Following is an excerpt from a letter Chaplain (LTC) James R. Carter (’83) e-mailed to Dr. Parrott on July 31, 2008. Jim is serving our country as a Division Chaplain in Iraq, is married to Terri Carter (’81), and has two children, Sarah and David. His experience and thoughts are worth sharing.
I hope and pray all is well with you and your leadership at Belhaven. I’ve been thinking a lot about Belhaven lately and I decided to share some of my thoughts with you. I write to you from Baghdad, Iraq where I’m currently serving as the Division Chaplain for the Multi-National Division Baghdad (MND-B). It has been a little over two years since I visited Belhaven and spoke at the Chapel service. I also enjoyed a wonderful lunch and day with you on campus. I was so thankful to see how Belhaven has continued to develop under your leadership.
I’ve been serving as the senior command chaplain for MND-B and the 4th Infantry Division here in Baghdad for the last nine months and have about six months left on this deployment. The ministry here is going very well. I have the honor and fulfilling task of supervising 70 Chaplains, and shaping the religious support plan for over 30,000 soldiers. It’s challenging and rewarding at the same time. I especially find it inspiring to see God’s comfort and compassion demonstrated through our Chaplains on the battlefield. Some days have been very intense as we seek to nurture the living, care for the wounded and honor the fallen…
Living here and having time to reflect on my life and ministry—I have thought often of Belhaven and what a critical role it has played and continues to play in my life and Terri’s [Belhaven ’81]. I’m grateful for the foundation that was laid during my four years at Belhaven. I can see how God has used my time there in such a profound way that it has set the trajectory of my world and life view. Belhaven certainly has given me the right tools for handling many of life’s challenges, to include the challenges that I face in combat. Professors like Drs. Kenyon, Wilson, Busbee, and many others helped develop in me a belief in the strength of Almighty God as well as a belief in myself and what He can do through me…
Chaplain (LTC) James R. Carter
4th Infantry Division
Multi-National Division Baghdad
Camp Liberty, Iraq