Support for military families starts
with a simple prayer
Shawn and Becky Schrader both had good careers in the Navy until Becky suffered a severe stroke in 2002.
With the uncertainty of their future now facing them head-on, their lives were forever changed and with the prayers and love they received from fellow church members, they were able to move on.
Then two years later Becky moved into early retirement but the love and encouragement they had received urged them to follow their calling, so, in 2004, the Schraders sold most of their belongings and moved to Lake Stevens to “serve others in the same way we were served,” as the Schraders put it.
Shawn had worked for Wells Fargo in Lake Stevens until recently, but when an opportunity presented itself that would allow him and his wife to carry on their work with military families, his decision, though risky, was an easy one to make. He left the banking industry and followed a path set by God.
“I had an opportunity to join a group out of Virginia called Military Ministry and they do a lot of work with troops throughout the country,” Shawn said.
Because Shawn and his wife had already devoted four years of their lives volunteering and giving back to their country and community, there was no doubt in their minds that what they were doing was the right thing for them.
Military Ministry had about 300 staff members in the field at that time and no one in the Washington State area so their service of helping military families was much needed.
One such couple who received the support of the Schraders was Nolin and Jessica Sodania.
Last year when the couple’s vehicle was carjacked with the two children still sitting in the car, Jessica received the support of the Schraders when they sat with her at the police department for eight hours until the ordeal was over.
“They are like family,” Jessica said. “They are who we have.”
Jessica and her husband still participate in weekly game nights either hosting them at their home or attending them elsewhere to support and give an outlet to men and women while their spouses are away on duty.
Since many of the military families don’t have family in the area, it can be difficult for them to do the simple things that many families take advantage of by simply dropping off their young children at a parent’s house.
“We do a lot of outreach programs,” Shawn said.
One such outreach they provide is watching children.
On one of the biggest shopping days of the year (the day after Thanksgiving), Shawn and Becky watch as many as 40 or 50 kids at the military base while their parents do their shopping.
Shawn also talked about the difficulties that plague some of the military families and what they go through, including depression and divorce; at the same time, they are fighting for America and freedom which compounds these difficulties even more.
He says that when people ask him what they can do to help, he simply responds by asking if they believe in prayer and if they do, to pray for these families.
To volunteer of help military families, readers are encouraged to visit www.shawnandbecky.com for more information.