Here we go again! Well after a long break without soldiers here at Camp Shangri-La we have embarked on a brand new mission with brand new soldiers. One of the highlights for our newbies is Victory Tower. It’s a 50’ tall rappelling/obstacle course. Its got a huge cargo net, rope bridges and a sheer wall that soldiers get to rappel down. It’s a great way to begin Basic Combat Training. Many of our soldiers come in with confidence issues; basically they are scared out of their minds. They wonder about the war, whether they’ll go to Iraq or Afghanistan. Some from this generation have been neglected and abused. Some have quit everything they have ever started. Conquering this task early in the process is incredibly important. This day for many is the day that something clicks within them and they say, “Man! I can actually do this!” They have to demonstrate a little faith. They have to trust the rope, the Drill Sgt who taught them to tie the knots correctly. They are literally putting their lives on the “line” or rope if you will. It’s one of the joys of my time here to be on the tower with them. Faith in God is a lot like that. God is the unseen God. It’s like hooking up to a rappelling rope having never done it before. We’ve seen it done, but until you actually hook in and back over the edge no real faith is required. Faith in Jesus is like that. The Bible is pretty clear that an intellectual belief in God is not real faith. Plenty of people believe that God exists. But, what matters is belief in Christ. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" (John 11:25-26) Did you catch that? There is believing and then life that follows. Death is conquered through believing! How about that? After a soldier has believed that rope can hold him and he takes the ride down, oh my! They feel alive! It’s the same with Jesus, upon our simple faith in Him, the trusting of our very lives to His able hands that we really find the life we have always been looking for. Its so simple, yet so complex for so many. My encouragement to you as you read this is to take hold of the rope of faith, and know that the knots have been tied just right. On your own your doomed, but with Christ, faith…belief leads to life more amazing than we thought possible. In these pictures are Bravo CO 1-61 Infantry commanded by CPT Iverson. They are a great company of hard working cadre and Drill SGTs. Pray for their strength and they work ridiculous hours pouring their lives into these new soldiers!


Anonymous said…
Boy does this picture take me back to the first day of Air Assault School at Ft. Campbell, KY. Stepping out on to the ledge and not knowing what to expect. It is very scary at first but after you have done it a few times it's not so bad. It is definitely a great comparison to faith in Christ. When you first accept Jesus as your Savior you don't really know what to expect. But after spending some time with Him through reading the Bible, praying and fellowshipping with other believers you know you can trust Him. I am thankful that I can trust Him and will pray that your new troops will also come to know and trust Him. I will also pray for the Drill Sgts and cadre. I know they need it as much if not more than the new soldiers. Keep up the good work. Hoooaaaaaahhhhh! Mike E.
2LT Amy Maxwell said…
Ahhh... We had freezing rain on the day our CHOBC class was supposed to go to Victory Tower. We were SO disappointed to miss that!

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