By Jamie Warner –
God never ceases to amaze us how He brings such a diverse group of men together joined by a common purpose. Men ages 21 to 68, Marines, Sailors, Soldiers, First Responders, East Coast, West Coast, Mid-West, the North and the South. All together for 5 days. For some, arguably the most challenging five days of their lives. And yet, in God’s sovereignty, He sets His divine purposes in motion for ideas to be challenged, presuppositions to be dismantled, and lives to be transformed.
But all that change doesn’t come without a fight. This group of Warriors seemed somewhat resistant at first. The masks we so often wear are difficult to remove when they’ve become so comfortable. Regardless, the team of leaders and instructors continued pray and to pick away at the walls that were protecting the Warriors. Class after class. Breakout after breakout. Brick by brick, the walls came down. And as the strongholds and defenses were weakened to the point of crumbling, anxiety was replaced with answers and depression gave way to hope, being lost was defeated by new purpose.
Team Leader Anthony Worley shared that what stood out to him was “seeing hope restored where there once was none. Only God can bring a man from darkness of suicide to the light of life and purpose. Witnessing that overwhelms me with the love, grace, and goodness of our God.”
Another Team Leader, Kevin Schroeder, commented, “[One student] was very reserved when he arrived and exhibited signs of extreme isolation. After his testimony, the staff prayed over him and he trusted Christ. The change was apparent – he was less reserved, more attentive, and was now social.”
So many good examples of the freedom only found in a relationship with Christ were seen by the week’s end. One Warrior in particular on Robert Cale’s team stood out to him because “he had a huge breakthrough and created a solid plan, breaking free from some serious issues.”
Friday’s activities culminated with 14 of the 21 Warriors being baptized. Thus, publicly professing their alignment of their lives with their Creator and Savior Jesus Christ. The significance of what happens during a Legacy Program is never lost on our staff and volunteers, and it never gets old to witness!
Or, as Keith Rowan, a USMC Sergeant and first-time attendee this week, put it in a letter he read to his classmates:
My first words are “Thank you,” followed by, “for saving me and restoring my faith in the almighty Jesus Christ, our Lord, our Savior.” As memories were made and happiness was shared on May 11th, 2018, Warriors sat side-by-side to enjoy the food that was blessed before them as they become the closest of friends – with an eternal connection – and an overall a true brotherhood was established in just 5 days.
Though it is soon time to head back to where we came from, the Lord shall walk with us all and continue to spread love while we continue to bring our fellow brothers and sisters here. Though the fight is not over between good and evil, together we will stand and continue to push against Satan, as there is nothing mightier than our Lord, our Almighty God, because Jesus is Lord, and as Victor says, “Jesus is our friend!”
Thanks for the knowledge, wisdom, and care from everyone here. You are all my brothers, and I’m not losing any more to suicide! I have your back!
Thanks, as always, to all of you faithful partners. Your prayers and sacrificial support is appreciated more than you will ever know.