As they Experience, Serve, and Lead at White Sulphur Springs, the EXSEL Discipleship interns are helping military members and their families realize the restoration needed in these challenging times.
When he was diagnosed with cancer in 1999, Mike says he worked through the usual questions and doubt—why me? what did I do?—but it was the continued struggle through multiple rounds of chemo, radiation, and surgeries that caused him to take a deeper look at the testimony God was preparing him for.
Now in its second year, the EXSEL (experience, service, leadership) discipleship program at OCF’s White Sulphur Springs Conference Center is a yearlong, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for young men and women ages 18-24.
OCF has provided transitory military Christians with two static places—Spring Canyon in Colorado and White Sulphur Springs in Pennsylvania—for abundant opportunities of Christ-centered fellowship, programs and fun. The ideal end result: being equipped to reach others for Christ throughout the military society—and form lifetime friendships.
Just like the silly banana-eating Minions, each of us was created with an innate desire to belong to a community in fellowship. It’s not just a group of people with similar interests, but a body of believers united for a common purpose.
In preparation for our move, I found myself wondering what our new neighbors would be like. OK, I was obsessing over it. We have grown to love the people we live next to, and trying to imagine unfriendly neighbors peering at us while grilling out on the deck was making my stomach hurt.
We leaders often cope with stress by trying to survive our wounding rather than allow God to heal and refresh us to fully live. God doesn’t want us to simply survive. God’s mission field, after all, is your heart and mine.
Only by trusting God and His plan for our lives can we lead courageously in our duty as both officers and Christians. It’s time to build a strategy that calculates the risks of leadership minefields and faces them with a moral courage that matches the bravery of those we lead on the battlefield.
The adage of a church not being a building, but rather its people also applies to the ministry of Officers’ Christian Fellowship. Click a story below to get a snapshot of the vast entirety of ministry work that has gone on over the years through OCF, now entering its seventy-second year. The people and stories featured here represent all those who have sacrificially given of their time, talents and treasure—standing on the shoulders of giants while declaring God’s “power to the next generation” (Psalm 71:18).
Exceptionally demanding—that is the four-year journey through one of our nation’s military service academies, deliberately designed as such to forge finely tuned military leaders from out of the fires of continual challenge. Cadets and midshipmen juggle jam-packed schedules that stretch them beyond the max physically, emotionally, mentally. And spiritually.
For Christians serving in our nation’s Armed Forces, even when their active duty days meld into retirement, God’s call to serve Him remains evergreen, for in age’s autumn years “…they will stay fresh and green” (Psalm 92:14), still bearing fruit.
Given the description in Ephesians 6 of the spiritual battle raging around us, what can we do to prepare for the moral ambushes upon us from the enemy and avoid becoming a spiritual casualty? This article explores 6 tactics to help you avoid becoming a spiritual casualty.
For seven decades the living waters of Jesus Christ have flowed forth, from the heart of the ministry of Officers’ Christian Fellowship—innumerable men and women making a kingdom difference by living, loving and working with others throughout the military society.
Longtime Bible teacher, speaker and friend of OCF, ACCTS and Christian Military Fellowship, Charalambos Nikolaou Tokatloglou (Mr. Tok), went to be with his Lord on 15 December. He was 97.
A co-worker named Diana is a Gold Star mother. This remarkable woman lost her oldest son to combat action in Iraq, leaving behind a grieving wife, their baby, and other heartbroken relatives and friends. Despite her faith, and the support of family and community friends, Diana’s wounds are profound, constant companions she will likely carry with her until her dying day. By embracing her wounds through the loving embrace of the great Suffering Servant, Diana has become His partner in the lives of others. Still carrying the scars of her wounds, Diana is a visible instrument of God’s healing for others.
We never think it will happen to us, but the reality is that each of us will someday receive our final PCS orders to stand before the Lord. Do you have a spiritual sponsor for that coming day?
Where were you in 2003? Most of us remember the United States' invasion of Iraq. The media covered our military's every move and with those reports came images none of us will forget.