Three soldiers from MOD Lyneham attended Our Day this year with their Scripture Reader, Tiaan de Klerk. © SASRA
On Saturday 16 September, around eighty gathered in Camberley for Our Day 2023. The fitting SASRA hymn was sung, ‘Praise God for those who brought us to know and love the Lord’, before eight Scripture Readers (ASRs) took their turn to share stories of all the Lord is doing “behind the wire”.
SASRA supporters and staff were spurred on as the ASRs spoke of the daily opportunities they enjoy, to draw alongside service personnel and to tell them about Jesus and the good news of the gospel. The ASRs reported of their good working relationships with Welfare, Chaplaincy and the Chain of Command, and they shared of confessions of faith, baptisms and of those who are attending their Bible studies, receiving daily devotions or meeting them one-to-one.
Perhaps the most moving part of the day was when four Christian soldiers shared the stories of their salvation and testified of how God continues to strengthen and sustain them in such a challenging environment. Those gathered were captivated as they heard firsthand, of how important the work of a Scripture Reader has been to these soldiers, who have benefitted so richly from the love and care that ASRs pour into their ministries each day. After each soldier had shared, the attendees gave a loud applause, hearts full of joy for the things they had heard.
During the event, Ministry Director Phil Parker helpfully reminded everyone that it is the sower’s work to scatter the seed liberally and the seed’s job to take root. This came through within the reports given by Scripture Readers and soldiers, who encouraged supporters to continue praying for gospel opportunities and that God would bring more brothers and sisters in Christ to their respective bases. But the soldiers, although still recognising it is the Lord’s work, gladly shared what the ASRs would not say. They spoke openly of how amazing it has been to have a Scripture Reader on camp, who points them to the truth of God’s Word, who sets aside time for them to meet to pray amid their busy schedules and who can help to answer any questions that they have about God.
SASRA supporters had the opportunity to speak with serving soldiers and to hear how the Lord is using them within the military. © SASRA
Those in attendance at Our Day had their hearts both encouraged and enthused. So many of the stories told were stories of God’s Word falling on good soil, for which we give Him all the honour and glory. As outlined by Ministry Director Phil Parker, ‘…the success or failure of an outcome isn’t down to the sower. As it is scattered liberally, the seed does the work…’ We praise God that Scripture Readers and Christian soldiers are armed with the gospel seed, which is God’s power to save. We pray they would press on to scatter it liberally in His strength, that it might take root in good soil and grow to bear fruit in the lives of many more members of our Armed Forces. As Our Day 2023 drew to a close, SASRA supporters, Trustees, Vice Presidents, HQ staff, ASRs and Christian soldiers joined to sing together again. The words of the well-known hymn rang out, ‘Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.’