More than ever, women in our country are answering the call to serve in the Armed Forces of the United States. As it stands in 2022, 16% of our Military is comprised of women. It is estimated that in the next 5 years, that statistic will look more like 30%—likely in the Air Force and the Army.
That is an incredible increase!
As these numbers grow, there will also be an increased need for Christian Military women to be spiritual resources for female personnel and spouses—with Military-specific needs. This very niched demographic represents an up-and-coming cultural change to the Armed Forces as we know it.
Furthermore, at this moment in time, these women don’t have adequate resources. Yes, women’s Bibles, devotionals, Bible studies, and events are plentiful. But…resources created specifically for Service women? For Military spouses? Not so much.
Listen to the full interview here:
Addressing the Problem: More Women in the Military—Not Enough Resources
In 1948—just three years after the Second World War ended—the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act was signed into law by President Truman. According to USO.org, this was a major stepping stone in allowing women to serve as full and permanent members of all branches in the US Military. Two years later, between 1950 and 1953, 120,000 women served in the Korean War, serving in many full-time positions.
Throughout the decades to follow, women would continue to enlist and serve in every major war that the United States Armed Forces was involved in. Women continue to make strides and firsts, from ground combat engagements to Naval air missions.
However, a challenge emerged. For those Christian women serving in the Military, where would they find resources that address not only their faith but their career?
Fast-forward to the present day.
If you were to do a Google search today using the words, “woman Bible resources”, you would get 53 million results. Add the word “Military” to the front of that search and you lose 77% of those results!
This simple exercise demonstrates how the sources that actually provide women with Military-specific devotionals and resources are sparse—the search engine results fizzle out after the first couple of pages.
Who will help fill the void?
Enter: Kori Yates
“…you plant your roots in your Savior and not the dirt where you live.”
Kori Yates is a Marine Corp Veteran, Military wife, and mother of two. She is certainly a leader in the women’s Military ministry industry as the Executive Director of Planting Roots—a women-led organization that pioneers the ministry of Military resources for women.
Recently, she was interviewed by ASM’s Paul McCullough on her background and how Planting Roots got its start.
“He [the Lord] has something specific for you to do. And so, as an organization, we start to have events, and we start to build community. We start to produce these resources that help these ladies to find their solid footing in Christ; to seek out their purpose in the place where they are in. It’s the reason we do Planting Roots too because you know you plant your roots in your Savior and not the dirt where you live. You learn to find that as your foundation, and then you let Him take you wherever it is that is going to take you and you get to see His purpose play out, in all of those places…”
She also mentions the group’s name has a Scriptural foundation, which comes from the book of Jeremiah:
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8 (ESV)
So then, why is Planting Roots Military-specific?
The Ministry of Planting Roots
Kori, along with a small group of friends, felt that they had a specific purpose—to create an outreach for women in uniform and Military wives across the globe that would give them much needed Spiritual resources from a Military perspective:
“If God could weave us together, and we could encourage and equip each other to do what God’s called us to in the place where we are, we can become one of the greatest missionary movements of our time because we are on every ocean. We are on every continent.”
And in terms of planning what their ministry would encompass?
“Scripture is a super valuable part. Having something to speak to them specifically (as women) that is Military-specific because there are a lot of… Christian women’s resources—as you all know—that float around out there. But, our Military lifestyle has unique pieces to it.”
What started as an idea between six friends became a powerful, international movement. Eight years and 43 staff members later, Planting Roots is still going strong and has plans to expand its number of resources and outreach.
Having established a little background on Planting Roots, let’s take a look at the resources available to our Military women.
Where to Find Resources From Planting Roots and ASM
Planting Roots and Armed Services Ministry have a strong partnership as they work to advance the Gospel. Kori and Paul talk about this at some length during their interview:
“So, we’re looking now at providing encouragement and resources. Armed Services Ministry has been so encouraging in doing that, producing [the Bible Bootcamp for Military Women] devotional. But, also one of the most recent products is the Warfighter’s Study Bible, and with those devotionals in the middle of that that speak to both men and women—spouses as well as uniformed folks.”
“The investment and the intentionality of the Armed Services Ministry to speak to all aspects–men, women, uniformed and spouses–and their intentionality; and doing that has been such a gift…”
“We have loved our partnership, our connections with the Armed Services Ministry, because not only do they invest in us regularly (through showing up at our events and helping us with those fences) but [also] to share the resources, the opportunities, and the services.”
That being said, read on to see what ASM and Planting Roots have to offer.
Planting Roots Resources:
- Rise Up: Awaken the Leader in You – A six-week study on the book of Nehemiah observing leadership.
- Beyond Brave: Faith to Stand Firm in Military Life – A Bible study focusing on standing firm in the truth of God, even while facing Military challenges.
- Flourish: Wherever the Military Sends You – A six-week study on Psalm 92 teaching you how to flourish in all of life’s circumstances.
- Free to Be Brave: Moments with God for Military Life – A devotional helping you discover the blessings of living in Christ’s freedom. Written by Military women for Military women.
These resources are just a sample of what’s offered by Planting Roots. To view the full list, visit their page at plantingroots.net/bible-studies/#devo.
- Military Bible Challenge – Featuring five challenges of 15 days each, this program is designed to get both Military men and women engaged in the Word of God.
- Journey of a Military Wife – A four-week series by 28-year Military wife and author Brenda Pace. Each book contains two journeys divided into six-weeks of daily Bible reflections.
- Bible Bootcamp for Military Women: The Military Women of Planting Roots – A 45-day devotional (a PR and ASM collaboration) that helps women understand the Bible. It includes 45 Military-themed devotionals for women of all walks of Military life.
- God Understands – Created with the help of Chaplains, this eight-book set dives into common spiritual injuries of both Service men and women ranging from anger, to grief, to fear of death.
To view the full list of ASM’s Bible, devotionals, and other products, please visit our website at resources.armedservicesministry.org.
Final Thoughts on How Planting Roots is Bridging the Gap
To Kori and her team at Planting Roots, we thank you for your devotion to all women who currently serve, serve their spouses and families, or have served in the Armed Forces!
It’s because of these pioneers in Military women’s ministry that female Service members are getting the specific—and much-needed—resources in their hands to serve God while they are serving their country.
And according to Kori, the resources will continue to grow:
“But we do continue to grow, and some of the next things that the Lord would have us do is to grow in content. So, devotionals and Bible studies—we usually produce at least 2 or 3 a year, and some of those are digital and some of those are prints. Usually, the print ones are produced once a year, but in these next few years, we plan to grow more in that.”
It’s great news indeed to hear that Planting Roots continues to expand and evolve to reach even more Military women. To learn how to pray for, donate to, or volunteer for Planting Roots, visit plantingroots.net and see what this incredible group of women has been putting together for the past eight years.
Let’s support them as we should all be supporting one another as the body of Christ!
“Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (ESV)
If you want to hear more about Planting Roots and their ministry with ASM, check out last week’s article to get more insight into the organization from Rev. Paul McCullough’s interview with Kori.