In the middle of the week, after a day of rules and corrections, carrying rifles, marching, chewing food in five bite intervals, etc., etc., how sweet it is to go to Chapel on Wednesday nights. Yesterday we received two letters from our son and it soothes my heart to hear he is attending regularly. This is one of the few things my son is doing which do not produce anxiety in my heart and for that I say "amen!"
On Wednesday nights, my son and other interested NCs have a first name (their very own!) and are allowed to even find a bit of a personality! What a privilege! Most other times, New Cadets are not afforded such luxury. You and I take these things for granted but you don't if you are a lowly New Cadet.
A place of smiles and fellowship, being refreshed by the Word of God, fresh cookies and caring people. If I were a NC, I think I would live for Wednesday nights.
That's also where you will find Barry and Barb Willey with Officers' Christian Fellowship aka OCF. Each summer in Wednesday, they join the chaplains and after worship time, the cadets get free time to relax, eat sweets and drink sodas. Then they can get in a line and the Willey's take a head shot of the New Cadet along with anyone else they want and then Barb sends the pictures to anyone they choose. What a treat! This is a wonderful ministry at West Point and it's great that Nate has plugged into the community. Today we received a picture of our son from Barb. It was the first thing I looked for in my email box this morning. Nate is smiling! He looks happy! He has friends! I am overjoyed!
Last night apparently my son sought Barb out and made sure he got a picture. He even asked for his buddies to be in the picture which makes me want to cry, (I'm tearing up right now). I am so thankful for the Willey's. I love their servants' hearts, they are reaching out not only to the cadets and New Cadets but to their families. I am comforted knowing my son had a mama's arms around him even if they weren't my own.
According to Barb's facebook, she was up until 4am downloading photos knowing eager parents would want to receive the photos. I can relate. Although I wasn't up until 4am, last night I received a late night email from a student needing a "word of faith." She was hurting and needed some encouragement. I wrote her back immediately because she needed to know someone cared.
Isn't that what we all want? To know someone cares? I sure do! In a letter from our son, Nate wrote about how Colonel Cook's sermon on Psalm 121 was so applicable. "I will lift my eyes to the hills, from whence comes my help?" He said, "it's pretty cool when you're at Trophy Point and you have hills surrounding you." Nate will always have beautiful memories of how God's Word was so alive during his time at West Point. The Lord is caring and providing for our son, he feels God's presence in this place. Maybe not when the cadre are screaming at him but he is finding a peace that passes understanding. God always cares, always understands, is 100% dependable.
Today I lift my eyes and hands up to the Lord and offer a word of blessing upon friendships, old and new, near and far and the body of Christ working together for His glory and kingdom.