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By Kevin Schroeder –
The Wilds is a private, non-profit conservation center located on nearly 10,000 acres of reclaimed mining land in rural southeastern Ohio. The Wilds is situated along some of the most beautiful rolling green hills Ohio has to offer. The mining pits were long ago converted into beautiful lakes that inundate this beautiful land. Strayker Lake is one lake located here and is surrounded by a beautiful lodge and seven cabins.
Twenty-three warriors from various corners of the nation converged on Strayker Lake for the August MOWP Men’s Legacy Program. Naturally, many warriors arrive a bit apprehensive. Once introduced to the remarkable amenities, such as the comfortable accommodations and delicious food served by Theo’s Catering, the apprehension begins to slowly fade away. Another factor that helps in making these warriors feel welcome is the transparency modeled by some of the Mighty Oaks Staff. Programs Manager Kevin Schroeder ensures these men that they are in a safe place, and that the goal of the week is to lock arms with them and help them face some of the giants in their lives that appear to be daunting. These range from dealing with relationship struggles, post traumatic stress, anger issues, suicidal tendencies and other life struggles.
Mighty Oaks staff taught classes and led breakout groups that covered topics such as purity, discipline, brotherhood, margin, marriage, legacy, PTSd and much more. Many of these men found that their real identity as men is not based in what they’ve done, or not done, or what has happened to them. They discover that their true identity exists in a relationship with Jesus Christ. These men are then equipped to return home and face their giants with courage and determination.
The week is not all work though. These warriors took time out to fish, canoe, tour The Wilds, and zip line. On Friday many from the surrounding communities and family gathered to celebrate the victories of the week at graduation. This was yet another week where some of our nation’s warriors gathered to align their lives with the life God intended for them to live. These warriors left with heads held high and a new determination to be just such men. It is always amazing to see how God works throughout the week. The joy and close-knit relationships developed is a work only He can do!