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Stonecroft/chaplain team to offer wives resource

CAMP PENDLETON — Marine wives and their children encounter many difficulties as they struggle with Dad being deployed seven to 12 months, home seven to 12 months and then getting ready to deploy again.

Coming to grips with a life that has unique challenges is a monumental task. Sponsored by Stonecroft Ministries and Fallbrook Women’s Connection, a new family resource of “Pray and Play” will be offered at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton beginning October 1.

Pray and Play is a program with groups of moms and their children meeting in different towns across the country. It was created to equip and encourage women to reach out to communities with the uplifting news of God’s love.

Especially important for military wives who attend these sessions will be the opportunity to build new friendships, receive encouragement for their marriages, strengthen their faith in raising children and pray for each other and their families.

Inspiring devotionals are the core of each session engendering discussion, encouragement and personal growth. Each gathering is designed to connect women, mothers and children to learn and be encouraged spiritually through devotionals and prayer.

No babysitters are required, as the children participate in each session.

Mentor moms, who are seasoned mothers who want to encourage other moms, will lead the sessions at first. Later, moms from the first Pray and Play will take over.

A group of these mentor moms from Fallbrook have already met at Camp Pendleton and have been trained by one of the base chaplains, LCDR Marc DiConti.

Chaplain DiConti filled in the mentor moms via PowerPoint presentation on the problems Marines and their families encounter when the fathers – or, in some cases, the mothers – are deployed for long periods of time.

Anxieties over the absence of a loved one and their potential dangers in a combat zone, parent role reversals, financial stress and loneliness are just some of the challenges facing these families.

To introduce the military wives to Stonecroft, mentor moms were invited to a resource fair held at a Camp Pendleton shopping center in July. Children played beanbag throw and received prizes while their mothers were told about the Pray and Play meeting.

Mentor moms also greeted parents picking up their children at the preschool on the Blinder Chapel campus and gave free snow cones to the parents and the children.

Overall, about 65 women signed up and many were very grateful for the opportunity to get to know others and receive support for themselves and their families.

Many of the base’s Family Readiness Officers and their advisors (unit leaders who help prepare families for deployment and refer them to support resources) will be attending a special luncheon and presentation of the Stonecroft/Chaplain team resource on October 22.

All Marine and Navy wives who might be interested in Play and Pray are welcome to the meeting on October 1 from 10 to 11 a.m. at Blinder Memorial Chapel.

For more information, call the chapel at (760) 725-2929.


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