GRAND GULF -- Grand Gulf Shiloh Church located near Koshkonong received a blessing recently from a local young man in the Navy aboard the USS Kittyhawk. During the war in Iraq the Kittyhawk was in the Arabian Gulf.
According to church members the story actually began Sept. 11, 2001 when Crystal Robinson, granddaughter of Jim and Vera Melton of Koshkonong, was stationed on the Kittyhawk.
The Meltons said another sailor aboard the ship asked Robinson if she had a Bible. She picked up her own Bible to give him and her great grandmother's handkerchief fell out. The young sailor told her grandparents she knew then she was doing the right thing and gave the young man her Bible.
As Jim Melton gave his testimony involving his granddaughter to the congregation at Grand Gulf Shiloh, the church decided it should buy some Bibles and send them to Robinson on the ship to give to her shipmates.
Several weeks later, a former local resident, Marvin Reynolds, received an e-mail from his son, Sean, who was at that time aboard the same ship.
He and a friend had gone to the church chapel to pray. The friend picked up one of the Bibles and mentioned it had been donated by a church in the states.
Reynolds said, "Imagine Sean's surprise when he saw they were from his hometown. He said 'You know what church sent these? Shiloh Church at Koshkonong.'" The elder Reynolds said the e-mail his son sent him said he couldn't believe it and he kept one of the Bibles. The e-mail continued, "I kind of felt like I was home for a wee bit. I think the next time I'm there I am going to go there (to the church) and tell them thanks for supporting us. I know a lot of people think what we are doing is wrong, and that bothers me. We are making these sacrifices so others can stay free, and I am proud to have the opportunity to give all just like the many who came before me."
He ended the e-mail saying, "We appreciate all who support us. There are no words to express that gratitude."
Sean lived with his uncle and aunt, Marcus and Kathy Reynolds, for a period of time and attended school at Koshkonong.
Sean is still aboard the Kittyhawk and, as of press time, the ship is headed to Japan.
Robinson is now off the Kittyhawk and is stationed in Memphis.