RSDS ON DEPLOYMENT IN THE MIDDLE EAST REGION
25 October 2017
Since late July Captain Kenny Delamore has been embedded in the MER with the Australian servicemen and women that are carrying out operations in that area of the world.
Following in the footsteps of “Sallymen” that have supported our troops, Kenny’s role is to provide support and lift morale. He does this by making regular visits to the places that each unit is working, bringing a cheery smile, friendly banter and a cold zooper dooper ice block that is much appreciated in the heat of the desert.
Working closely with the Coordinating Chaplain, Kenny also runs a Bible Study in the mess and attends and participates in the weekly chapel. Kenny was even invited to speak on “Spiritual Resilience” at the American Servicemen’s Prayer Breakfast.
Many significant conversations are had when people just drop in to his office for a brew, the Australian soldier’s term for a cup of coffee or tea. At these times conversations often turn to why a Sallyman would be deployed, offering Kenny opportunity to share his testimony.
Conversations with members about their faith and faith background are plentiful and opportunities to pray with them are presented daily, mostly around meal times in the mess.
The other interesting aspect of this deployment is that Kenny is on the team of people that lead cultural tours for the Defence members when they are on a break. These tours are day trips to the local attractions of the region, engaging with locals, seeing the sights and eating local cuisine. It has been said that the Sallyman does his best work sitting around a table with a brew in hand, chatting with the most junior of soldiers to the most senior of officers.
The ministry can be exhausting, but is most rewarding. The days are long, but the opportunities are broad. The conversations are many, but time together means many of them are deep, faith-filled and ongoing. It is a presence ministry where for many Kenny is the face, hands and feet of Jesus.
Captain Kenny Delamore speaking at American Prayer Breakfast