USA (MNN) — November 11 is Veteran’s Day in the United States, honoring American veterans of all wars and military branches. Along with thanking veterans today, remember to pray for those fighting invisible battles.
“We assist veterans in building their faith to heal from the past and win life’s battles,” Director Steve Prince says of Warriors Set Free, a division of Set Free Ministries.
The most critical conversations turn to Christ and the freedom He offers. “We focus specifically on helping veterans grow in their faith, no matter where they’re at,” Prince says.
“We see a lot of veterans who’ve never had the Gospel explained to them. We get to explain that and see them accept Christ.”
While most veterans transition successfully into civilian life, others struggle against hidden wounds. The veteran suicide rate is 50-percent higher than the national average.
As a veteran-to-veteran ministry, the Warriors Set Free team offers unspoken understanding. More about Warriors Set Free here.
“Veterans have a brotherhood based on our past and the service that we’ve been through,” Prince says.
“They (veterans) call us on our hard days, and they call us to celebrate. I’ve been in prison with veterans, and jails and courtrooms; at weddings and celebrating the birth of a child.”
From wounded to warrior
Traumatic experiences often leave individuals with emotional/psychological scars. These wounds only heal with time and intentional processing.
“A lot of veterans are hurting, and they need a ‘big brother’ [figure] to put an arm around them and comfort them in their time of need. We get to walk with those guys, building their faith and helping them be disciples of Christ,” Prince says.
“The core of what we do is called a freedom appointment. It’s a one-day session where we lead people through The Steps to Freedom in Christ.”
Veterans who’ve experienced freedom through Warriors Set Free Freedom Appointments summarize the encounters here. One individual discovered a new purpose.
“His freedom appointment changed his life. He went from very little hope in his life and not being successful as a husband and a father to thriving and leading ministry. [Today,] he’s ministering to others, and his marriage is stronger,” Prince says.
“His family is intact, in large part because of what God did through his freedom appointment and Warriors Set Free.”
Watch that veteran share his testimony here; the story begins at 4:48.
Find your place in the story
Connect with Warriors Set Free here or through social media. Or, call the main office, “and we’ll start a conversation,” Prince says. Warriors Set Free is based in West Michigan, but you don’t have to be.
“We’ve done a lot of virtual appointments, especially in the last couple of years, and we would love to make a freedom appointment with any veteran anywhere.”
Warriors Set Free is expanding beyond its West Michigan base. “Michigan, as a whole, doesn’t have the veteran population that a lot of other states have,” Prince says.
“We prayed, and we kept being pointed towards Atlanta, Georgia. Fort Benning is down there; they have a lot of National Guard and Reserves. There are a lot of retired veterans down there as well.”
Is God calling you to help veterans? You might start by helping Warriors Set Free begin work in your state.
“If someone has a passion for bringing a strong veteran ministry to their area, wherever that is, we want to talk and see if that’s what the Lord has for us,” Prince says.
“We don’t have a patent on discipleship and prayer ministry, and we want to spread this thing far and wide.”
Using Atlanta as a test model, “we talk about taking this to every city with an NHL team from there,” Prince says.
“Veterans are great people, especially when you put them ‘on mission’ – when you give them a purpose and a direction to make things happen. So, that’s what we’re looking to do outside of Michigan, wherever the Lord leads us.”
Header image is a representative stock photo courtesy of Brett Sayles/Pexels.