By Kathy L. Gilbert
United Methodist News Service
The only phone card Sgt. 1st Class John Brian Gregory can use that is not blocked by the
Gregory is “way out in the boonies” at
“Just to hear his voice every few weeks makes all the difference in the world,” says Nina. The Gregory’s two children, Tia, 15, and Nick, 12, get to hear straight from their dad that he is okay and that’s “pretty cool,” according to Nina.
Since Veteran’s Day 2003, United Methodists have donated more than 9 million minutes of free phone calls to service men and women working in harm’s way in war zones around the world.
The United Methodist Endorsing Agency, Board of Higher Education and Ministry, started the phone card campaign to help military families stay in touch with each other. United Methodist Communications teamed with the endorsing agency in 2004 to design cards featuring the United Methodist Cross and Flame and the message “Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors. The people of the
When soldiers use the cards they hear a recorded prayer: “The people of the
The endorsing agency gives the cards to United Methodist chaplains who then distribute them to any military person in need.
“What a light, that the United Methodist cards would work and are the only cards the
Gregory is part of the D-Co/1-32 from
Gregory was scheduled to be back home by the end of January.
“You can’t know how grateful the families are when they get to hear them (loved ones),” Nina says. “You can know they are okay but to actually hear their voices is just so precious.”
The phone card campaign is ongoing. Because of limited personnel, the agency does not have the ability to sell phone cards to congregations or individuals. For more information on how to participate, contact the United Methodist Endorsing Agency, Board of Higher Education and Ministry,