We have totally loved having Krista in Alaska with us these past 2 years. We always KNEW it was temporary and that she would go active duty at some point.
Months ago the reserves told Krista she was approved to submit a packet to become an Active Duty Air Force Chaplain. Then began the process of being picked for Active Duty. Part of this process is having a "scroll" submitted and approved by congress. She ran around getting all the necessary pieces together to submit her scroll. Then we waited. We were told congress "should" approve them by mid-January. Didn't happen.
|Alaska is a lovely place to wait!|
Mid February - she was notified her scroll had been approved. This meant she was accepted to go Active Duty, within 2 weeks her "acceptance letter" would go to assignments, and 2 - 4 weeks beyond that she'd receive an assignment. By mid-March she'd have ANSWERS about what the next season will look like.
Krista has not been idle during the wait...she leads the church's young adult outings, is our youth pastor, has been doing lots of counseling, works with special needs at our local high school, serves in a reserve unit at JBER, and keeps very busy with friends.
One thing she has done in the wait is to become ASIST trained. She has presented at several suicide prevention workshops at JBER. (OK for civilians that's Joint Base Elemendorf Richardson; for military folks she's been presenting at ASIST workshops/trainings). She was presenting at a workshop this Monday (22 Feb) when she heard her scroll may not be approved. She had promoted since the start of the application process and it appeared she would need to start the process all over again. We were glad we hadn't shared her approval far and wide.
Within hours she heard ARPC had done some magic and she was NOT going to have to start all over, her scroll was approved - again. She'd have an acceptance letter within 2 weeks and then on to assignments for specifics...probably another 2 - 4 weeks before FACTS were shared. She ran into AF chaplains from JBER at the workshop. She did share her scroll approval with her fellow chaplains at JBER.
A short hour later she received the acceptance letter to sign and her packet was sent to assignments...the shortest 2 weeks in military history. We agreed to wait another couple of weeks to share news of her approval - until she had an assignment. Monday was a ROLLER COASTER day for Krista.
The NEXT DAY - Tuesday, 23 Feb, Krista was notified where her first assignment as an active duty chaplain will be.... Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson! YES. There were two Alaskan bases and we've all been praying if it was God's will she be assigned to one of them for her first assignment. We know she will eventually leave Alaska, but for another 3 years she will be within an hour of home. This will certainly make OUR transition to Krista being active duty much easier. I think it will be nice for her to be able to maintain friendships as she launches into a new adventure. The next months will be full of decisions and change...but it's all forward momentum!
To say we are excited is a gross under-statement. We will have the joy of watching her transition to an active duty chaplain. This has been a long journey. She felt she was to be a chaplain, 15 years ago. Ten years after she began wrestling with the call she entered an M Div program and started the process which led to today. This included ministerial ordination, earning an M Div, reserve time, gaining a civilian endorser (Open Bible - our endorser when Mike was active duty), and waiting, waiting, waiting. She has excelled every step of the way. She has worked HARD, and earned top grades and awards in both civilian and military training, to be where she is today - at the start of her active duty chaplaincy ministry.
Part of what we did (or who we were) in the military was ministry scouts. We enjoyed encouraging men and women with hearts for God to pursue the chaplaincy. The Air Force NEEDS evangelical men and women with a passion for ministry and a heart for God. We sought to encourage young chaplains with these traits and to encourage others to enter the chaplaincy. It has been pure joy to watch these young chaplains move up the ranks...In my ministry to military spouses and troops I often prayed for conservative, God-loving, passionate female chaplains to enter the military. It is humbling, awe-inspiring even, to stand here and see...one of the many answers to our prayers for God to send God-loving, passionate ministers into the Air Force is our daughter.
We are proud of her zeal to follow Jesus. I am hoping for a Misawa assignment in her future....oh the places we can visit.... LOL The next week will be filled with goodbyes to students before spring break, working details to report in April, looking for possible new housing....and dreaming....exciting times!