Today, you’re going to hear the story of Midshipman Isaiah Walker, he’s a senior in the ROTC program at Ole Miss who has struggled with isolation and the challenges of integrating faith and profession. I first heard about Isaiah from Lt Col Tom Falconer, USAF (Ret.). Tom’s a longtime OCF member, and he’s also a local leader and area coordinator in the Colorado Springs area.
What caught my attention about Isaiah’s story is how he found out about OCF in the first place—it was through this podcast. A key takeaway from Isaiah’s story comes from his struggle to integrate faith and profession, which largely is a result of isolation and feeling alone. As Isaiah shares his story, you’ll hear how important community is in the life of the Christian serving in the military. And if you find yourself relating to Isaiah in this regard, then I hope you’ll be encouraged by his story.
If you’re in need of community with other Christians serving in the military, check out the OCF Directory to see if there’s a group near you, or contact me directly at email@example.com.
This episode also includes a special appearance by CPT Lindsey Bowen, USA, who was my guest in episode 54, along with her husband, CPT Joshua Bowen, USA.
There are also references to three previous Crosspoint podcasts:
// Quotes from this episode:
“I probably took ROTC a little too seriously the first three years—freshman, sophomore, junior year—you know, prepping for officer candidate school that we go to after our junior year. And I can count on one hand how many times that I went out and hung out with friends during those three years” (Isaiah Walker on neglecting community).
“You know, my church friends, they understood my spiritual life, what's going on there and everything. But anytime I tried to bring up the military, they had no idea what was going on. They didn't know how to address it or anything like that” (Isaiah Walker on the struggle of finding indigenous fellowship).
“I can say the support I've received from OCF has been absolutely insane. Ever since I kind of listed myself as the local leader/member [at Ole Miss], I've gotten email after email, phone call after phone call, and meeting after meeting from the OCF community and OCF members. You just really find out how tight knit a community it is” (Isaiah Walker on finding fellowship within OCF).
“God wants to be involved in every single aspect of your military career because he is the reason you're there and he's the reason you're serving. So in everything you do, whether it's leading an infantry unit in combat or it's waking up and going over logistics for a mission to come about or getting up and going to PT, you know, God wants to be there. He wants you to acknowledge him. So I would just say to anyone listening—ROTC or officer Corps or military period—make sure you're including Christ and every ounce of your military specialty” (Isaiah Walker’s key takeaway from the conversation).
“When a new person shows up to your group, it may be such a big leap for them to show up or to have even come at all to even contacted you. So be there for them. Take interest in them as much as you can with how many people you're already taken care of. When people feel that you care about them, that's when they'll continue to show up for you” (Lindsey Bowen on making new people feel welcome to your small group).