Texas Calvary Chapel Pastor Shares the Love of Jesus as an Army Reservist in Qatar—PART 2
Story by Kathy Symborski
Photos courtesy of Brian Colyer and Calvary Fellowship Killeen, TX
This is Part 2 of a two-part story about U.S. Army Reservist Sergeant First Class Brian Colyer, an assistant pastor at Calvary Fellowship Killeen, TX. Brian is currently serving in Qatar. Today we continue to describe how Brian actively and passionately shares his faith with military colleagues and local residents. To read Part 1, click here.
Brian Colyer is passionate about sharing the love of Jesus Christ, whether he’s serving as an assistant pastor at Calvary Fellowship Killeen, TX, or as a Sergeant First Class in the U.S. Army Reserves. He’s currently serving in Qatar as an intelligence analyst. At his home church, he helps with various outreaches in the surrounding community, is responsible for its outreach program, oversees the youth and children’s ministries, and, along with his wife Victoria, serves on the worship team.
Brian Colyer, a Sergeant First Class in the U.S. Army Reserves, shares his faith with anyone who will listen at his current deployment in Qatar. Here he is with Mandev, an Other Country National from Nepal employed to do manual labor on his base. Brian is an assistant pastor at Calvary Fellowship Killeen, TX.
Witnessing to Hindus
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation. Isaiah 52:7a
The Other Country Nationals (OCNs) who are employed to do the manual labor on Brian’s military post come from the Philippines, Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Pakistan, and neighboring nations, Brian said. Many are Muslim or Hindu.
Hindus believe in about 33 million gods, and they observe Jesus as another one of their gods, Brian stated. But his witness to them is that his hope is only in Christ, who is actively involved in the affairs of mankind and loves each of us intimately. He noted, “Sometimes, in witnessing to them, I am reminded of the prophet Elijah on the mountaintop with the 450 prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18), taunting them, ‘Where is your god? Is he asleep? Is he busy in the bathroom? Where is he?’ With a Hindu or Muslim god, you have to do all these work-based things to get close to him or get his attention, but how do you know if you actually do or not?”
Brian then compares the false gods to Jesus. “[Jesus] has already done the work; He is actively involved and waiting for you to ask Him into your life. There is nothing else you have to do, or can do. And that is the biggest obstacle for anyone who doesn’t know Christ—they can’t grasp the fact that they don’t have to do something to merit their way. Jesus has done it all.”
Brian (right) talks with a teenager at a Halloween outreach for his church. This outreach was held at his home, which had been made into a non-scary fun house. While the kids are inside, church members share the Gospel with their parents outside.
The Three-Minute Gospel
Brian has capitalized on another interesting opportunity to share the Gospel. He is one of the few soldiers with an Army-supplied car. He explained that he shuttles soldiers back and forth to various places on the outpost, which is three miles long. “I’ve discovered I have them for about three minutes—very cool, right?” In his ‘elevator pitch’, Brian goes through the law and asks them if they have ever sinned. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith (Galatians 3:24). “I ask them if God were to judge them by the Ten Commandments, would they be found guilty or innocent. They usually admit that by that standard they would be guilty. So I ask if they would go to heaven or hell, and they say, ‘Well, hell, probably.’ So I tell them, ‘Man, you can drop the probably. The Bible is clear that there are two destinations for your soul: heaven or hell, and Jesus preached more on hell than heaven.’”
Brian carries a box of Bibles in his car while on base in Qatar. He uses them when he shuttles soldiers around on the Qatar base. In three minutes, he shares the Gospel and leaves them with a Bible and a Gospel tract.
Brian continued, “It’s right about then that I have 30-45 seconds left before they get to their destination and I close with, ‘If you were standing in front of a good judge, he would have to sentence you. If he were a bad judge, you could just pay him off, but a good judge has to convict. The Bible says the wages of sin is death, but if you put your faith and trust in Jesus who paid your fine, you can walk free out of the courtroom.’ They agree it makes sense, but we are at their destination, so I give them a Gospel tract that explains that, and a Gideon New Testament.”
Amazingly, God has used Brian to reach everyone in his unit, even his commander, who was very receptive to the Gospel message. “They all now have Bibles and tracts, they know where I stand; but I have not had any pushback from anyone about what I’m doing.”
Brian has shared the Gospel with Lok, one of the Other Country Nationals from Nepal who works on the base. Many are gripped with fear over the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alleviating Pandemic Fears
Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. Titus 2:13
Fear and anxiety stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic have gripped people all over the globe, including in Qatar. According to Army, Host Nation, and Qatari policies, everyone is required to wear a mask whether or not they have taken the vaccine. There are COVID mandate signs as reminders all over the post, bringing a sense of surrealism for Brian.
He explained, with sadness in his voice, “The OCNs serving on the base are frightened, very afraid; they have no hope, they are just so lost, and they can’t make sense of what is going on. But people in general have approached me with more questions about End Times, even the non-believers. They feel something is coming, and that what’s on the horizon is not good. They are looking for a way out, but ultimately they are looking for the Lord.”
Brian and his wife Victoria. She has served as a missionary to Muslim countries and shares her extensive knowledge with her husband as he serves overseas.
That makes for an easy platform to share the Christian hope, Brian related. “So when the questions come, I explain how our hope isn’t in a vaccine; whether you get it or not, isn’t the case here. Our hope doesn’t lie in doctors or medication, although I praise the Lord we have them and I’m thankful for them. Our hope isn’t in the president or a political party. Our hope is in our Creator who knew all of this before it happened. COVID is no surprise to Him—neither is all of the craziness in the States, uprisings around the world, the global pandemic, the pestilence, plagues, famines, wars … it’s all been prophesied already.”
“Why is God allowing all this evil to happen?”
The question of God allowing evil has been the topic of discussion more and more frequently, most recently from his own immediate supervisor, Brian noted. He told the supervisor, “We live in a sinful world, fallen from the place originally intended by our Creator, and what is going on now is the downward spiral of humanity that the Bible talks about. That’s the bad news,” Brian sighed heavily. “But I told him there is amazing news, too. There is hope in Christ, in Christ alone.”
Brian (left) with one of his captains in Qatar. As even his military colleagues are asking questions about the pandemic, evil in the world, and End Times, Brian points them to hope in Christ alone.
All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.
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