top of page

Point Man Outpost 101

Coos Bay / North Bend, Oregon


Mike Harris

Mike Harris: A Journey from Combat to Faith


Mike Harris served valiantly as part of the Navy Mobile Riverine Force during the Vietnam War. The scars of war followed him long after, as he grappled with the aftermath of his combat experiences. Traditional methods of coping seemed futile, and he found himself questioning the very essence of life and progress.


For a significant period, Mike distanced himself from spirituality, challenging the existence of a higher power and the efforts of those who preached faith. To him, religion was a concept that held no personal meaning.


However, in January 1981, a profound sense of isolation led Mike to a pivotal confrontation with the divine. In a moment of desperation, he demanded a sign of God’s existence. When no immediate answer came, he continued on his path of skepticism.


Unexpectedly, four days later, a voice resonated within him while he sat at his dining table. It was a call to action from what he now understands as his spirit, urging him to rid himself of his dependence on street drugs. This marked the beginning of a transformative chapter in his life.


In the years that followed, Mike found comfort and guidance in the Holy Scriptures, which led him to a critical point where he felt compelled to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with fellow veterans. Despite his initial hesitation to establish a ministry, a serendipitous encounter with Dr. James Dobson’s “Focus on the Family” broadcast led him to “Point Man International Ministries” (PMIM).


After connecting with PMIM, Mike was deeply moved by the book “NamVet; Making Peace With Your Past,” which resonated with his own struggles with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). With newfound clarity and purpose, he pursued the establishment of an affiliate outpost in the Coos Bay/North Bend area.


Mike’s dedication to supporting veterans materialized with the approval of his application and the inception of “Outpost 101.” His mission was simple yet profound: to be present for veterans in need of a listening ear.


The inaugural meeting of the outpost at Blossom Gulch Grade School was a humble yet significant beginning, with fellow veterans Hank Elsworth and John Schwenzfeier joining him. This gathering marked the start of a community united by shared experiences and a common faith.


Hank’s Dedication to ‘Point Man’ Ministry

Hank’s journey with the ‘Point Man’ ministry began with a simple act of verification, as requested by his pastor. His task was to assess the authenticity of Mike’s burgeoning ministry. The outcome was overwhelmingly positive, leading to Hank’s deeper involvement.

As the ministry gained traction, a number of Vietnam veterans started to join the meetings, albeit irregularly. Yet, within this group, moments of profound healing were observed, marking the beginning of a transformative era for many.

In tandem with the main ministry, Connie, Mike’s wife, initiated the ‘Homefront’ program. This initiative provided much-needed support for the veterans’ families, offering insights into the veterans’ experiences and fostering a sense of community through regular potluck gatherings.

The call to serve took on a new dimension when Mike and Connie felt compelled to relocate to Seattle to work at the PMIM Headquarters. Despite the emotional challenge of leaving their newly built home in Coos Bay, they heeded the call and moved to Clearview, Washington, in June 1990. Their commitment to service continued abroad, as they spent five years on a mission in Southeast Asia, focusing on Laos from January 1992 to March 1997.

During Mike’s absence, Hank stepped up as the Outpost Leader, ensuring the continuity of the ministry through the 1990s. He often described the experience as a partnership with the divine, with John attending when possible. Hank’s steadfastness bore fruit, as the ministry began to attract more veterans seeking solace and support.

Upon Mike’s return, Hank was ready to hand over the reins, but Mike encouraged him to continue leading. Mike offered his unwavering support, affirming Hank’s role as the Outpost Leader.

In a move to be closer to their family, Hank and his wife, Georgie, relocated to Milwaukee, Oregon, in 2012, marking another chapter in their lives of service and community.

Mark Winders: A Beacon of Leadership for Point Man 101


In a pivotal moment for our local Point Man 101 Outpost, Mark Winders, a dedicated USMC Amtrac veteran of Vietnam, assumed the role of Outpost Leader. From 2012 to 2015, Mark’s unwavering faith and steadfast perseverance nurtured the growth of our outreach, building upon his years of active involvement.


In 2015, prioritizing the health of his beloved wife, Libbie, Mark made the heartfelt decision to relocate to Arizona. Their departure left a void in our hearts, yet we take solace in knowing they remain close in spirit and are just a call away.


Expanding Horizons


Point Man International Ministries (PMIM) has evolved beyond its initial focus on Vietnam veterans to embrace all who have served. Over the past 18 years, we’ve cultivated a strong bond with the Southern Oregon coast communities and fostered collaborative relationships with fellow veteran organizations.


An Open Invitation


We, the members of Point Man Outpost 101, are profoundly grateful for the blessings we’ve received and are eager to extend those blessings through God’s grace. Our doors are open every Tuesday at 6 PM Shoreline Community Church, in North Bend. We welcome all veterans to join us in camaraderie and shared experiences. And rest assured, the coffee is always ready.

bottom of page