A Letter of Encouragement from the Front Lines
Our military chaplains are on the front lines, bringing the gospel to those who are in spiritual need. For over fifteen years, Ligonier has been serving more than 200 military chaplains around the world through our Military Chaplain Outreach Program. By the financial support of friends such as you, this critical outreach delivers resource packages of books, Bibles, issues of Tabletalk magazine, and more to aid them in their ministry efforts.
Recently, we received an encouraging letter from Chaplain Mark Levine of the U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School in Fort Jackson, S.C.
Dear Chaplain Outreach Donors,
As a recipient of Chaplain Outreach Ministry resource packages for years, I have written emails expressing my thanks for your generous gifts to fund this important ministry. However, I have been remiss in not more formally and properly thanking you for your continued support—not only for me personally—but for all of the military and civilian chaplains to whom you have dedicated your gifts of support.
Perhaps a brief introduction of who I am will help set the context for my letter. I came to faith in Christ as a teenager in 1978 through the ministry of a PCA church outside of Pittsburgh, where my pastor was a seminary classmate of R.C. and thus a student of Dr. John Gerstner. Several times a year, both R.C. and Dr. Gerstner would teach Sunday school and preach in our church. Each summer, several of my friends and I would drive to Stahlstown to hear R.C. and the other teachers at the Ligonier Valley Study Center. Throughout my entire Christian life of now forty-two years, R.C. Sproul and the ministry of Ligonier have been absolutely formative and of significant influence in practically every aspect of my Christian life. I have been a proud Ligonier partner for years.
Since becoming a chaplain in 2002, I have given away loads of materials from Ligonier to soldiers and their families. After I was able to participate in the Chaplain Outreach Ministry, that outreach has exponentially increased, and many individuals have been exposed to the Reformed faith as a result of the generosity of you who have consistently funded this magnificent ministry. Moreover, I personally have continued to benefit from the teaching and daily exposure to Ligonier’s teaching ministry. It is impossible to calculate the benefit I and countless others have had from this outreach, enabling me to get solid biblical materials, as well as Reformation Study Bibles, into the hands of people who are either new to the Christian faith or are more mature believers seeking to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ.
As an Army chaplain, having been stationed all around the country and in Germany twice, along with being sent to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait on combat deployments, I have not always been able to sit under the ministry of a faithful church. One of the constants, however, along my almost twenty-six year career in the Army (beginning in 1987, with a break in service from 1994–2002), has been the teaching ministry of Ligonier. I am the pastor that I am today in large part due to R.C. and his influence, and an intentional facet of how I seek to win others to Christ and make disciples of them is to use the resources obtained from this crucial ministry that you fund.
Allow me therefore to sincerely thank you for your commitment to me and the many other military and civilian chaplains who have received Ligonier materials over the years. It is an incalculable blessing to receive the DVDs, Bibles, books, and other materials that have been sent. While distributing the materials to others is a key target of this outreach, please know as well that we chaplains have personally grown in Christ and have been substantially spiritually sustained by this ministry. Please do not underestimate the significance of spiritually sustaining us chaplains. We are in a pluralistic environment and often find ourselves in areas without a solid church. We need Ligonier materials to continue to be fed on the Word of God and to be better equipped to serve others in the faith.
May the Lord richly bless you and yours as you have richly blessed us and ours. Thank you once again for your support of us chaplains!
Mark R. Levine
Chaplain (Lieutenant Colonel), U.S. Army
U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School
Fort Jackson, S.C.
This important outreach is only possible thanks to the generous support of friends such as you.