PHASE ONE – Refresh: This is a one-month induction period where the staff and the man will be better acquainted with one another. This will be achieved through close interaction with staff. This will conclude with the final commitment from the participating man to engage in the healing process. The goal of the refresh phase of the program is to revitalize the participant with a sense of truth, love, and family. It is during this phase that the man will learn the definition of what it means to be an authentic man. He will be encouraged to begin the process of healing and transformation, and he will commit after this phase to begin the rest of the process (Romans 12:1-2).
PHASE TWO – Rebuild: After the man is refreshed with Scripture and family, his identity will be rebuilt. His old man will begin to be replaced as the new man is rebuilt. He will begin to experience God in new ways, and through discipline, he will begin to exemplify Christ in every facet of his life (Colossians 3:1-7). Rebuild is comprised of two phases that are approximately 16 weeks each.
PHASE THREE – Restore: After a man is refreshed and encouraged, after his identity is established and rebuilt by the truths of Scripture, he will begin to be restored in relationship with his family, church, and community. He will begin to lead the men in the home, work, and ministry. His goals will be developed, and he will seek to transition from His Oaks to the next adventure that God will lead him to; thus being a productive disciple, or rather, His Oak of Righteousness (Isaiah 61:1-4). This will take approximately 16 weeks.
The Program Format
His Oaks is a venture in which we seek to assist, with our Lord’s help Men whom are disadvantaged or disenfranchised who are struggling to overcome past various life-controlling issues from a biblical and medical perspective including Mental Health Disorders, Substance Abuse, Depression, Anxiety, Thought and Mood disorders, PTSD, Trauma Treatment, Grief and Bereavement, Spiritual Direction, Prison records, or other unfortunate obstacles we sometimes face in order to form a productive life. Through prayer, active training and coaching we provide men assistance in recovery while providing men with the skills to take an active role in society, acting as spiritual leaders in community and family environments. Several local church leaders and pastors representing (6) local Christian congregations are initially sitting on the board of directors, and advisory board. This provides opportunities for local church members to volunteer and use their gifts and talents while working with the men.
1) Animal husbandry – We are currently raising and continue to plan on raising a limited number of animals for the purpose of training the men in responsibility and self sufficiency. Current animals have included Turkeys, and Chickens, and for the new year of 2014 we are considering the addition of Bees hive and other livestock. This would be lead by the Program Management team, with guidance from a local representative from the USDA/NRCS and other local experts. This would normally only require approximately one hour a day for feeding, watering, collecting eggs, cleaning coops or stalls, and other activities applicable to the animals’ care and continued good health as necessary.
2) Farming – We are currently able to see our already growing agricultural garden begin to produce some of the fruits of labor and time well spent. The farm is currently growing on our beautiful 10 acres: apple trees, pear trees, peach tree’s, various shade trees, blueberry bushes, strawberry patches and a ginkgo tree. This year we have begun to delve further into Land Preservation and use of its Natural Resources by using our wetlands to produce Shiitake Mushrooms. We have been blessed with the volunteer help and teaching of a local Arborist and the Agricultural Department of Messiah College which will also be allowing Students to gain a hands-on Internship to advance their degrees. The Agricultural Department of Messiah College will also be helping us by visually touring our property to help us further in preservation and sourcing for future projects such as a small mixed vegetable garden and nursery. These vegetables would be raised for personal consumption by the men at His Oaks and extra will be given to local food banks and pantries. This will teach the principles of farming and dominion over the earth as in the Bible while fostering an attitude of independence, confidence and stewardship in the men.
3) Study – This sphere of His Oaks will be determined and implemented by the Program Director, local pastors and church leaders and will cover multiple areas. First and foremost would be prayer and spiritual study. At His Oaks we believe this is important in giving the men a firm grounding in our Lord’s Word, The Bible. In correlation to that we will be assisting the men in Academic Studies. Those needs could include studying for successful completion of their G.E.D. or High School Diploma, College, Academic Skill Refreshment Courses, Responsible Financial Management, Future Career Training opportunities, Resume Building and Interviewing skills, Job Searches and Future Employment. We believe through the examples we demonstrate and skills we teach we can provide the men with the abilities to be self sufficient in various aspects of life including Personal, Mental, Financial and most importantly Relational Health for different transitions in each individual. Enabling them to take on their future roles as Husbands, Fathers, Mentors, Leaders and who knows what other great occupations.
4) Self-Reliance – The Program Management team shares this responsibility with the men. The men will be taught to cook meals and clean the house including but not limited to washing dishes, doing laundry, mopping, sweeping, dusting and other household chores to run a functional home. This would help provide acclimatization to independent living.
5) Service – At His Oaks we actively participate in community service projects to assist churches, disadvantaged individuals, and other community organizations to do Community Out Reach. This usually includes cooking for various shelters, assistance to the elderly, assistance for single Moms, helping handicapped or the disabled in need which can include yard work, home repairs, cleaning gutters, shoveling snow and other forms of labor intensive work. We believe in giving back as much as possible for we receive many things by “Grace – An undeserved gift”.
If you are wondering what a week at His Oaks would look like, here is our weekly schedule: