Navy Chaplain: “I’m in it because people need to find Jesus”

US Navy Chaplain (LT) Trevor Carpenter is pastoring and discipling Marines in Hawaii, and he’s apparently making a big impact doing it:

“I currently have around 70 Marines and their spouses digging into Scripture each week through the H.E.A.R. journaling method,” said Carpenter, who’s stationed at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

Carpenter said he picked up the journaling concept in a study Bible and carried it with him to Hawaii. He now has a study for a half-dozen married couples, single Marines, and a weekly get-together for off-base Marines.

The article explains H.E.A.R. is “Highlight, Explain, Apply and Respond,” and it was developed by pastor Robby Gallaty of Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, TN.

There’s an interesting twist in the story: Carpenter no longer has the Bible that inspired the impactful study. Turns out he gave it away while he was deployed to Africa:

“I was sitting next to a couple from the Kenyan Navy, and the wife kept looking at my Bible that had all my handwritten notes in it,” Carpenter recalls. “I’ve served in Africa and so I asked her in Swahili, ‘Do you want this?’

“She took the Bible saying, ‘I’d like to learn what you’re thinking about,’” Carpenter said. “When I meet someone who doesn’t have a Bible—which is unfortunately quite often—I always give them mine.”

For his part, Pastor Gallaty was glad to hear of the reach of the study [emphasis added]:

I’m encouraged to learn how God is using the same H.E.A.R. journaling method to equip these Marines. I can’t wait to see how God uses them to live as missionaries wherever they serve.

Chaplain Carpenter used similar language to explain his mission:

“I’ve gone on dives with SEAL teams, shot guns with Marines and have been on warships in downrange deployments, but I’m a missionary the same way a missionary to China is a missionary,” Carpenter said. “They’re learning Chinese; I’m just learning military language. And I’m wearing the clothes and speaking the language of my people.

“I’m in it because people need to find Jesus.”

Amen to that.

Aside: We all know Michael “Mikey” Weinstein will eventually go after Chaplain Carpenter, and Christine “Chris” Rodda will probably try to figure out a way to say giving a Bible away in Africa is illegal. But those two don’t define religious liberty, nor does their hate demand we censor the celebration of it. God bless Chaplain Carpenter for his role in protecting the religious liberty of the Marines he serves — and for helping them to know their Savior.

Also at BPNews. US Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Bill Dodge.

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