Cross walk in tribute to Armed Forces

The cross walk highlighted the personal sacrifice of members of the Armed Forces

Following their highly successful walk around the Pembrokeshire coastal path last year two members of Westgate Evangelical Church Pembroke set out to carry a cross again on Good Friday, but their focus on this occasion was the work of SASRA (The Soldiers' and Airmen's Scripture Readers Association) and the often ignored cost of service in the Armed Forces.

"I am a member of of SASRA which is celebrating its 175th anniversary this year" explained Andy Garret. "SASRA exists to spread the saving knowledge of Christ among the personnel of HM Forces as well as promote Christian fellowship amongst men and women of all denominations serving in the army and the RAF. Jonathon Beharral and I felt it would be good to remind people of its work, as well as highlight the price service men and women often pay for faithfully carrying out their duties."

The men walked approximately 15 miles in length on the main roads past Castlemartin Training Area, Castlemartin Church and some of the surrounding villages before returning to Pembroke some six hours later.

The cross was made from driftwood and the walk was accompanied by prayer and reflection on the "devastating" impact that active service can have on the lives of serving personnel and veterans who can suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and combat stress.

The men were inspired by Jesus' words in Matthew 11: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Pastor Rob James said he was hugely encouraged by their act of witness.

"They both possess a vibrant faith and know what God can do for those who would put their trust in Him," he said.

"Everyone knows how cold it has been lately but these two guys ignored their own comfort because they wanted to highlight the plight of those less fortunate than themselves. And when you stop and think about it this is what Easter is all about: God's love streaming though history, and streaming through ordinary people like them.

"And I know they do not want any congratulations. They will be satisfied if they find they have been of help to others, and above all they have got people thinking about Jesus."

He added: "We pray regularly for those who serve in HM forces and want to offer them all the support we can.)

Find out more about the work of SASRA at www.sasra.org.uk

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