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Christmas boxes en route to chaplains


ALPHARETTA (BP) — At least 200 Southern Baptist Convention-endorsed military chaplains will be pleasantly surprised with a box of Christmas goodies by Dec. 25.

Chaplains in Iraq and Afghanistan will receive boxes of candy, instant coffee and hot chocolate, powdered soft drinks, snacks, CDs, books and magazines, toiletries, batteries, pre-paid phone cards, socks, boot laces, sunglasses, and even small Christmas trees and other Christmas decorations.

Some 100 North American Mission Board employees and members of several Atlanta-area Baptist churches collected and boxed the items as a “symbol of love” for the chaplains, said Keith Travis, team leader of NAMB’s chaplaincy evangelism team in Alpharetta.

Slightly more than 1,000 SBC-endorsed military chaplains serve in military branches around the world. At any given time, about 75 are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Other chaplains, whose locations remain secret, are serving with special operations forces and Army Rangers.

The Christmas boxes were assembled by NAMB staff and members of several Atlanta-area churches – including First Baptist Church of Alpharetta, First Baptist Church of Winder, and Travis’ own church, First Baptist Church of Holly Springs – and then were shipped by the U.S. Post Office.