FORT LEONARD WOOD – More than 200 Army soldiers and trainees professed faith in Christ during two consecutive Sundays at Fort Leonard Wood earlier this month, and 20 have already been baptized, according to a Southern Baptist chaplain on the base.
Captain Jose Rondon reported that at least 128 soldiers and trainees – and perhaps more – professed faith in Christ on March 11, and another 80 professed faith on March 18.
Some of these men and women were involved in Basic Training, while others recently completed Basic Training. According to Rondon, the rigor and discipline involved in Basic Training causes many people to rethink their priorities and assumptions.
“In the midst of all the anxiety, in the midst of all the transformation, they can see their constitutional right to religious freedom is preserved,” Rondon told The Pathway. “And once that is done, they can see the chaplain talking to them about their fears, about their problems at home. The message of Christ becomes critical in their lives. They see that they don’t need to be broken as they are, but that there is hope in Christ. There is salvation in Christ.”
Rondon has served as a chaplain at Fort Leonard Wood since early this year. Originally from Venezuela, he came to faith in Christ in the 1990s through the witness of an International Mission Board missionary. Later, he immigrated to South Carolina, where he attended a Southern Baptist college – North Greenville University – and later he worked on master’s and doctoral degrees at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He became a United States Citizen in 2010 and a year later joined the military with the hopes of becoming a chaplain.
Rondon said this month’s professions of faith at Fort Leonard Wood display the power of God’s Word. Through the preaching of His Word, God works intimately in the lives of soldiers and trainees. And he’s convinced that, through the preaching of God’s Word, those who have already professed faith in the gospel will daily grow and “become cognizant of and really experience the power of Christ.”
To learn more about Southern Baptist military chaplaincy, visit the North American Mission Board website at https://www.namb.net/chaplaincy/military.