Camp Humphreys prays for the heart of the nation

By Staff Sgt. Courtney DavisFebruary 2, 2023

CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea -- The scent of Korean cuisine lingered through the air. Parishioners greeted each other with smiles and hugs. Slicing through the festive moment, a high-pitched noise from a microphone brought the room to a still. The words “bow your heads as we pray” echoed off the fellowship hall of Four Chaplains Memorial Chapel: the USAG Humphreys annual the prayer luncheon had begun.

With folded hands and closed eyes, participants sat at their candle-lit tables. The mellow sounds of Chap. (Lt. Col.) Martin Cho, USAG-Humphreys deputy garrison chaplain, playing his saxophone in the corner was followed by an invocation by Chap. (Maj.) Christopher Odle’s, USAG-H plans and operation chaplain. The Religious Support Office had set the atmosphere for their Jan. 18 prayer luncheon.

“Bless us as we gather today to acknowledge the power of prayer,” said Odle. “Inspire us to pray for our leaders, nation, Soldiers, and family regularly (…) We are grateful for the opportunity to fellowship with our brothers and sisters. Service to our nation is a blessing (…) we ask that you encourage, empower, and equipped each of us. Enrich our hearts to love each other as we love ourselves. We pray this in your mostly holy name, Amen.”

Volunteers conducted intercessory prayers for the nation, leaders, Soldiers along with Korean Augmentation to the United States Army (KATUSA) Soldiers and families.

“Strengthen our nation’s heart, dear God” prayed Jessica Hamer, USAG Humphreys department of resources specialist. “Give this nation a sound mind to let us know that we can always come to you as our savior, provider, father as well as our friend. Keep us covered under your wing, that we are reminded that we are in this world and never of this world.”

Commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, USAG Humphreys, Capt. Kevin Pham, prayed for the service members, asking for safe keeping, wisdom, and good judgement.

“May you encircle them with protection, and post angels to watch over your sons and daughters as they face danger,” said Pham. “Always defend them with your heavenly grace. May you guard their hearts with your love, their minds with your truth, and their body with your power.”

Prayers were made requesting grace and mercy for leaders and their decisions, in addition to prayers asking for the hearts of leaders to soften and for them to display a servant-leader attitude.

“Grant them grace, as they face the unique challenges in 2023, and beyond,” said supervisory operation specialist Robert Nelson. “Grant them insight into the needs of our world and military community. Fill them with wisdom, understanding, discernment and knowledge. Draw them to you and guide them to know and fulfill your purpose.”

Eighth Army Chaplain, Col. Tony Petros spoke to the attendees about moving and living with purpose, and how prayer can keep depression from consuming one’s thoughts. He said those who know their purpose do not have to say a word, their purpose can be seen through their body language. They move swiftly as if trying to get somewhere. Conversely, those who lack purpose and motivation, tend to drag and see only a bleak future for themselves.

“When you feel your life has no purpose and live without ambition for a length of time, it can lead to depression,” said Petros. “We must challenge ourselves to see the things that God has for us to accomplish, even we do not feel like it. When we get rid of a life of hesitation and fear of the unknown and start seeking the Lord, we allow him to use us for his glory. I encourage you to hold on to the purpose God has for you this year and make a positive impact.”

The event included a catered lunch of both Korean and American cuisine; however, the impactful prayers and message solidified the purpose of the luncheon: believers interceding on the behalf of those they cherish.

“Bring together and keep all families in perfect unity of love and mutual support,” petitioned Bisirat Suim, USAG Humphreys Army Substance Abuse Program employee assistance program coordinator. “Keep quarrels and bitterness far from them, and for their occasional failures, instill forgiveness and peace. Guide us in the ways of peace, save us from darkness of falsehoods, ignorance, and evil and guide us toward the light, kindness, and truth (…) We pray for all the families of the HHC, all our Army and DOD families and all families around the world.”