A message of reflection on Afghanistan, from the MCF-A Patron and from the MCF-A Chaplain’s Representative
From AVM Alan Clements, AM, CSC – MCF-A Patron
“Like many of the thousands of Australians who deployed to the Middle East and Afghanistan as members of the Australian Defence Force and other organisations, I feel a mixture of anger, sadness, frustration and helplessness at what is happening in Afghanistan. It is said “it takes a village to raise a child”, similarly it takes a world to raise a nation. Unfortunately it seems our patience as a world has run out at a time when it was needed most.
For many veterans and their families this will rip open or inflame the wounds they already have, therefore it has never been more important that as a nation (village) we need to embrace and support our veterans so they feel safe, significant and loved.
To our veterans and their families, your service to our Nation and Afghanistan will always matter. Your personal sacrifice and achievements are not diminished by the current circumstances, and you should be proud of what you have done. Please support each other, look out firstly for yourselves and your families, and then for each other. Please just ask for help from one of the many support services/organisations if you need it.”
From CHAP Mark Willis, Chaplains Representative MCF-A and Principal Chaplain, Air Force.
“As Christians whose hope is found in God we can support our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan; why, because we believe that God is our rock, that He is our shield; that He is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble. Whilst it might seem that the world’s foundations are crumbling, let me assure you, that having built your house on the Rock, it will never crumble. So lift your spirits, sing your songs to Him, and wear your hope on your sleeve that all might know our Lord.
Whilst it might seem that the world’s foundations are crumbling, let me assure you, that having built your house on the Rock, it will never crumble. So lift your spirits, sing your songs to Him, and wear your hope on your sleeve that all might know our Lord.
There are no easy answers right now, but we know spiritual answers always begin with prayer. If we want to see God do something big and miraculous, we need to pray. The Afghan people are in a dangerous moment in their history. Pray for a miracle . . . but also pray for endurance and tenacious faith. Pray for the vulnerable—the women, the children, the tens of thousands who are on the run, sleeping under trees, without water, and without food.
If COVID and Afghanistan weren’t enough, the death of two soldiers last week could almost be the straw … Your prayers for the family, especially given their grief in not only the loss but also of the inability to attend the funeral, will be much needed and most appreciated. As we each draw alongside the Master, and cast our cares on Him, we will be the stronger and better able to walk in care beside those who are hurting the most.”
Support Services –
– The Defence all-hours support line is a confidential telephone and online service for ADF members and their families on 1800 628 036.
– Veterans and their families can call Open Arms on 1800 011 046, or anonymous support is available from Safe Zone on 1800 142 072. Both numbers are available 24/7.
– ADF Chaplains (for ADF members) are contactable on 1300 333 362 – ask for your area duty chaplain.