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The Revolution Today: Chapel
“We came up with the baggage belonging to the Marquess, who has a days march the start of us,” Josiah Atkins recorded in his diary on June 10, 1781. Atkins was ...

The Revolution Today: Chapel

“We came up with the baggage belonging to the Marquess, who has a days march the start of us,” Josiah Atkins recorded in his diary on June 10, 1781.

Atkins was part of the Continental army that joined Lafayette in the summer of 1781. Virginia, however, was a remote wilderness to this Connecticut medic. “This is a long and tedious road, thro’ a wilderness, where no water is to allay ones parching thirst: But there is a greater drought with respect to hearing the word of the Lord, the everlasting gospel dispens’d,” Atkins lamented. “Is not this the holy Sabbath? Yet where am I? & what am I about? O Lord, forgive my sins. For tho’ I am here, yet my heart is at home with thy worshipping people.”

The desire for worshipping in the wilderness of battle has not changed. One Navy Seabees petty officer felt the same need as Josiah Atkins during his tour in Iraq in 2006. He decided to give his fellow service members a little taste of heaven. Donald J. Hodory, builder with the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 25, 9th Naval Construction Regiment, decided to make the newly built military chapel in Al Asad more like a stateside sanctuary by constructing stained-glass windows.

Chapels are an integral part of the military today. The cool, steely beamed architecture of the chapel at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, appropriately points visitors skyward. John Paul Jones is buried in the crypt of the chapel of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

“When I heard that the new chapel was being built, it just made perfect sense to fabricate stained-glass windows for it,” Hodory explained.

Hodory, who owns an architectural stained-glass studio in Illinois, arranged for supply donations from a stained-glass manufacturing company. He found time to work on the project while continuing his regular duties. “The gratification I received is far greater than any other project I have worked on in my life,” Hodory said. “There is no other place in the world where spiritual health is more important than in Iraq.”

Although Hodory received a commendation medal for his efforts, his greatest satisfaction came in knowing he had made a more lasting contribution. “My inspiration for the stained-glass windows came from the desire to contribute my talents for something that will have tremendous longevity. It was an opportunity for the Seabees to leave a unique legacy, along with all the other major accomplishments they have had in the history of this deployment. These windows will remain long after we have returned to our lives in the [United States],” Petty Officer Donald Hodory proudly stated.

Prayer

You are holy and worthy of the splendor of more stained-glass windows than could ever be constructed.

“Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth”

(Psalm 96:9).


Other Items In The Battlefields and Blessings Series

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