Sgt. Tara Fajardo Arteaga, 113th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
The Unit Ministry Team of 2nd Battalion 34th Armored Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division held a baptism ceremony for five U.S. Soldiers during a religious service with Polish civilians at Betania Pentecostal church in Szczecin, Poland, March 20, 2022.
After leading the congregation in praise and worship music and providing words of encouragement, Pastor Dominik Jaworski invited three Soldiers to the pulpit to give their testimony to the community.
Sgt. Taejoon Kwon, 2nd Lt. Caleb Parker-Russell, and Sgt. Richard Hwang took a few minutes to tell their story during the service. Kwon spoke about his choice to be baptized. “When I looked at my life in the army, I realized God was always by my side,” he said, “and I believe God called me to Chaplain Kim.” The discussions with Kim led Kwon to choose baptism as a sign of his faith.
“It was the first time that we had American Soldiers baptized in our church,” said Jaworski, “it’s always a privilege to be together because we treat ourselves like one family.”
Capt. Min Kim conducted the baptism for Sgt. Lucas Keely and Spc. Cordell Floyd. Kim is the battalion chaplain and organized the event for his Soldiers.
“The work of God never stops in any circumstances,” said Kim. “Especially in the Army.”
He added, “the Army takes care of Soldiers with their spiritual fitness.”
After the baptism, Polish church members welcomed the Soldiers downstairs with a reception to celebrate the event. While cleaning up the church after the service, Pastor Jaworski thought about the historic event. “We treat ourselves as a family of God,” said Jowarski, “no matter what the location is, no matter what country we are from – for us, the memories will stay forever.”