According to a recent Facebook post, seven soldiers stationed at Fort Irwin, a US military base located in California, were recently baptized by Chaplains in a make shift baptismal tanks after they spontaneously requested water baptism.
Faithit reports that the news was shared on Facebook by 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team and 2nd Infantry Division that posted:
“With no chapel or equipment to facilitate, our chaplains came together and created a makeshift tub at the National Training Center/Fort Irwin and got the job done. A fine example of Lancers being experts at their chosen field craft!”
Since it was first reported on Aug 30, 2021, the post has received over 77,000 shares, 3,000 comments and 21,000 likes.
Fort Irwin is a major training base for the US military and is located in the Mojave Desert in San Bernardino County. Because of its massive size, 1,000 square miles, it provides training in multiple facets including manoeuvres, air combat, air support tactics and urban warfare.
Each month, between 4,000 to 5,000 soldiers rotate through the base’s National Training Center. So, essentially it serves as a hub for military bases across the US, where soldiers return after receiving training.
The recent baptisms may suggest that the Holy Spirit is starting to move on the men and women stationed at the base, which may have a strategic significant.
In 2018, a revival broke out on Fort Leonard Wood, an army base in Missouri, that similar to Fort Irwin, also serves as a military training base (boot camp) for new recruits. Over 90,000 soldiers are trained on the base each year, before spreading out to bases across the US.
Chaplains at the base were reporting that at times dozens of soldiers were coming to Christ during services.
In a Facebook post, base Chaplin Jose Rondon described what was happening:
“Today, 380 soldiers came to salvation in Christ once and for all. Thanks CH Cech for the excellent, clear, and powerful messages during the 3 services. Since March 11, 2018, we have seen 1,839 soldiers come to Christ. God’s doing an unbelievable work through our military at Fort Leonard Wood, MO. May God bring the same powerful conviction of sin and love for Him that we are experiencing at Main Post Chapel throughout our Nation and His world.”
Though these two bases are strategically important for military training, they may serve a similar strategic importance in the Kingdom of God.
As soldiers are saved and water baptized, they are then equipped to spread the Gospel to other military bases, as they are transferred out.
A similar strategy was employed when the Holy Spirit fell on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2. Pentecost is one of Israel’s three pilgrimage festivals (Pentecost, Passover and Tabernacles) where Jews from around the Roman Empire gathered in Jerusalem (Acts 2:7-12).
It is difficult to know how many people would have been there, but undoubtedly it numbered in the 10s of thousands, who returned to their home towns with strange stories about Jesus the Messiah and people speaking in tongues.
READ: Seven Soldiers Spontaneously Baptized in ‘Makeshift Tub’ at California Base AND Record number of troops come to Christ in Missouri AND Military Revival: Nearly 2000 troops accept Christ on base:
Though it is difficult to know how many people came to Jerusalem during these Pilgrimage festivals, in his book, Wars of the Jews, ancient Jewish historian Josephus had this to say about how many people attended a Passover during the reign of Nero:
And that this city could contain so many people in it, is manifest by that number of them which was taken under Cestius, who being desirous of informing Nero of the power of the city, who otherwise was disposed to contemn that nation, entreated the high priests, if the thing were possible, to take the number of their whole multitude.
So these high priests, upon the coming of that feast which is called the Passover, when they slay their sacrifices, from the ninth hour till the eleventh, but so that a company not less than ten 2 belong to every sacrifice, (for it is not lawful for them to feast singly by themselves,) and many of us are twenty in a company, found the number of sacrifices was two hundred and fifty-six thousand five hundred; which, upon the allowance of no more than ten that feast together, amounts to two millions seven hundred thousand and two hundred persons that were pure and holy; for as to those that have the leprosy, or the gonorrhea, or women that have their monthly courses, or such as are otherwise polluted, it is not lawful for them to be partakers of this sacrifice; nor indeed for any foreigners neither, who come hither to worship. READ: Flavius Josephus, The Wars of the Jews, William Whiston, A.M., Ed.
Marines singing one of my favourite gospel songs, Days of Elijah, at Camp Pendleton: