Christ for Veterans and Their Families

LCMS Ministry of the Armed Forces


View mission grant resources below.

Funds requested by the Ministry to the Armed Forces (MAF) will be utilized to host national training events for Operation Barnabas, an extension of MAF, which provides a network of care through trained congregations that want to reach out to members of the military, their families, and the veterans in their congregations and communities.

nullOperation Barnabas, an extension of MAF, provides a network of care through trained congregations that want to reach out to members of the military, their families and the veterans in their congregations and communities. Operation Barnabas, the only program of its kind in the U.S., together with LCMS congregations seeks to care for Reserve Chaplains and their families and congregations; train and assist local congregations in their care and support of local military members and their families and veterans.
nullThe goal is to train and equip Operation Barnabas leaders to take back and share with other congregations so that all have an opportunity to know that the only source of true peace comes from Jesus Christ. Our everlasting peace is with Him. Operation Barnabas focuses on connecting soldiers with their families after deployment and reintegrating them back in the worship life of their church.

WHEREAS, For everything there is a season, a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up (Ecc. 3:1-3); and
WHEREAS, Ministry to the Armed Forces/Operation Barnabas (son of encouragement) seeks to train, equip, and encourage LCMS districts, congregations, and their members, as well as local Operation Barnabas District Chapters and counselors, to share with their congregations techniques for compassionate care and Gospel sharing outreach; and
WHEREAS, There has been an immense drawdown of our military forces sending soldiers to return to civilian communities and their families, thousands of whom struggle with physical, mental, financial, and emotional stresses; and
WHEREAS, This time of adjustment to a more normal pace of life within our civilian communities is an important period of critical adjustment and we want to equip churches to reach out to veterans and their families with the love of Christ; therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the delegates gathered at the 2017 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League Convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico, vote the sum of $27,750 to help fund Christ for Veterans and Their Families.

Donate to the 2017–2019 Mission Goal

nullOperation Barnabas training conference hosted by Mt. Calvary Lutheran church in San Antonio, Texas. Chaplain Mike Moreno encourages group. The reactionary impact of Christ for Veterans and Families could reach thousands as each LCMS congregation (even in rural America) have military connected people (Veterans and their families) who live in their town who are unchurched and/or who need acts of mercy to deal with life issues. Operation Barnabas Chapters operates in a manner similar to a LWML Zone and generally meet monthly around a specific goal.
nullReturning Veterans face an increasing amount of challenges as they return to the United States and resume civilian life. The Department of Veteran Affairs reports 22 Veterans commit suicide every day — that is one every 65 seconds. More than 2 million military members have deployed since Sept. 11, 2001. Of that 2 million, more than 860,000 have been from our Reserve community — many living far from a military base and the support services offered there. More than 6,000 have made the ultimate sacrifice, which means there are more than 6,000 families who have lost a loved one.
nullTraining events can be an opportunity to share such as this innovative idea for Congregations to follow their respective military members and keep them and their family in prayer. The primary purpose is to train participants in techniques to reach out to veterans in local communities with witness, mercy and life together.
nullMinistry of the Armed Forces has partnered with Lutheran Church Charities. All current LCC congregations are encouraged to join the Operation Barnabas network of care. The congregations are focused on providing care both to their congregation and to their communities. A Comfort Dog — named after a K-9 that gave its life in the service of our country — is placed with a veteran to enable them to reach out to others and share the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ! He or she visits other veterans, in an attempt to create a relationship that will allow the vet to share his faith, and Christ's love.
nullAccording to a recent RAND study, veteran participants described fellow veterans as the most helpful source in overcoming their transition challenges. With an influx of veterans and their families using the GI Bills, the Concordia University System provides an excellent opportunity to provide care to military families. Ministry to the Armed Forces is developing a new program, Veterans Reaching Veterans, that will equip military veterans to serve as peer counselors on Concordia University campuses. A successful mentoring program will enable veterans to thrive and complete their collegiate career with spiritual support. At its core, Operation Barnabas extends the ministry of Word and Sacrament to those who serve (service personal and/or family member) our nation in uniform. All our congregations and communities could benefit from "Christ for Veterans and their Families.


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