Marissa and Char

By Marissa Bond, Navy Hospital Corpsman, Petty Officer 3rd Class.

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Under Her Wings

“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge.” Psalm 91:4a

I didn’t grow up in a Christian household or go to church. Yet, when I was 16 and in a bad state of depression, Jesus introduced Himself to me. He did it through a televangelist my mom was watching on TV, which at first I found annoying. Around the same time, sitting alone in my room one afternoon, I watched The Passion of the Christ. I was so moved by Christ’s willingness to suffer for me that I got on my knees in my room and accepted Him into my life.

I still didn’t go to church, and I didn’t understand the Bible my mom bought for me, but God had His hand on my life.

My older brother is a Marine, and my dad served as a Marine before I was born, but I didn’t consider the military until I took my ACT test my junior year of high school. I did not know it then, but it was God who led me straight to the Navy Recruiters office, where I enlisted in the Navy at age 17.

After high school, I went to boot camp and training and then I got stationed in Hawaii with a Navy command at the clinic on Kaneohe Marine Corps Base. I started to go to church there because I found out that is what Christians were supposed to do.

But no one took me under their wings.

I ended up walking away from the Lord and pursued my own wants. I got into a year-long relationship with a good guy. But he was a good guy who didn’t care about having God at the center of his life. And I finally realized that I did want God at the center of mine.

A month after that painful breakup, I went by myself to a Christian women’s conference because I wanted to know more about God.

At dinner, I ended up sitting at a table with Char Hauser, a Cadence missionary. She was so welcoming. She gave me her contact information and invited me to her house, which was close by. I went on a Friday night a week later, and for the next year and a half I was at her house every Friday night.

Char took me under her wings.

She mentored me, spent time with me, and answered my questions. I had some crazy questions, yet she never made me feel stupid. If she didn’t have the answer, we would look it up together. She helped me grieve through my breakup and didn’t rush me. She came alongside me and met me where I was. She prayed for me and taught me to pray out loud. She helped me to be brave.

Char was available for me. One time I was upset and crying and I called her. She told me to come over, even though she had house guests. She kept encouraging me to finish the undergraduate degree I was working on while in the Navy. She helped me focus on serving God right where I was.

I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I got out of the Navy, but I knew I wanted to learn more about Jesus. My pastor had gone to Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) and I thought seminary was just for men who wanted to be pastors. But Char encouraged me to look into it, and I found out there was a place for me.

I’m now at DTS, working on an MA in Christian Education with a focus on Discipleship and Spiritual Formation, and Char is still helping me through. I talk to her on the phone at least once a week. She is still available to me, listens, gives advice, guides, and mentors me. I always talk to Char before I make a big decision because she and my mom know me best. I don’t think I would be here in seminary if God had not put Char in my life.

Next to Jesus, Char has had the most profound effect on my life. She has shown me the best example of an inspirational walk with Jesus and a faithful minister of the gospel.

I want to thank supporters of Cadence for your willingness to uphold Christ followers like Char, as they work with diligence and endurance in ministry to the military, where men and women are in desperate need of mentors to take them under their wings.