Get to Know OHI Missionary, Joel Ferry

Joel Ferry first learned about OHI San Diego when his mother was a guest in 2009. “My mom has had a long-standing connection with the Transcendental Meditation Center in Fairfield, Iowa. She heard about OHI from other guests at the TM Information Center. After her stay there, she couldn’t say enough great things about OHI, and I was interested in experiencing that type of healing for myself.”

Joel is a career bartender, and at the time he was working long hours as a gaming bartender in Las Vegas. His intense schedule left him little time off so it took 5 years before he was able to make his first trip to OHI. “My first visit was July 2014 for 1 week,” said Joel. “I loved it! I went to every class I could, and took a whole binder of notes. I couldn’t get enough! I came back in March 2016 for 1 week, returned again in September 2017 for 2 weeks, and then again in September 2018 for another 2 weeks. Each visit revealed something new to me. I knew I absolutely needed more time at OHI to work on myself, so I applied for their missionary program. It has completely changed my life!”

Joel was diagnosed with diabetes in 2011, and used medication to maintain his blood sugar levels. His late-night work hours as a bartender really played havoc with his sleep schedule, and he found himself exercising less and less. He also suffered from diabetic neuropathy in his feet, and couldn’t imagine putting on a pair of sneakers to go for a run after work. It was just too painful.

“I needed a restart/refresh to my life,” said Joel. “Between my poor sleep patterns, my stressful work environment, my poor diet, and the difficulty managing my diabetes, I was overwhelmed. Depression runs in my family, and I really just wanted to quiet the thoughts in my head. That first week at OHI made such a difference. Not only did the raw diet help with my

diabetes so that I was off all of my medication by mid-week, but the diabetic neuropathy in my feet subsided. My feet felt so good, I was able to take off my shoes and run on the beach. BAREFOOT! It was utterly transformational!”

Joel started as an OHI missionary in September 2019. His first three-month term was so successful, that he extended his missionary position for another 6 months.

“I wanted to be an OHI missionary so that I could be part of a supportive environment that would help me grow into the person I’m meant to be,” said Joel. “I love the camaraderie here. Everyone who chooses OHI is serious about their health. I have met people from all across the country, and while we’re all different, we all want to be the best version of ourselves that we can be. The OHI curriculum and the detox diet put you on the path to improvement starting Day 1.”

While Joel was busy working as a missionary, COVID hit. “I feel so blessed to have been at OHI during COVID,” said Joel. “The stars aligned, and I was here at the right time for me. Living here in the ‘bubble’ has been a beautiful experience. OHI never closed its doors, so I just continued working to make guests feel welcome, safe, and happy. When OHI offered me the chance to stay on as a Missionary Coordinator, I jumped at it! I love welcoming the new guests every Sunday. I always tell them they are in for the best 3 weeks of their lives. During the week, teaching lymphatic exercise is a blast. And my favorite thing to do is host the Friday Night Live variety show. I also really love hearing the testimonials on Fridays. It’s so rewarding to hear the success stories of people releasing what they are ashamed of. When the people around you are so supportive, you know you’ll never feel alone again.”

What are Joel’s goals moving forward? “The longer I am at OHI, the more it’s about mental health. Growing as a human being is a slow and deep process, like peeling back layers of an onion. I’m learning why I make certain choices, and am more aware of their consequences.”

And Joel’s advice for others considering a stay at OHI? “Don’t pigeon hole your life. You can make a change any time! Over the last year I became certified to be an ESL teacher, and I’m hoping to teach overseas in the future. Right now I’m just so happy to be a missionary at OHI, but I also know I have really positive things to move on to in the future. I have taken responsibility for my own happiness, and I’m really proud of the choices I’m making. Thank you OHI!”

The OHI missionary program is a volunteer extension program for those who have graduated from the OHI holistic healing program and desire to continue on a spiritual path to heal themselves and others. As a missionary, you are able to immerse yourself in the healing process 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We encourage all who have a calling, passion, and commitment to serving others and who want to be in a community focused on healing to apply.
During your visit, our caring team can help you achieve your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. Visit our website at, and call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.