By Matt Heidt –
There is a reason I come back to serve at Mighty Oaks Warrior Programs time and time again.
He explains it like this…
“When I am serving at Mighty Oaks I get to see what is possible as men’s lives take a dramatic turn for the better. God does something amazing that changes everything. It is a great privilege to work hand in hand with God as He works in this ministry.”
Matt came to Mighty Oaks Warrior Programs with the heart to serve. He understood the unique battles of our warriors because he served as a Navy SEAL Corpsman. When Matt left the Navy to join the reserves he briefly continued in the medical field as a registered nurse, but eventually obtained his MBA from UCLA. He also attended a Mighty Oaks Men’s Program. Once he was there he knew it was where he wanted to serve. He says, “As a veteran I knew I wanted to serve other veterans.”
Matt remembers one of the most powerful conversions that he witnessed while serving at Mighty Oaks. A man that came through the program was a Marine veteran and was really struggling. In addition to the stress of war his childhood was coming back to haunt him. He shared his story with Matt:
This man grew up in Central California with his mother and siblings. His mother was a migrant farm worker and their living conditions were always temporary and bleak. Stability was not a part of his childhood as he moved from home to home and school to school. His mother fought to support her family as she sought out work on whatever farm would hire her. Life was not easy.
Then one day, what was left of his innocence was completely robbed from him. While he was still a child, he and his brother bore witness to their mother being raped. Helpless to do anything.
Later he was molested by an older cousin. Confused and overcome by fear he struggled to make sense of the horrors of his childhood. As he got older the hurts of his past made it difficult to have relationships and impossible to assert himself.
He later joined the Marines and witnessed many horrors of war that weighed on his heart. He came to the Mighty Oaks Warriors Men’s Program feeling broken and run down.
But then God intervened. While at the men’s program he was introduced to Jesus who made a radical change in his life. He went from being a “withdrawn beaten man” to a new creation. What had once weighed him down was lifted. He was amazed at what God had done in his life in such a short time.
Matt has been amazed watching how quickly this man started making better decisions for himself and exuding confidence. Matt saw it as a privilege to be able to counsel this man and work hand in hand with God to help restore this man’s life.
At Mighty Oaks Warrior Programs Matt is able to use his whole past to serve. He witnessed many of the same war tragedies that other veterans have so he can relate to their experiences at war and his educational background and strong faith help him to counsel men coming through the program. Matt has now served at over 10 Men’s Programs and sums up his experience and why he keeps coming back like this:
“I know the work I am doing here is making a difference in other’s lives and leading them closer to Christ. Teaching men that change doesn’t happen until Christ gets involved, but that He doesn’t get involved until you invite Him in, makes me stronger and more fulfilled spiritually. Being a part of helping men get to a successful place in their life is personally fulfilling for me.”
People like Matt volunteer their time to Mighty Oaks Warrior Programs which helps to keep our program costs low. We do have overhead though and would love your support in putting the 137 Warriors on our wait list through our program. Will you donate today?