By Jamie Warner –
Did you hear that? That’s the sound of heavy metal chains hitting the ground. The sound of captives being set free. The beautiful sound of freedom found only in relationship with Christ!
Nestled in the rolling green hills of Prince William County, Virginia, sits Bull Run Warrior Retreat as welcoming as an old friend with a cool glass of iced tea on a hot, humid day. It was there that Mighty Oaks staff, Team Leaders, and a host of local volunteers welcomed nine new Warriors to Men’s Legacy Program. Although for many it was the first time to this venue, it was the 9th Mighty Oaks Program held at Bull Run. As is done at all our Program locations, the hospitality and welcoming atmosphere created by staff and volunteers in Virginia is above and beyond the call of duty.
The Warrior Retreat is a 70+ acre property with sprawling, lush lawns, thick wooded walking trails, outdoor activities and meeting areas, and a restored farmhouse that has been converted into a southern-style brick-faced retreat. This multi-story facility is beautifully appointed with southern charm touches and amenities, creating a comfortable and relaxing environment. Letters of appreciation from local school children are strategically placed throughout every room and meeting area and little touches like personalized bathroom amenities and a pair of patriotic themed socks for each man attending all add to the feeling of southern hospitality.
Like so many of our alumni who came before them, these men arrived carrying a heavy load of bondage to their past experiences, choices, and circumstances. But as the process of the Legacy Program began to unfold, the men were challenged right up front in the Welcome brief by East Coast Program Manager Kevin Schroeder to dig deep and muster all their courage to confront those demons of the past in order to break free from the chains that were holding them back. And this group of men rose to the challenge. For some, it was a swift victory. Their circumstances had prepped them to be ready to embrace the Truth and quickly align their lives to the life the Creator has in mind for them. And for others, it was a hard-fought battle that took dogged determination and tenacity to reach that finish line. Ironically, as we all discover in this process, that “finish line” at the end of a Legacy Program is actually the “Starting Block” for the new race toward authentic, Biblical manhood. Graduation day marks the first day in the next chapter of the new life story these men will write. It’s a story about character, brotherhood, spiritual purity, legacy, and ultimate victory.
By Jamie Warner –