Summer 2004 Rapport: Chaplaincy Spotlight
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Sean Moore: Reaching Modern
|Sean baptizes a paratrooper in Iraq
The sky was blue and the air still—a
perfect day for a jump. Sean Moore stood in front of the open
doors on a C-130 aircraft thinking of his wife and three kids
watching from bleachers in the drop zone. Ideally, the static
line, now coiled in Sean’s right hand, would open the
parachute on his back as he jumped. If it failed to deploy
within the standard count to four, he had less than eight seconds
and 800 feet to pull the handle on the reserve chute attached
to his abdomen. The green light flashed, the jumpmaster shouted “GO!” and
he followed the paratrooper in front of him out the door. He
counted under his breath, “One thousand, two thousand,
three thousand, four thousand.” He felt the comforting
tug of silk, looked up to verify that there were no tangles
or tears and breathed a sigh of relief. Just as he had gotten
comfortable, he realized the ground was rapidly approaching.
Screaming at the top of his lungs, “Help me, Jesus!” he
felt his body crumple into the sand. This was Sean’s
induction into the Parachute Infantry.
alumnus Sean Moore is an army chaplain serving the 2nd Battalion,
504th Parachute Infantry Regiment (2-504), which returned from
a three-month tour of duty in Iraq this spring. As a battalion
chaplain, Sean ministers to the spiritual needs of approximately
700 paratroopers and reports to the commander on issues of religion
and morale, performing religious duties as they fall within
the scope of his training as an Assemblies of God (AG)
minister. Any needs falling outside of this scope are referred
to other chaplains.
“[While in Iraq,] my role was expanded to
include nurturing the living, caring for the wounded and
honoring the dead,” says Sean. “Unfortunately,
I would be called on to serve in each capacity.” Caring
for the wounded came all too often for Sean’s liking.
One afternoon, he went to minister to an element of the 2-504
that had seen regular attacks, occasionally with wounded.
He shook their hands, looked in the eye and asked how they
were doing. The AG Chaplaincy Department had provided identification
tags with a flag on the front and two verses of Psalm 91,
Psalm,” on the back. Sean presented one to anyone who
would take it. That evening, as the 2-504’s convoy
made its way north, an Improvised Explosive Device detonated
from the side of the highway. Several were wounded with minor
cuts and burns. Sean met with them and prayed. One said to
Sir,” as he pulled his I.D. chain from around his neck
to reveal the tag he had been given. Sean recalls, “I
went outside to look at the vehicle and the windshield on
his side had been struck by debris but was still intact.
I praised God for his protective hand all the way back to
know God is using me to bear witness to him all the time.
I am able to engage Parachute Infantrymen, modern day warriors,
in spiritual discussion. …I am continually amazed
at the types of people that open up to me and I am privileged
at the same time. The people God continually puts in my path
are ones that have had some experience with [him] in the
past and for whatever reason are estranged from him. Often
they are hurting and can be downright obnoxious. I am able
to be salt and light in a spiritually dark arena.
chaplains that Sean and his assistant had replaced identified
needs in the Christian community in southern Baghdad. Several
thousand families represented various faith traditions
including Chaldean, Assyrian, Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox
and AG. “I
had the opportunity to meet several Christian leaders and
constituents over the course of the deployment,” says
highlight was when I met the pastor from the [AG] church
in Baghdad. …[T]hey just dedicated their new worship
facility in February and are now able to worship publicly
without fear of being harassed or arrested. ”Sean
and his family are stationed at Ft. Bragg, N.C.
|Sean (right) poses with an Iraqi pastor
and a deacon (left) from an AG church in Bagdad.
Wednesday, September 8, 2004 4:27 PM