Conversions in Kandahar

Stories of Victory on the Spiritual Battlefield

Conversions in Kandahar

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The heat hits me like a blast from an oversized convection oven as I leave the base chapel.

It’s Saturday night at 2100, or 9:00 p.m., just after the vigil Mass at Kandahar Air Field in South Afghanistan. I’m near the end of my deployment, and in my role as senior priest here, I invite a few of the soldiers to share their faith stories at the end of Mass. I find that when one of their own gives his story, it carries a conviction that visibly moves his or her comrades. Here’s what they shared.

“Faith-Lift.” Lieutenant Jerrod Smith spoke about how he had felt distant—“emotionally numb”— after months of deployment in Afghanistan. After taking ten days of emergency leave for the birth of his child, he returned wondering why he had acted in selfish and self-centered ways during his time at home. “Why did I treat my wife like that?” he mused. He felt like a…

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