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Big Picture: Stonecroft Military Family Grows with Each Move

By July 1, 2018No Comments
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F.E. Warren Air Force Base sits on the western edge of Cheyenne, Wyoming, about 10 miles north of the Colorado border. A few years ago, a chaplain toured the base, pondering whether to accept the assignment he had been offered there.

As his guide showed him around, they walked in on a women’s event. He asked the guide what was going on. “It’s Stonecroft,” the guide said. Stonecroft volunteers, working in tandem with the current chaplain, were sharing the hope and encouragement of Jesus Christ with military spouses and servicewomen on active duty – and the crowd was responding.

Captivated, the chaplain accepted the assignment. And when he eventually moved to yet another post, he invited Stonecroft there, too – as have other chaplains on bases from San Diego to Thule Air Base in Greenland.

“My work with Stonecroft has made my family a whole lot bigger,” says National Military Consultant Teasia Levin, who lives in Cheyenne. Teasia was an Air Force wife for 25 years. Her son is a Marine, her daughter’s husband is in the Air Force, and there are several military wives in her extended family. She knows this demographic by heart.

“I get to mentor women at F.E. Warren, and every time one of them gets orders, it’s like a piece of me moved. But when they go to their new base, I know they will raise up another group like they had here.”

Teasia, along with Debbie Harrell, Tammy Ortung, and Barbara Vernoski, are our current National Military Consultants. Three of them are experienced either as a military spouse or in active service, and intimately understand the loneliness and challenges these women face. One consultant has no previous personal connection to the military but has a “big heart” for reaching military women with the Gospel. The team refers to themselves as “boots on the ground.” Their base volunteers are affectionately called “Special Ops.”

“Our reservists are those we call upon when needed for a specific purpose,” Teasia says. This could be a chaplain who specializes in child psychiatry, or someone trained in working with post-traumatic stress disorder situations. “They are people God has put in our lives for a time to help us with a special need or area.”

Pauletta Staley, former Director of Stonecroft Military, spearheaded the first military events about a decade ago, using Pray & Play to pry open base doors. Young women loved the low-key interactions where they could learn about God and make close friends as their children played nearby.

Today, Stonecroft Military offers a variety of programs including Reality Café, Pretty Hurts, Story Marks, and – of course – Pray & Play. Conversations small groups lead attendees through four key lessons. The first lesson invites women to talk and bond. The second introduces Scripture; the third lesson, Jesus. Finally, the fourth lesson shares the plan of salvation. “Always have food!” Teasia says. “Laugh together, cry together, eat together, and ultimately pray together.”

To our incredible current National Military Consultants, and to those who came before them: We humbly thank you – and God – for your service.

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