Why military and missions make a good match

By March 31, 2022

USA (MNN) — The United States military is one of the world’s largest, based on active personnel. According to the Defense Department, there are approximately 1.87 million military retirees; another 2.2 million are expected to retire by 2031.

The mission field may be a perfect next step. Retired Army wife and current Wycliffe USA missionary Robyn Crabtree says, “The life of the military and the missionary support one another. There’s a beautiful relationship between those two things.”

Read about the Crabtrees’ transition from military life to life on the mission field.

Robyn’s husband Tom served as an Army Engineer Officer for 27 years. “Really, we were working together,” Tom Crabtree says.

“A healthy military family is one where the spouse is also engaged in the community, engaged in the units that I would serve. She was supporting the family members when my unit was doing training or on deployment.”

Plus, “even if a spouse doesn’t hold a rank, you’re part of the military life,” Robyn says.

“I had to move every time he did and be in the quarters that he was; learn to get around the different places [we lived].”

When Tom retired, God gave the couple a new assignment: Nigeria.

Tom and Robyn Crabtree
(Photo courtesy of Wycliffe USA)

“I was a leader in the Army and lots of different roles as an engineer. Within Wycliffe, I’ve been supervisor of some of the technical things that support Bible translation,” Tom says.

“I was supervising people, helping teams work together, effectively solving problems; a lot of the same kinds of things that I learned in the Army.”

As the member care facilitator for SIL Nigeria, Robyn’s focus is once again on the family unit. “Serving people and trying to have a healthy community of missionaries, but also healthy communities of [the people] we’re living amongst and around,” she says.

Now it’s your turn. Where does the Lord want you to serve Him next? Find your place in the story!



Header image is a representative stock photo courtesy of Benjamin Faust/Unsplash.