When Lisa Kittel's son came home for Christmas last year he gave her a study book about Psalm 91.
Her son is active in the U.S. Army and has been serving since he first left on Nov. 8, 2011. When he returned last year with the book, Kittel said she wasn't quite sure what to do with it.
"It's been sitting on my kitchen counter the whole time," Kittel said.
Now, almost a year later, Kittel is using the book in ways she hadn't anticipated.
Once her son joined the army, Kittel wanted to get involved with supporting other military families in the area. That became easier when the city of Oakdale became a Yellow Ribbon City in March — joining a network of communities across the state that have built an infrastructure to serve members of the military and their families.
"Those who aren't in the military don't get the process of those in the military," Kittel said. "I know I didn't until my son went in. We are a whole different community."
Kittel, who is a member of Hope Church in Oakdale, started to become more involved in the faith component of Beyond the Yellow Ribbon. That's when her son's gift popped back in her mind.
"I wanted to lead a bible study based on Psalm 91," Kittel said. "The whole psalm talks about God's protection."
Kittel was meeting with other Hope Church families on how to find military families in the community who might be interested in attending a monthly support group meeting.
"I love leading bible studies, so I kind of pulled the reins and formed it," Kittel said.
Kittel, along with others, attended the Veterans Memorial dedication last month to hand out flyers about the new effort in addition to posting announcements about the group.
The bible study group held its first meeting on Monday, Nov. 12 where six famililes attended. The monthly meetings will be held on the second Monday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at Hope Church. The meeting is open to the public.
"The intention is to draw the church to groups where there is a like-mindedness with the military connections," Kittel said.
The meetings open with prayer followed by introductions of those in attendance. Then the group studies one verse of the psalm and how it applies to every-day life. The meeting closes with prayer requests.
Kittel said that for now the meetings will take place once a month, but she hopes to expand it to twice a month.
For more information about the meetings contact Hope Church by clicking here.
"It’s nice to have some positive things going on in the world," Kittel said.