By John Mizerak –
Mighty Oaks Foundation Sponsors Soul Survivor Outdoor
Recently, Mighty Oaks Foundation awarded its’ first financial grant to another organization (Soul Survivor Outdoor) to amplify our partnership efforts in the area of spiritual resiliency. Mighty Oaks has already been partnering with Soul Survivor Outdoor (SSO) for the last two years, providing speakers for their programs, but is now excited about expanding the relationship. This partnership is a win-win, as we compliment each other to better serve the Warriors we support. Just like the Mighty Oaks Foundation, Soul Survivor Outdoor is also impacting the world for Christ, one military service member at a time.
Founder, Rick Wolf’s assignment, as the Officer in Charge of the Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Detachment at Marine Corps Base Twentynine Palms, was the spark that ignited Soul Survivor Outdoor. When he arrived, it was evident that there was more going on with the Marines assigned to the unit than the physical and emotional wounds of war. The men of the detachment had both emotional and physical wounds from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, medical and psychological care alone was not fully addressing the damage done to their souls.
The men needed “soul repair.”
Early in 2014, Rick developed an outdoor wilderness therapy program for the Marines of the Detachment. In February of that year, they conducted their first event in Joshua Tree National Park. Two more events were held in the park during March and April of 2014. The events focused on building or re-building a solid life foundation, gave our Warriors a chance to relax and let their guard down, unpack the stress of daily life, refresh their spirit, clear their minds, re-build confidence in self and others, and ultimately provided an opportunity to restore their souls. Each event included rock climbing, hiking, or mountain biking, a meal shared together around a campfire, and a motivational discussion by a fellow military service member who “had been there and done that.”
SSO has taken the initial concept of the events conducted at Joshua Tree National Park and has developed an enduring mission. Their mission is to REACH service members with the Gospel of Christ, through dynamic outdoor events that capture the heart of the Warrior, BUILD Christ-centered foundations for living into the military service members, CONNECT with other service members through the SSO service member mentor partners, DEPLOY on short-term missions locally and abroad, SUSTAIN relationships with Christ through SSO mentor partners, and ultimately to IMPACT the world and an entire generation for Christ.