It looks like an ordinary chunk of rock with no value, but looks can be deceiving. This rock has a story to tell, one that speaks of the faithfulness of God working through the generosity of his people to create an organization that has been privileged to serve 6,797 Soldiers, Airmen, Marines and family members at 237 events. During this time we have seen people come to faith in Christ, step away from suicide, or go to their chaplains for marriage counseling.
OR started on June 13, 2013 with a trailer and $600.00. That’s it – no vehicle, no equipment, no land, no board of directors, no fundraising plan, no grand strategy. For the first seven and a half years of existence OR was nomadic. I went wherever I could find a place to host a hunting or fishing trip for active-duty personnel. Wherever it was, I would load up OR’s single axle box trailer with cots, mattresses, food, drinks and whatever else we needed. From Carteret to Caswell, I pulled the trailer, set up camp, hosted Soldiers, Airmen and Marines…and the rock went with me.
I don’t know where I found it, but that rock was used for a myriad of purposes. It served as a chock for the wheels of the trailer, held down the tailgate of the trailer, and propped open cabin doors. I bet I’ve picked that rock up and put it down over 400 times. One would think that after OR found a home the rock would be hurled into the Pungo River, never to be seen or lifted again. Not a chance! I want that rock around for a physical reminder of how far God has brought OR.
Today, we start a new phase as OR turns nine years old. OR no longer burns up the roads in North Carolina because we own 450 acres in Hyde Co., the ministry hub for our chaplains. Faithful partners like you have raised $700,000 of the $1,000,000 needed to build The Refuge Project, a 5,800 square foot, 10 bed/bath lodge that will house Soldiers, Airmen, Marines and family members. God has brought OR a long way from those days of wandering the back roads of NC, and that rock has been along for the ride.
So, if you ever visit our shop/clubhouse in Hyde Co. you’ll see a large chunk of rock sitting silently under the cooking shed. But you’ll know that it’s a storyteller of the goodness and faithfulness of God to a ministry that serves those who sacrifice. And I’m not moving it anymore.
For God and Country,