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We’re Sending Books to Support Our Troops in Afghanistan

Ray Pritchard pastored in Los Angeles, Dallas and Chicago. Married to Marlene for 38 years, he enjoys being a husband, a father and a grandfather, riding his bike, and playing with Dudley and Gary, beloved basset hounds.

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Marlene and I present the books to Chaplain Heather Duff.
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A few weeks ago I received a nice email from Heather Duff who serves as the chaplain for the 298th CSSB, a combat support battalion soon to be deployed to Afghanistan. She heard through my brother Alan that we donate books to the military. Over the years we have sent thousands of copies of An Anchor for the Soul to members of the Armed Forces serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. This was Chaplain Duff’s first email to me:

Dr. Ray Pritchard, I just picked up your book, Leadership Lessons of Jesus. It is sold in every PX in the country! Wow! I am the Chaplain for the 298th CSSB and we are heading to Afghanistan in a couple of months. Your brother Dr. Alan, told me to request books for our Bible study overseas. We need at least 100 books (100 of the same book, so we can do a bible study) – as we have many committed christian soldiers in our command. I can’t wait to hear from you, as I know you are a generous man!!! Respectfully, CH Heather Duff

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How could you say no to a request like that?

Later Chaplain Duff wrote this in another email:

I will bring these books with me, personally, in January. If I send them to Afghanistan now, I fear they may be lost. And I promise you we will NEED these books. I do not know of a greater need than a great Bible study for soldiers in the field.

Earlier this week we met Chaplain Duff and her husband in Tupelo where we gave them 100 copies of Fire and Rain: The Wild-Hearted Faith of Elijah and 35 copies of An Anchor for the Soul. She told us that the members of the 298th call themselves the “geriatric unit” because most of them are over 40. They will be serving for about nine months in western Afghanistan doing support and logistics work for troops from many different units. 

We’re honored to have a small part in supporting these men and women who will be serving in a difficult place far from home. I noted that the bottom of each email, Chaplain Duff includes this verse that seems fitting for soldiers on their way to a battle zone: “And God’s peace, which is far beyond men’s understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus!" Philippians 4:7

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2013 KBM Winter Report