By Jamie Warner –
Life has a way of beating us down. Parents, siblings, kids, relatives, friends, bosses, coworkers, acquaintances, people we meet on the street, work, “recreation” … life. It can be overwhelming much of the time. Throw in the traumatic events that come with living life. Mix in some combat or first responder experiences and you’ve got yourself a recipe for disaster. No matter how picturesque your environs may be, the emotional, physical and spiritual hurricane that has become “life” taints your vision. You begin to look at the world around you through a lens of hurt, pain, regret, and hopelessness.
Dismal and depressing, yet that is how many Warriors arrive at a Mighty Oaks Legacy Program. For many, it’s a last-ditch effort to survive the storm. To cling to the water logged and failing life preserver just a little longer. Almost all hope of rescue has vanished. Dreams of a future with laughter and love and meaning and purpose have long since drowned and have been lost at sea. But then… the SOS is heard.
Upon arriving at a Legacy Program, the Warriors immediately begin so see something different. The staff and Team Leaders, all of which are alumni of the Legacy Program, seem somehow different. These men share tragic stories, eerily like the ones the Warriors themselves arrived with, and yet these Instructors smile. They joke. They seem to have hope. And purpose. How in the world…?
Men’s Legacy Program this past August 13-17 was the scene of this tale where 18 new Warriors climbed aboard the metaphorical life raft at SkyRose Ranch in San Miguel, California, in hopes of rescue. Those of you who follow us faithfully, you know the routine: classes on the topics of Why Men Need to Fight, Character, Discipline, Forgiveness, Purity, Legacy, and more. Breakout sessions after each period of instruction where the men hash-out how the topic relates to his specific story. Walls crash down. Revelations come forth. Hope grows. And purpose is reborn… all in the span of 5 days. The men of this class were not the same when they left the ranch. They were transformed, but not because of Mighty Oaks. Rather they were transformed because of new or renewed commitments to live the lives they were created to live. To live aligned with Jesus Christ. To be the Servant Leaders their Creator designed them to be: in their homes, churches, and communities.
Mighty Oaks Foundation exists to help our nation’s Warriors move beyond their tragedy and hardships incurred through service to America. And we will not rest as long as there is a need.
By Jamie Warner –