By, David Vanderpool 

On Monday April 22nd, 22 men from the veteran and first responder communities showed up to The Wilds outside Columbus, OH, full of trepidation, anxiety, burdened and not sure what to expect from a week with Mighty Oaks. It was clear that after the Ice Breaker a common thread amongst them was a sense of hopelessness and a lack of purpose for the lives they were leading. Despite the unknown for the week, the men were willing to put the effort in to diligently listen to the classes and participate during the breakouts.  

Most of these men had tried many paths to healing yet it was apparent that few, if any, had truly helped. Each class gave them another tool and more importantly a perspective that relies on a right relationship with Jesus Christ and faithful submission to Him as the only true path to healing. Each breakout dug deeper to the core of all they were burdened with.  

By the end of the week grim expressions were replaced with smiles and laughter by men who now understood that spending time with and having a relationship with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords is critical for healing, living a life worth living, and leaving a worthwhile legacy. It was clear that God was working in these men to break down the barriers that had been built up over years. Hearts of stone were turned into hearts of flesh, burdens were unloaded, and chains were broken this week at The Wilds.  

“They cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death and burst their bonds apart.” – Psalm 107:13-14, ESV 




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