By Scottie Lloyd
June 18, 2016
“Today we had a RAS (Replenishment At Sea) where we come along side of a supply ship that has our mail, and food, supplies, parts, and fuel that we will need to stay out here. They steam along a straight course, we pull alongside and match their speed. Then they shoot over lines, which pull over other lines, which then pull larger lines, and on those we get the fuel hoses that give us more fuel. With a helicopter other supplies are lifted over to us in large nets that hang from the birds. One of these RAS can last several hours, but it is more efficient and cheaper than pulling into a port.
“On this RAS were three of the Prayer Book boxes with the slips that you, Mary and Gerald signed. Thank you for this token of your appreciation. What you have sent to us will be placed out in our office so that people can pick some up as they come by.
“Thank you, also, for the copy of the “Messenger”. It was good to see some of the faces from you congregation. Being in the Navy and in this environment for almost 18 years, the memories of a family environment are dim. Your pictures were a welcome distraction from the grind we go through.
“Everything arrived intact. Nothing was spilled. The boxes were in good shape, although one looked like it was at the bottom of a pile for a while, or perhaps it was in the bottom of one of the UNREP (underway replenishment) nets that dangled from a bird during a RAS.
“My calendar on my computer shows that we have been out here for 72 days and have 142 more wake-ups before we pull into San Diego. Thanks again for your support.”
From just up the California coast comes another ministry support success. CAPT John Swanson, ELCA Coast Guard Chaplain out of Alameda, CA, is now able to reach Coast Guard cutters full of seamen and personnel deploying overseas with over 200 prayer books provided by St. John’s Lutheran Church from Palm Desert, CA. St. John’s already has provided books to Navy Chaplain James Johnson in San Diego, CA and to Air Force Chaplain Leif Espeland in San Antonio, TX with hundreds of books. This congregation recently raised over $3500 in 30 days to meet these needs and more.
Taking advantage of a generous offer from Augsburg Press of sending Prayer Books free to synod assemblies for 2016 displays, the South Dakota Synod ordered 650 books recently and sold out with the last copy going to the Bishop himself. These books are destined for Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, VA Hospitals, and Federal Prisons from congregations that are in the game to share Jesus with others through this superb pocket resource now in its fourth publishing. They join so many who are spreading the Gospel with pastoral support that can go anywhere and be used in nearly any situation. If you are interested in this ministry see the Prayer Book tab above for more information and an order form. Maybe Augsburg Publishing will need a fifth publishing of these books soon.