By: Ali Elizabeth Turner
Lt. Col. Dixey Behnken was one of the best “things” about my time in Iraq, and was a chaplain with a true shepherd’s heart. I was part of the worship team formed by his soldiers, and we “had church” in what had been Saddam Hussein’s fishing lodge. I so appreciated the freedom he gave us to select, practice, and play the music that we felt was fresh for the soldiers on any given Sunday, as well as his commitment to the soldiers, civilians, and Iraqis that were under his care. In December of 2006, I visited Darmstadt, Germany, where his soldiers were based after their tour in Iraq was over, and Dixey and his wife, Julie, opened their home to me at Christmastime. I will never forget their generous hospitality nor my time there.
Dixey and Julie have had a life of adventure, including being involved with Youth With A Mission Mercy Ships, being in such far-flung places as Hawaii and the Soviet Union, and living for several years in Germany. They were involved, along with their actor/film producer son, Lukas, in the making of a film entitled, Mulli in 2015. It is a true story of Charles Mulli, an orphan in Kenya who becomes wildly successful financially, and who now runs an orphanage for more than 4,000 children.
In 2020, Dixey was my “Travis Manion Hero,” which means every year when we do the 9/11 Heroes’ Run, we are encouraged to select a service member from any branch, active duty or ex-mil in whose honor we run. It was especially my honor to “run” for Dixey, because he no longer could. A stroke had nearly taken him out, and he fought back. This is where it gets really good.
Part of his “clawing back” has been to write a book, and it is my great pleasure to announce that Marked By Miracles: A Journey With The Divine is finished! In about a month, on February 8 at 4 p.m. EST, there will be a virtual book launch via Zoom, and you are invited to attend. The Zoom link will be mailed out by request, and can be received by emailing Dixey at email@example.com I hope you will join me.
Not long after Dixey had the stroke, we had a chance to talk on the telephone, and it was painful to hear him struggle to communicate. But his voice was unmistakable, and since then much restoration has occurred. He can even drive again! Dixey has had the chance to speak to several varied audiences about his journey, and has come to the place where he can thank God for what happened, not that God enjoys having His children suffer, but can work far more good out of a disaster than the disaster could ever think of being. Below is one of his favorite Scriptures that has served to see him through this tough time.
He said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Cor. 12: 9, 10.
I hope you will take the time to get and read this book, which is available on Amazon.com. It will give you hope, and every word of his story is true.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner