“The Saving Power of God at Work in the Marine Corp”

In November of 2002 our son graduated from Boot Camp in Parris Island, SC. That same month Solid Ground published its first edition of J.R. Miller’s classic devotional “Come Ye Apart,” the book that was used to confirm God’s call upon our first born son to join the Marines. Now for the rest of the story.


The Lord was gracious to use the Marines in the life of our son, as he was challenged every day concerning his faith in Christ. He had numerous opportunities to demonstrate the love of Christ to others he would never have met had he not joined the Marines. While stationed in Okinawa, Japan he had men join him in his room while I would lead a Bible Study over the speaker phone. Because he was 14 hours ahead of me I would lead the study at 6:00 in the morning. It was a wonderful time that I will never forget.


The year he completed his four years of active service I went out to spend a long weekend with him in California. On the Saturday Night before Easter Sunday we sat at a restaurant overlooking the Pacific Ocean. He reminded me that this was the very place he called me to tell me that one of his Marine buddies had come to faith in Christ and was preparing to be baptized. This man came to the Lord after hearing our son give his testimony at a Corporal’s course just a month or so earlier. 


As we were preparing to leave his cell phone rang and it was another of his Marine buddies calling from Minnesota. They had been stationed together in Okinawa and he was one of those who gathered in his room for our long-distance Bible Studies. He said to my son, “Guess what I am doing tomorrow?” Before my son could guess he said, “I have been asked to share my testimony before my church. Guess what I am going to tell them?” My son said he did not know. His friend said, “I am going to tell them how the Lord used you to open my eyes to see my need for Jesus Christ.” When my son shared this with me, with tears in both our eyes I said, “Can you now see why the Lord directed me to Psalm 15?” 


A P.S. to this story is that recently, three years after leaving the Marines, my son received a phone call from his former roommate at Camp Pendleton. This man had been relentless in his ridiculing my son’s faith in Christ. After three years he was calling to tell my son that he had recently come to Christ, and he wanted to apologize for the way he treated him because of his faith, and to thank him for being such an example to him. Truly the Lord is good and the Lord is great. What a joy it is to serve Him!


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One Response to ““The Saving Power of God at Work in the Marine Corp””

  1. John Wega Says:

    Hi Michael and God Bless You!
    Thank you for sharing the story of Psalm 15 and your son’s adventure into the USMC. Influenced by J.R. Miller and his devotional is quite appropriate, for Miller served over two years in the fields of battle during the Civil War as a General Field Delegate with the U.S. Christian Commission. He served at Gettysburg and within two weeks of the battle describes conducting communion services at General Meade’s HQ.

    At the end of the war, Miller himself describes how all of his friends were gone, taken by the minnie ball. Jesus was all he had!
    Miller himself had enlisted as a PA soldier at the start of the war but the unit failed to form and deply. As a seminary student he volunteered as a USCC field delegate and was so dedicated and hard working became a permanent and General Field Delegate. He went on to lead efforts and teams of men with the gospel on the battlefields.

    JR Miller’s life and ministry was forged in the crucible of war. How appropriate and providential that this humble, soft hearted writer influenced the life of another young warrior destined to be forged in the war of another generation.

    Semper Fi,

    John Wega
    Gettysburg, PA

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