This is Janice (Keith’s) wife continuing on about my trip to Burkina Faso, Africa. This will be the last part of my three-part series on my trip. For the first week, I gave the setting. I described my journey back to the Dark Continent—specifically Burkina Faso. I talked about how I went with a group of 22 Army ROTC cadets and two captains to teach English to Burkina Faso Cadets. Last week, I talked about the cohesion between the 22 American cadets and the 44 Burkinabe cadets. I talked about them sharing the common desire of serving their country. As the American and Burkinabe cadets worked together as one unit, they learned much from each other.
The cadets were not the only ones who learned on this trip. Being the only civilian among the ROTC Cadets and Captains (both considered to be on active duty), I had many questions. They would often toss up acronyms such as XO, CO (commissioned officer), NCO (non-commissioned officer), LDAC (Leader Development Assessment Camp), etc. To me XO was hugs and kisses. To the army, XO is executive officer. As I taught English to the Burkinabe, I had to learn the Army language.
One evening, I “interviewed” the captains to try to get a grasp of the vocabulary. I learned a good bit about ranking. I was told that the Army is one percent of one percent of the U.S. population, and the ROTC make up one percent of the Army. I learned about the 23 different commands of the Army, Corps, Divisions, Brigades, Battalions, Companies, Platoons, Squads, and Teams. I also learned that after the ROTC gets out of school, they are 2nd lieutenants. After some time leading a platoon, they become 1st lieutenants; then, after some time as a 1st lieutenant, they become captains. The more I learned about the Army, the more I grew in admiration and appreciation for those serving our country.
These young men and women go in to the service willing to count the cost for their country. Being around military personnel at Fort Knox and Burkina Faso, I continually saw distance between families—either husbands on active duty away from their families or both husbands and wives being on active duty. Such was the case with one of the Captains who served with us in Africa. His wife was on active duty in Kuwait. As I “whined” about my lack of communication with my own husband, I was deeply burdened for our military being separated from their family as a life-style. Yes, we were missionaries at one time, but we had our spouses and children with us.
On this ROTC CULP mission I was reminded about sacrifice. Steven Curtis Chapman once sang “we will abandon it all for the sake of the call”. This brings me to the One who gave all—Jesus Christ. John 3:16 says: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son; that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” Jesus gave His life so that you may have life ETERNAL. The Bible says in Romans 10:9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Dear God, I am a sinner and need forgiveness. I believe that Jesus Christ shed his precious blood and died for my sin. I am willing to turn from my life of sin and invite Jesus into my heart and life as my personal savior….Amen.