Military Marriages Transformed by Christ

August 26, 2014 • United States
homescreen DSC_5630 - Sheehan

Multiple couples experience spiritual change during Week 12 of Operation Heal Our Patriots

Seven couples renewed their wedding vows under God last week in Port Alsworth, Alaska, culminating a once-in-a-lifetime week of marriage enrichment through Operation Heal Our Patriots, the Samaritan’s Purse ministry to wounded service members and their spouses.

For three of those couples—William and Natalie Martin, James and Laura Lee Sheehan, and Todd and Lisa Halverson—the act held even greater meaning as both spouses had come to faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior earlier in the week. A seventh participant also made a commitment to Christ last week, and six individuals were baptized.

The week was especially meaningful for the Halversons of Apply Valley, Minnesota. They renewed their vows, trusted Christ together, and were baptised while in Alaska. Todd, a retired Army staff sergeant, was injured in a rocket attack in Afghanistan.

Over a total of 15 weeks this summer, Operation Heal Our Patriots is offering 150 couples one week of classes and activities at Samaritan Lodge Alaska designed to draw them closer to God and each other. Samaritan’s Purse staff members follow up with these couples after they return home through an aftercare program, which includes regular personal contact, prayer support, spiritual counsel, an annual reunion, and help finding a local church.

Here are just a few glimpses into last week’s activities:

James Sheehan, a former Marine Corporal, and his wife, Laura Lee, of Gladstone, Missouri, renewed their marriage vows on the Lake Clark beach. James was hit by a machine gun bullet during a 2010 Taliban attack on his patrol outside of Marjah, Afghanistan.

James Sheehan, a former Marine Corporal, and his wife, Laura Lee, of Gladstone, Missouri, renewed their marriage vows on the Lake Clark beach. James was hit by a machine gun bullet during a 2010 Taliban attack on his patrol outside of Marjah, Afghanistan.

Retired Army Sergeant Conrad DeGrace, Jr., of Galveston, Texas, raised his arms in victory after being baptized. The week in Alaska’s wilderness reinvigorated his faith walk with Christ. He and his wife, Trish, also rededicated their marriage.

Retired Army Sergeant Conrad DeGrace, Jr., of Galveston, Texas, raised his arms in victory after being baptized. The week in Alaska’s wilderness reinvigorated his faith walk with Christ. He and his wife, Trish, also rededicated their marriage.

Lisa Halverson prepares to be baptized by retired Navy chaplain Jim Fisher and pastor Keith Pintar. Pastor Pintar of Calvary Chapel in Jacksonville, Florida, is volunteering in Alaska with Samaritan Purse.

Lisa Halverson prepares to be baptized by retired Navy chaplain Jim Fisher and pastor Keith Pintar. Pastor Pintar of Calvary Chapel in Jacksonville, Florida, is volunteering in Alaska with Samaritan Purse.

Everyone was all smiles after soldier Todd Halverson was baptized in Lake Clark.

Everyone was all smiles after soldier Todd Halverson was baptized in Lake Clark.

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