Greetings Redeemed Family,
I hope everyone is settling into a great season of Harvest and Thanksgiving celebrations! I was so excited when I chose to write this month’s Director’s Message because November is also when we celebrate those who have served. On my 18th birthday I went to the post office and signed up for selective service and then went to a recruiter to enlist in the United States Air Force.
A few months later at the Military Entrance Processing Station in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, I can vividly remember taking my oath of service on March 31, 1981 (two months before I graduated high school on deferred enlistment) and on the same day President Reagan was wounded in an attempted assassination. I also remember while I was taking my oath, President Reagan was being operated on to remove a bullet from his body. And, I remember the words I spoke with my right hand in the air, “I, Dennis Mark, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”
I meant every word then, and I still do today, maybe even more today but for vastly different reasons of service. Many times I have been asked why I do what I do in this ministry. I explain how I learned about human trafficking, all the experiences and needs that we identified along the way, and how the women we serve are important to God as His treasure, but I also hear in my heart the echo of that oath of enlistment, “to defend against all enemies.” I see around me what happens to the children of the King. I see it as an attack on our freedoms that need to be defended at all costs, often requiring great sacrifices. Being a veteran, I’m in a great company of men and women who have sacrificed, sometimes paying the ultimate sacrifice, for those who are oppressed, vulnerable and defenseless. Serving my country and serving my King have a lot in common- they both require great sacrifice revealing what is best about the words duty, honor and faithfulness.
To all my brothers and sisters who have served in uniform, even in difficult times, our sacrifice was and is important. To all my brothers and sisters in Christ, our daily sacrifice in whatever ministry we serve brings glory and honor to Jesus Christ our King! Thank you all for your service to our King Jesus!