Let’s pay attention today because the man we will pray for moves around a lot. That’s because Commander Samuel Ravelo is a Southern Baptist chaplain in the U.S. Navy. Our church does not help pay the salary of Samuel — not beyond our taxes — but our Cooperative Program giving does support our North American Mission Board. Our board is the contact point for more than 3,700 Southern Baptist chaplains of many kinds, including military ones. The board also provides regular training for chaplains.
Samuel moves around a lot because he often deploys with our sailors, sailing around the world for months at a time. That means he has time to get to know the sailors he serves. He provides regular worship services, but also stands ready to provide counseling and other help if a sailor is battling depression or facing family problems. When based in Spain, Samuel made the news when he helped develop a food distribution system to help locals during COVID-19.
Samuel says his mother used to tell him God had a beautiful plan for him to serve in ministry. But he could not see himself as a pastor or missionary. After he joined the U.S. Navy at age 24, he soon started serving as a chaplain’s assistant. Later, he became a chaplain and realized his mother’s vision had been accurate. Let’s pray for our chaplain today, wherever he is. He’s our missionary to the military.