Joni and Friends Blog

The Wonder of JAF’s Wounded Warrior Getaways

We just completed this year’s Getaway for Marines at Murrieta Hot Springs, CA. The first day? Imagine hard-as-steel Marines and their families from Camp Pendleton arriving, reserved, a little stiff, and wondering, What have we gotten ourselves into?! Next, picture them being flooded with four days of slam-dunk fun and feasting, hot-air ballooning, rock wall climbing, a carnival, spa treatments for the wives, a ‘patriotic’ barbecue, campfire with s’mores, games-parties-prizes for the children, stirring speakers and heartwarming times around God’s Word with awesome music. On Sunday afternoon, the closing day, Marine Corps Chaplain Ron Newhouse pointed these men, wives and children to Jesus Christ – afterward, at the sharing time, every steel-hard heart had softened and tears of gratitude and repentance flowed as couples wrapped their arms around one another. All the evaluation forms rated the WWG as “excellent,” and one Marine wrote, “I have become a better man, husband, father, brother, son, Marine, Christian since I attended your retreat.” Our hats off to the Chaplaincy Office at Camp Pendleton, as well as our hard-working Joni and Friends team for making it happen… all to the glory of God!