Our Mighty Oaks Warrior Programs hosted a graduation on April 25th for the most recent installment of Fight Club up at Sky Rose Ranch in San Miguel. This graduation was the first of the year to take place while the sun was still out, allowing those of us in attendance to see, clearly, the beautiful, other worldly setting in which 35 men were present, and 16 of those dedicated or re-dedicated themselves to new lives in Christ.
An entire community banded together in support of these men, bringing with them enough food to feed the army of people in attendance. One of the remarkable things about these celebrations is the grassroots methodology behind it – somehow, a town comes together in provision, and there’s always enough. This support is emblematic of the spirit of Fight Club, which is grounded in brotherhood, accountability, and authentic lasting bonds whose goal is to sustain each man as he moves forward with a new lease on life.
Serving California also saw a beautiful synthesis take place in our programs, as, for the first time, a TUMI graduate participated in the Mighty Oaks Warrior Programs, emerging as a Fight Club graduate as well. Lester Fontanette, a Vietnam and Army vet whose prison release date was February 19th of this year, has put his theological education to good use in a totally transformed life, and he shared his testimony of redemption with me. Lester noted that it was thought provoking for him, having just received the equivalent of a Master’s degree in Theology, to then attend Fight Club and see how biblical precepts, in which he is well versed, are applied to the notion of an authentic biblical lifestyle.
Lester’s story, of course, is not the only tale of transformation from the evening. We also heard three testimonies from veterans about their experiences prior to encountering Christ through the Mighty Oaks Warrior programs, and were witness to a special guest appearance in the form of Rusty Books – a Mighty Oaks Alum who has pledged to rededicate himself to working with his connections from Fight Club, and deepening his spiritual walk.
One of the beautiful mysteries of God’s work is the way in which He weaves together many disparate things, experiences and people to form a unity in our lives, and it was this attribute that was most at display last Friday night – the way in which a multitude are empowered to come together as one, sharing a common goal, in faith.
Kristen Tritt Media and Communications Coordinator – Serving California