God Is Transforming Lives and Healing Marriages through Operation Heal Our Patriots

February 8, 2019 • United States

Military couples can apply online now for the 2019 summer season in Alaska.

Bless the Marriage of a Military Couple

Retired Army Staff Sergeant John Hosea and his wife Sara know that every day and every breath are gifts from God. On June 9, 2012, John’s armored vehicle ran over a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. The resulting blast blew the truck 27 feet in the air, killing the driver instantly. John was severely wounded.

Sara and John Hosea meet with Franklin Graham at Samaritan Lodge. Photo courtesy of John Hosea

Sara and John Hosea meet with Franklin Graham at Samaritan Lodge. Photo courtesy of John Hosea

That day changed John and Sara’s lives forever.

“Before [the bombing] I just kind of let regular days just kind of go by like they were just normal,” Sara said. “And now little things seem like big things to me. Putting my children to bed at night. Waking up in the morning and making pancakes. I don’t view those things as little things anymore. They can stop at any moment.”

John underwent 33 surgeries in six months and was told he would never walk again. His injuries were “like a car crash on steroids,” a doctor told Sara. “Your husband was not supposed to survive this.”

But John was determined and regained the use of his legs. However, he couldn’t regain the adrenaline rush he got serving in the Army and headed down a path of self-destruction. “I was trying to run-and-gun still,” John said. That’s when Sara reached out to Operation Heal Our Patriots, a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse to wounded military veterans and their spouses.

When the Hoseas arrived at Samaritan Lodge Alaska for Operation Heal Our Patriots in the summer of 2017, John was not only wrestling with the multiple challenges from his combat-related injuries that were plaguing his marriage, he was also struggling in his relationship with God.

John and Sara Hosea became a part of Operation Heal Our Patriots in 2017.

John and Sara Hosea became a part of Operation Heal Our Patriots in 2017.

“After joining the Army, I stopped really listening to the Lord,” John said. “Because of everything I did in the Army, I was sure there was no spot for me in Heaven.”

But God opened John’s heart, and John invited Christ into his life. Along with Sara, they accepted God’s forgiveness and recommitted their marriage and family to Him.

“It was just like a light bulb went on,” John said. “God welcomed me back with open arms and put a new peace in our lives.”

“Had we not participated in Operation Heal Our Patriots,” Sara added. “I don’t even want to think about what our situation would have been like without it.”

Ongoing Stories of God’s Healing Power

Each summer we invite 10 U.S. military couples per week for 15 weeks to Alaska to take part in Biblically based marriage enrichment guided by our staff and retired military chaplains. Married U.S. military personnel, current and former, wounded in combat or combat-related activities since 9/11 are encouraged to apply online. Applications opened Feb. 1.


Support doesn’t end once couples return home. Through our Aftercare program, couples are provided with around-the-clock access to our chaplains and further opportunities for strengthening their faith and marriage through weekend events and an annual reunion.

Bless the Marriage of a Military Couple Operation Heal Our Patriots helps military couples build a strong spiritual foundation during a week of Biblically based workshops, relationship-building wilderness activities, and individual care by our retired military chaplains. We offer all this free of charge to these American heroes as a token of our appreciation for their service and sacrifice. Your gift will help us cover the costs—including transportation, lodging, activities, and long-term Family Care—so that we can help them find hope in the Lord.

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Suggested Gift: $60