Almost 1,000 soldiers in basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood in Missouri have given their lives to Jesus Christ since March in what can arguably be called a spiritual revival.
There is no question God is doing something amazing at the army base and that He is using Captain Jose Rondon, a chaplain at the base, to carry out His plans.
Rondon, a native of Venezuela, told churchleaders.com that in his 25 years of preaching the message of salvation, he has never seen such a great response.
Rondon came to faith in Christ in the 1990s through the witness of a Southern Baptist missionary. He emigrated to South Carolina, where he attended North Greenville University—and then 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 goal of becoming a chaplain.
Intentional Preaching Spurs Spiritual Revival
In a Facebook post, Rondon wrote that the key to seeing so many people come to Christ “is summed up in one word: INTENTIONAL.”
“If we want to see people coming to Christ,” he said, “we must be intentional to speak clearly about: 1. Our problem as sinners; 2. God’s solution to the sin-problem through Christ’s death, burial and resurrection; and 3. Our individual response to God’s desire to forgive us of our sins and His desire that nobody will go to Hell. To Christ’s church: Stay INTENTIONAL.”
Rondon said soldiers in basic training, the first stop in their military career, are more open to the gospel having abruptly found themselves separated from loved ones and facing a harsh and demanding military culture.
“I believe that the message of salvation goes to the core of these individuals because they have finally come to realize that God has always been there to love them, guide them and protect them,” he wrote in an email. “In other words, through the encouragement of God’s Word life starts to become meaningful for these soldiers in training as they realize that it is not as bad as they think with the help of God and the encouragement of practical applications to live tougher lives in the Army setting.”
Rondon, who preaches the Sunday morning services at the Main Post Chapel or the 43rd Battalion Chapel, also believes the Holy Spirit is moving at the base “because now thousands of Southern Baptists are praying for me, who weekly send messages letting me know that they are praying for my family and me and what I am doing amongst our soldiers.”
Shepherd and Companion Leading Spiritual Revival Among Troops
Watching videos he posts on his Facebook site, it’s obvious the new recruits have a great love and affection for Rondon. He said he’s gained their trust by being their shepherd and their companion.
“They see me running with them, attending their major events, being in the field with them when they are training, visiting with them when they go to the range, going to the mess hall with them, speaking with all of them to encourage them through bringing the military expectations and culture into their world.”
Some have pointed out that new soldiers often turn to God as they face a dangerous and uncertain future.
Rondon doesn’t dismiss that observation but said he’s never seen nor heard a response of this magnitude at military bases. He also is working on a discipleship plan that will follow the soldiers who have made professions of faith as they continue their military careers around the world.
In the meantime, he is asking Christians to pray for him and his fellow chaplains at Ft. Leonard who he calls “the hands and feet of God to our present and future warriors.”
“We are seeing such amazing numbers of conversions to Christ through the power of prayer,” Rondon wrote to churchleaders.com. “I thank those all over the country who have been praying for us faithfully. Yet, I challenge our Christian brothers and sisters in Christ all over the nation to join hands around the name of Christ and to pray in unison to Him that He will change hearts and minds for His glory alone and for the salvation of millions upon millions. That is only possible with God answering the prayers of His people.”
Can we get “hooah” for Captain Rondon and his fellow chaplains?