February 2016: Christ’s Praetorian Guard
View the full February newsletter here
On November 18, 2015, I landed in South Sudan with a full schedule of meetings and a long list of things to be accomplished. The tenth class of chaplain cadets is currently in training and I was scheduled to teach them on the day that I arrived. Class ten is comprised of 102 students and is the largest class to date.
The study I taught the men was on conquerors and being more than a conqueror. I spoke with the students about Caesar and his Praetorian Guard.
The Praetorian Guard were the elite of Caesar’s army and were entrusted with the personal protection of Caesar. I went on to explain to the men how they, as chaplains, will serve as the Praetorian Guard of Christ’s Kingdom for South Sudan. If South Sudan is to stand against all of the perversions that this world has to offer, the responsibility of this conquest rests solely on their unwavering obedience. The way they live their lives for Christ will affect the course of future generations. If they live as men above reproach, and fight tooth and nail for biblical principles, we will be able to hold back the wickedness and the mindset that is sweeping the world. If they compromise, like so many pastors today, we will lose this nation to Satan and his dominion. I explained that when I served as a United States Marine, the motto was “For God, Country, Corps.” Now, because many believers did not stand up for their rights as Christians, the motto for the Marines has been reduced to Country and Corps. I seriously doubt that this was the decision of the Marines as a whole, but most likely a liberal politician who has never even served in the military. I know that most former Marines are angered by the change.
After teaching about the Praetorian Guard, I shared with the men that what is needed to keep this nation on course, would be the cost of blood—the sacrifice of men’s lives at the frontlines of battle, standing against evil. This will demonstrate that our belief is more than just words and that we are to live Christ until the very end.
It is interesting when you share deep truths, it is usually not long before the Lord confirms the costs. It was that same day we received word from the frontlines that the twenty-fifth member of our staff had been killed. Marko Luka came to Far Reaching Ministries’ (FRM) chaplaincy training with class nine and had only been serving with the ministry for over a year when he was taken home to be with the Lord.
It was confirmed that Marko was killed in the service of the Lord Jesus Christ on November 18, 2015. We only have a vague description of what happened, but what we do know is he was with a frontline unit when his unit was ambushed. Marko was not in the first unit, but in the second. The first unit was overrun and all the men were being killed, so the second unit rushed forward to reinforce the first. Somewhere in this battle Marko was killed. The exact details of this battle may never be known.
When Marko went to the frontline for the final time, he had been trained as a chaplain that was to serve Christ to his dying breath. In his field update from the summer of 2015, he detailed his previous encounters at the front.
With great pleasure, I would like to send my regard to you in Jesus’ name.
How are you doing over there? Both my family and I are doing well, even though there are some challenges. My ministry with the SPLA forces is going well, nothing bad.
I have been praying for one of the officers who has been suffering from malaria for almost three months. On 07 June 2015, after months of prayer, he was healed.
On the 20 January 2015, we were sent to the frontline in Bor. We were on the riverbank and we were attacked by the enemy. We defeated the enemy because God was with us. We appreciate God so much for His wonderful job protecting us.
I would like to share with you that when I am preaching, people request prayer. I pray for their needs and for them to receive Jesus Christ. I thank God for what He has done through me.
Thank you for your support for my family and for me. May God give you a good heart for supporting our nation and my family. God bless you.
Your faithful brother in Christ,
Chaplain Marko Luka Joseph
For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16
Marko was a big bull of a man. His stature was that of an athlete with great physical strength. From his biography, we know that Marko’s extended family members were pagan believers, and it was only through a local pastor that Marko came to know the Lord. After hearing Matthew 7:7 preached, he fully surrendered his life to the Lord’s service. He was recommended to attend chaplaincy training while he was serving in a Commando unit in Juba, South Sudan. In his interview with FRM staff, he requested continued prayer for his family and for his country.
During his chaplaincy training, he had found that his calling was evangelism. He loved sharing Christ and going to the army barracks and prisons to share. In his last update, he said that the Lord showed him that there is a great need for salvation all across Sudan and, in particular, where he was serving. There had been much opposition to the Gospel. He was teaching from the book of John because there was a need for the basic truths of God’s Word. While there was much suffering from the war, his greatest joy was seeing people come to Christ. He went on to detail how much he loved his family and was proud that his wife and children knew the Lord. At the age of twenty-three, though his life was short, he had completed the race for which Christ had called him.
Marko leaves behind a wife and two children, a son and a daughter. Marko’s wife was pregnant with their third child. Unbeknownst to Marko, she gave birth three days before he was killed. His children will probably never remember their father because of their young ages, Ronael age five and Sandra age two, but they will be told of their father’s legacy by his fellow brother chaplains. His children will know that their father was a man who loved Christ and gave his all.
One of the principles we teach at the Chaplain Corp is, “No cost too great.” As a group of elite men called to serve Christ, we have decided to adopt the motto that our own nation should have held on to, “For God, Country, Corps.”
We will continue to teach these men to love Jesus with such a passion that it drives their lives. As a former Marine, it will always be for me, “For God, Country, Corps.”