“What Kind of Tree am I Planting?”

By, JJ Howell

For a tree that is being planted, the most important part of the tree is the root.

If the roots are bad, we will have no HOPE of the tree bearing any fruit, but if the roots are good, then we can have HOPE the tree will bear fruit.


The session started on May 19, 2022…

and we were able to see men come to California at Sky Rose Ranch with the looks on their faces of anger, confusion, depression, loneliness, and unanswered questions — leaving them hopeless. We never know what these guys are dealing with when they arrive, but we do know they are hopeless. The goal each week is to restore hope for the warriors and their families.


This task, we know, is no easy one

because, like every session, these men have years of trauma either done to them or trauma they have done to others. Their stories can be sad and difficult to listen to, which makes it even harder to help them see HOPE. You see, years of trauma are difficult to heal in 5 days, but as a staff, although it’s difficult, we have HOPE, not in our ability to heal them, but the God ‘s ability to use us to walk with them and lead them to the HOPE in Him (Christ Jesus).


It is now Thursday, Day 4, not even 24 hours after the Legacy class was given, and we have seen the looks on their faces change from anger to joy, confusion to clarity, depression to peace, loneliness to brotherhood, questions turned to answers, and most importantly hopelessness turned to hope.


You might be asking, “How are we seeing hope in such a short time?”

It goes back to my initial point with the tree. All we are doing is listening to every story these men tell us from the day they walk onto Sky Rose Ranch to now and help them get to the root of the problem. We show them their hope stopped at some point in their life and help them find out when that was. Experience has shown that they often have one major incident of trauma that leads the train for the rest of their lives of hopelessness, so when we find that one major incident, we work on providing healing for them with God’s word. When they receive the healing from God in that one incident, the rest of their life follows suit.


These men today have dug up the roots to the tree of HOPELESSNESS that was bearing no fruit and have planted new roots to the tree of HOPE that will bear much fruit thanks to God’s love and grace.



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The Mighty Oaks Foundation is committed to serving the brokenhearted by providing intensive peer-based discipleship through a series of programs, outpost meetings, and speaking events. Our Mighty Oaks Warrior Programs hosts such Men, Women, and Marriage Advance Programs at multiple locations nationwide. The Warriors who attend are fully sponsored for training, meals, and lodging needs to ensure that upon arrival to the ranch, each Warrior is focused solely on his or her recovery and identifying purpose moving forward.

We understand that applying to do anything is nerve-racking. We also get that feeling. Every one of our leaders has gone through the exact program you are contemplating applying for. The leaders will be the first to tell you to take that step, don’t procrastinate.

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(If there is any chance you may be battling with PTSD, please click here to be taken to our application page. We are here for you.)

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