By Terry Cockrell
Cease striving and know that I am God…. Psalm 46:10 As the men began arriving to SkyRose Ranch in San Miguel, California, on the 4th of September 2023, to begin a Men’s Legacy Program week, most of them did not know what to expect. Some having attended other programs were hoping to get started and get it done. A “check-in-the-box.” Many were inadvertently sizing one another up and keeping their conversations at a very superficial level. Most of the veterans and first responders that attend Legacy Programs have been long striving against darkness, hopelessness, isolation, depression, and feel they have no way out of the cycle that affects them and their families. Upon arriving at the ranch, many were showing all this in their faces and in their demeanor, but Hope was on the way!
As the week kicked off with an icebreaker, the men found that they indeed were not alone or unique in their struggles. They began to find some commonalities with each other, and as the first day progressed, they began to open up a little more. Some even began smiling for the first time. As the team leaders and staff began to share their testimonies and teach classes, the men began to see there is a Hope, and His name is Jesus.
Psalm 31:24 Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the Lord. The men began to learn that sincere hope and the answer to what they were facing in life could be found in a relationship with Jesus.
Romans 8:35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, distress, or persecution, or famine or nakedness, or peril, or sword? The men also learned that nothing that they have done in the past or are currently doing them can separate them from the love and mercy and forgiveness of Christ Jesus.
The week ended with several of the men making first time decisions to follow Christ, some to renew their relationship with Christ, and 8 men were baptized! The classes the team leaders and staff shared with them also allowed the Warriors to see where the staff once were, and where they are now, and that a total life transformation is possible with Jesus.
To end the week, a wonderful last meal was had, and all the once heavy-hearted men were now laughing, sharing stories, and enjoying each other’s company. The men had learned how to cease striving, and to stop and listen to God. After a week of classes and hearing one another’s stories and being open and honest with themselves and their teammates, joy had once again returned to their lives, and they look forward to a new life in Christ.