There are 214,000 women in the United States armed forces on active duty and an additional 190,000 women in the reserves and guards. The demands and stresses of a military lifestyle produce a unique opportunity for women’s ministries to have a lasting impact in soldiers’ lives.
One of the main struggles female active-duty soldiers have is the transience of their lives. The only constant is that nothing is constant for long, and this is where the church can reach out—giving them a place to belong, while knowing these women will likely move away soon. Jesus is unchanging, immovable, and always good. Sharing these truths with military women can be an encouragement in the middle of the weariness of inconsistencies.
Many military personnel are open to making friends quickly. Determine to be a friend, establishing a long-term mindset even though your contact might be short-lived. You can have a significant, lasting impact when you invest in women’s lives. Plus, it’s much easier to stay connected these days with the availability of the Internet, e-mail and Skype.
Try these ideas to make a difference:
- Have lunch on the military base where a female soldier you’d like to get to know is stationed. Ask her to give you a tour of the base and get to know the soldier side of her.
- Send creative care packages to women from your church who are deployed overseas. Add extra items she can share with her battalion or unit.
- Reach women by reaching their children. Set up a weekly play date to encourage friendships with other moms and children in the church.
No matter what, share your thanks for all service men and women who are protecting freedom.
Jill Brett is a freelance writer in southern New Jersey, who readily admits that her favorite color is camouflage. When she’s not writing, she commands her six recruits through the battle of life.