Saturday, May 8, 2010

Testimony from Chaplain Fred Wilcoxson

I want to take a moment and tell you about Operation Safety 91 (OS91). This is an organization, no a ministry, that came into existence thanks to Ed and Mary Ganster. The original inception was to provide a ministry to Law Enforcement Officers through books, prayer, and information. God grabbed a hold of this ministry and extended it to Fire Fighters, EMS workers, Teachers, Preachers, Nursing Homes, Hospitals, Homeless shelters and friends of all these people. It began with a book by Peggy Joyce Ruth focused on Psalm 91, a psalm that promises an umbrella of protection from our Living Lord.

I have experienced the privilege of being a part of this ministry. As a Police Chaplain I have given the Psalm 91 resources provided by OS91 to police officers, fire fighters, and EMS workers. As a professional hospital chaplain I started by giving these resources to nurses and other hospital employees who were married to spouses in one of these professions. It wasn’t long before people were lined up at my door wanting them. I now give them to hospital patients and their family members.

I have found that almost everyone I come into contact with through my law enforcement background, chaplaincy, and ministry is hungry for hope. I can’t count the number of people who have come back to me and thanked me for Psalm 91. What a blessing it has been for me to use this one small tool to do such a great work in my community. The book, though, is just a doorway to an even deep relationship with all these people. It is an opportunity to share the good news of the mercy, grace, peace, and love available to any one just for the asking. I have built lasting relationships through Operation Safety 91.

I encourage you to read these books, join Operation Safety 91, help support the ministry with you time and talents, pick up a few books and give them to your friends, to those you encounter who are hurting. My bet is that you will come back time after time asking for more books. But most of all you will feel so blessed with your new ministry. It is a ministry that can change lives… yours and others.

Fred Wilcoxson is ordained Episcopal. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and Clinical Chaplain, CPSP, Certified in Stress Trauma Care, AACC, and USVA PSTD training. He is a certified Professional Christian Life Coach, AACC. Fred serves as a Chaplain for the Orlando Police Department, Honorary Chaplain for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and a Victims Services Advocate for M.A.D.D. The Rev. Dr. Fred D. Wilcoxson, PhD is a retired Orlando Police Officer, also retired from Walt Disney World as a Security Manager. He has been in some kind of Pastoral Care ministry most of his life.  He is currently the fulltime Supervisor for Pastoral Care at a local hospital.

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