Reverend Mike McCormick was one of our Assistant Ministers at Legacurry and we always look forward to hearing from him and his family, as he undertakes his calling as a Padre in the RAF. This month we received news of his work from overseas.
An example of the kind of work being undertaken by the RAF at this time, was recently featured in the RAF news.
Revd (Flt Lt) Michael McCormick Prayer Letter – March 2021
Thank you for continuing to pray for Dawn, Lucy and myself. I cannot tell you how much I look forward to walking into Legacurry sometime this autumn (DV) and seeing you all again! As I type this and think of you all, it is bringing a smile to my face. Apologies this letter is by its nature non-specific on a number of details, including my location, but I trust you will understand.
I travelled into theatre at the start of March and was “released” from quarantine with other troops from both army and RAF a couple of weeks ago. We are in a hot location somewhere quite a few hours from the UK. Needless to say I got slightly sunburnt with my delicate Ulster skin and was reminded by a colleague that this is a “chargeable” offence!
I am now the Padre for a specific military operation that has been running for a number of years and I am due to be here into summer.
As the Padre for this Op, I cover a reasonably large number of countries and troops based in a wide variety of locations. COVID has made it challenging to travel and support our people across the region with quarantine.
Among the locations I have responsibility for, a few of them have become more challenging in the last month or two with increases in military activity and incidents against our bases and people. The tempo has been very busy and intense since I came out of quarantine.
The nature of being on Ops creates a very intense environment. Preparing to come away, people (including the Padre) have to complete so much preparation. This focuses your mind when you have to have discussions about death. However, as a Padre this creates opportunities, as people are more conscious of life and death and start asking questions about what the purpose of their life is. Already, I have had significant discussions about faith and Jesus with people of all faiths and none. Being the Padre is the most wonderful privilege. Walking in the shoes (or rather running and doing gym sessions with seriously fit lads and girls…) is just such a great opportunity to build relationships and journey with them and talk about Jesus and faith. For many of the troops that I am with over these next few months, they will be facing challenging situations given the nature of their work and the reality of death.
From a family point of view, Dawn and Lucy are obviously at home. Dawn like so many of you is working away remotely, missing people. Lucy is “sitting” A levels this spring. From this perspective, being away from both of them for these months will be hard. Another Padre told me once and I have never forgotten his words, that being away on Ops is harder for our family who are left behind, whereas as Padre I am doing exactly what I sensed my call to do.
Some of the things that lie ahead include, providing pastoral support for all our troops in the different countries, organising regular church services wherever I find myself and with whoever turns up. Preparing Easter services and the services that I hope and pray I will never have to do, but need to be ready for at a moments notice to travel anywhere there are “incidents” impacting our troops.
- Pray for Dawn, Lucy and my mum at home.
- That even though isolated at times from other Christians that I will be steady and secure in my walk with God.
- For continued opportunities to walk with people and talk about Jesus and faith.
- For safety as I travel around the operational region.
- For safety of the people I serve with.
- For Padre Ian and Alice back at RAF Waddington, especially as the team is now at half strength.
Col 3: 15, 17
15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful…17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.