a TB presence, but they've all come back now so we are having to re-focus what we can and can't hold. It's frustrating, but I can see the logic in the higher ups asking for more troops 'cause that's exactly what is needed here. There's wayyy too much ground to cover and not enough people to cover it.

So, we are continuing to improve our position in our AO and working on some improvement projects for the people here. We are about to start building a school and I'm hoping we can put a playground there and everything. The trick is trying to get people to send their kids to school. The TB have a long history of intimidation and harrassment. People here live in pretty consistent fear. It's pretty sad. We would just wax all of them, but they hide out and won't mix it up with us man to man . . . can't say I blame them, but it makes it really frustrating. As you pray for us, please remember these people, they live in a perpetual state of spiritual darkness with little hope and seemingly less hope of any good life.

On a lighter note our company was featured on “Dan Rather Reports” on the cable channel HDNet last week. If you can get your hands on it, it is a pretty good summary of what we are facing over here.

Ministry here continues to be slow. I think it's not too much different from what many in the States experience as well, get into a routine, stay busy, and hope that opportunities present themselves. However, I'm not so naïve to think one is exempt from being proactive, something that I fear I haven't done enough of. I do feel like I'm getting to the place with these guys where I can be bolder without being shunned or burning bridges, but I am definitely on an island here. I most certainly stand out . . . it's funny, the guys have a pool going betting on whether or not I'm going to curse :-), something that's so common around here it's almost shocking that someone wouldn't use vulgar language. Anyway, please continue to pray for my spiritual health, boldness, and creativity in presenting the gospel to these dudes who need it so badly.

I covet your prayer.

In Christ,


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