God is at work, and the gospel is changing lives as soldiers, taking part in basic training in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, line up to be baptized. 

Over the past two months, over 150 U.S. Army soldiers were baptized during summer chapel services, with 84 baptisms in July and 73 in August. 

“Trainees, typically from my perspective, have been pretty hungry to learn about spirituality and their spiritual strength,” said SBC Chaplain (CPT) Logan Lair to The Baptist Press.

“It’s great to see their spiritual strength grow through basic training. It’s an amazing blessing for me as a chaplain to be able to see where those trainees have come from and then to see where they are going. I get excited every baptism Sunday. … It’s such a joy to see.”

Baptism 150 military trainees were baptized over the summer at basic training in Missouri (North American Mission Board (NAMB)/ Facebook)

Throughout the summer, Lair says around 2,000 trainees take part in chapel services and Bible studies, which are offered on Sundays. Trainees also have access to spiritual guidance and counselling services offered by chaplains working at Fort Leonard Wood.

Quite often, Lair says, they see a "summer surge" of trainees in June because most are young people who have just graduated from high school, and the high-pressure environment leads to lots of spiritual questions. 

“It’s an amazing joy for me to walk with soldiers and family through their challenging days and their joyful days," said Lair to The Baptist Press. "A chaplain definitely gets to experience the highs and lows of life with people. Words can’t explain how joyful it is to be a part of that. Chaplaincy is the best job in the Army. I’ll fight anybody over that."

Lair says the baptisms they've experienced this summer are an example of God moving in the military.

“That baptism service is one of many testimonies of the good work Army chaplains are doing all around the world in our nation’s military,” he said. “My counterparts, other chaplains, are doing amazing things on other posts (basic training locations) that have similar stories. It’s an absolute blessing to each and every one of us. It’s a team effort.”