Friday, August 18, 2006

Operation Freedom Life, Part 1

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I live in an Army town, Clarksville, TN. Our suburb is Ft. Campbell, KY, most of which is actually in TN. Ft Campbell is the home of the 101st Airborne Division, along with a large contingent of the Fifth Group Special Forces, and the 160th Nightstalker Special Forces.

So I rub shoulders with a lot of soldiers. I do business with them, make friends with them, and just naturally pay more attention to news about them than someone might who doesn’t see camouflage uniforms every day at McDonald’s or the Wal-Mart checkout line.

And I love these soldiers. I admire them. I respect their dedication to their mission, whatever it may be at the time. I watched the troops come and go during Operation Desert Storm in 1991, freeing Kuwait from Saddam Hussein, Operation Enduring Freedom in Oct. of 2001 invading Afghanistan, and Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, still ongoing.

I’ve prayed with families as they were ready to say goodbye to the dad or mom soldier in the family. We gathered with a crowd at Ft. Campbell to welcome home a Nightstalker who had been wounded, tortured and held captive in Somalia. We had a young boy and his homeschooler mom over for our son Michael’s birthday party. Not long after, that boy’s daddy lost his life in Afghanistan.

I say all that to say this: I’ve thought a lot about the concept of “mission”.

A good mission is simple. It may have a lot of complicated logistics, lots of details necessary to carry it out, but the mission itself is simple.

In Desert Storm, in 1991, the mission was “Free Kuwait from Saddam Hussein”. The mission in Afghanistan was “Capture or kill Al-Queda terrorists, bring down the corrupt terrorist-supporting Taliban, and establish an elected government.” In Operation Iraqi Freedom, the mission was “Oust Saddam Hussein and, again, establish a freely elected government.”

Huge operations, but simple in their missions.

What is our Mission as the Church of Jesus Christ? That’s the question I want to answer here. And for our purposes here, I’ll call it “Operation Freedom Life”.

(Continued in Part 2)

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