By, Brandon Bettis
Adjusting to civilian life after the intensity of military or public service can be an arduous journey, leaving many men feeling lost and struggling to find hope. However, Mighty Oaks Legacy Programs serve as a beacon of strength and solace for countless veterans and first responders, guiding them toward hope, purpose, and a renewed sense of legacy. The men who attended the Legacy Program in San Miguel, California, learned how a personal relationship with God empowers them to find hope and inspires them to continue fighting for their legacy using the 4Bs (Be in the Word, Be in Prayer, Be in Community/Fellowship, Be in Contact with Cornerman).
1. Finding Hope in the Midst of Darkness:
The transition to civilian life and a new identity can be overwhelming for participants before they arrive to a Legacy Program session, causing feelings of isolation and despair. Scripture (BE IN THE WORD) offers a source of hope by emphasizing that even in the darkest moments, God’s love and grace are always present. Verses such as Psalm 34:18 (“The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit”) and Isaiah 41:10 (“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand”) resonate deeply with veterans and first responders, reminding them that they are not alone in their struggles.
2. Healing from Trauma with Faith:
Combat from war or trauma from working the front lines of civil service can often leave veterans and first responders with deep emotional scars, and the journey to healing can be long and challenging. Mighty Oaks encourages our nation’s Warriors to renew their faith as a source of healing. In Philippians 4:6-7, students are reminded to bring their anxieties and burdens to God in prayer (BE IN PRAYER), finding peace that surpasses all understanding. By entrusting their pain to a loving God, students can begin to find healing and restoration, allowing them to move forward with hope and purpose.
3. Embracing a New Purpose and Legacy:
As veterans/first responders transition to civilian life, they may grapple with questions about their purpose and legacy. Our curriculum, backed by scripture, provides valuable guidance in this regard, emphasizing that every individual has a unique and meaningful purpose in God’s plan. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” Jeremiah 29:11. Mighty Oaks leadership reminds each student that their service does not end, but rather extends where they can continue to make a positive impact in their communities and beyond (BE IN COMMUNITY/FELLOWSHIP).
4. Finding Strength in Brotherhood:
Mighty Oaks encourages students to find strength in fellowship with other believers (BE IN CONTACT WITH CORNERMAN). Hebrews 10:24-25 emphasizes the importance of gathering together to encourage and support one another, providing a valuable network for graduates to lean on during challenging times. Mighty Oaks has Outposts spread across the country and many churches offer specific support groups for veterans, creating spaces where they can share their experiences and find camaraderie.
The men that attended the Legacy Program last week at SkyRose Ranch in San Miguel, California, were struggling to find hope and purpose after their service, and Mighty Oaks offered a guiding light – a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Through its messages of hope, healing, and purpose, participants left with a renewed sense of strength to overcome the daily challenges they face. By leaning on their faith and embracing their unique legacy, graduates can continue to make a meaningful impact in their lives and the lives of others. As we honor their service, let us also acknowledge the power of the Holy Spirit in empowering veterans and first responders to find hope and to fight for their enduring legacy.
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT MIGHTY OAKS AND OUR PROGRAMS CLICK HERE!