Due to some ministry I have had the opportunity to share in recently, I have recently become signficantly aware of the issues surrounding PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) in our nation’s Armed Forces. Regardless of our respective politics, its becoming clear to me that sharing God’s love with Veterans and their families will become an increasingly significant ministry need in the greater Raytown community and Kansas City as a whole as the years go by.
Consider the following:
- The greater Kansas City area is home to not one, but two VA hospitals (1 in Leavenworth, and 1 just off of I-70 near Raytown).
- The National Headquarters of the VFW is located in Kansas City.
- A significant proportion of homeless, especially homeless men, in Kansas City are Veterans struggling with PTSD symptoms.
- The Veterans care system has limited resources to address the full impact of PTSD in our community.
- Many families in the greater Raytown area have 1 or more family members who are Veterans.
- Although there are few military bases in the greater KC area, there is still a very large population throughout our community who has spent time in combat roles.
- Ministry with Veterans and their families is truly a multi-generational and multi-cultural ministry need.
- PTSD affects families of Veterans regardless of politics or theology of war.
We have a resource we would love to share with you.
On Sunday, December 12, we will be turning over the pulpit at our church to Pedro Sotelo to bring his story about how he met Jesus in Iraq, how he was diagnosed with PTSD, and how he and his family is working with his symptoms through a support group model that he has been pioneering here in the KC area. Feel free to review the website for the ministry that Pedro is working with here.
If you or other members of your family/community/congregation would like to attend, I think it would be an eye-opening presentation, and could lead to other signficant ministry, whether in individual churches, as a collaborative effort, or both.
The Worship Service will begin at 5 PM on Sunday, December 12. Routinely, our Worship Service and the Weekly Party that follows is wrapped up by 7 PM.
I know this is a busy time for many of us. I felt like I should share this resource in case it makes sense for you to come and check it out, or invite others from your congregation to come and see.
Your Partner in Loving Veterans and their Families in God’s Love~
Pedro Sotelo’s Biographical Information
Pedro Sotelo was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and resides in Kansas City. MO. He joined the US Army National Guard in 1995 and served as an Aviation Operation Specialist. In 1997 he transferred to the US Army Reserves where he served as a Psychological Operations Specialist in charge of a team that was called to duty in Iraq in 2003 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. It was during combat operations in Iraq that God came to Pedro changing his life forever.
Today Pedro is a certified chaplain and serves in several ministries to military veterans and their families. He also leads a small home Hispanic congregation. He is married to his wife, Damaris, and have to two children, Nija and Nathan.