'The Real Answer Is Jesus': 400 Soldiers Find Hope in Christ as Non-Profit Offers Extreme Adventure
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Active duty soldiers go through rigorous training to be able to fight on the front lines of combat, but despite that physical training, their spiritual well being is oftentimes overlooked and they can suffer in silence from things like post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression.
However, one non-profit is helping soldiers by getting them involved in extreme sports in order to share the message that true freedom and healing can be found in Christ.
Soul Survivor Outdoor hosts free outdoor adventure events like skydiving, rock-climbing, rappelling, and sailing to reach active duty military, veterans, and their families.
"You get people on the side of a rock or a mountain and it challenges them in ways that they aren't getting challenged in an office environment when they are going doing a normal day-to-day routine," Rick Wolf told CBN News.
Wolf is a retired Marine corp lieutenant colonel and the founder of Soul Survivor Outdoor.
He started the program after finding that deployed combat soldiers would return home battling serious problems like PTSD, suicide, and substance abuse.
"Whether we're talking about the veteran population or the active duty population we know that statistically, the suicide rates are not coming down," he explained. "Depression, anxiety... these things are pretty significant in the society in general and the military is a cut of the cloth."
Wolf said although there are programs to help veterans and even active duty soldiers manage these issues, most don't deal with the root cause.
"As Christians, we know the real answer is Jesus Christ," he added.
So, Wolf takes them off base and into the air or on top of a mountain to deal with real issues and lead them to the Lord.
The message he shares centers on finding your identity in Christ and it rings loud and clear in the hearts of these warriors.
"Your value as a human being whether you are in the military or someplace else is intrinsic because it comes from your Creator and not from your career, your status, or your phone or something else, but that you really have value," Wolf explained.
So far, more than 5,000 active duty soldiers have attended Soul Survivor Outdoor events, and last year, alone, 400 soldiers gave their lives to Christ.
Wolf believes the church is missing an opportunity to evangelize soldiers.
"Who more deserving to have the opportunity to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ than this person that has the idea, and they may not even know where it comes from, that no greater love has someone than this to lay down their life for a friend," he said.
As 165,000 active duty soldiers have been deployed in more than 150 countries this year, Wolf says his organization has only begun to scratch the surface.
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