Written by Allie Sampson, Writer for Cageless Birds
Photographs by JD Gravitt
On June 1st, our community welcomed 32 new students onto the land of A Place for the Heart as we launched this year’s 18 Inch Journey. Students traveled from all over the world (including Canada, Germany, Belgium, Australia, Norway, Scotland, Switzerland and Singapore as well as 13 different states) to be transformed by the Love of God. On our opening night, students were invited to participate in an extravagant dinner where they were welcomed to the land with a beautiful meal, handwritten declarations and intentional gifts. Our staff, interns and Second Phase students spent countless hours preparing all of the details for this night. If nothing else, we wanted to communicate to the 32 new students that they were loved, celebrated and prayed for before they did a single thing. Simply, we love them because the Father loves them. They were showered with love and surprises—and that is only the beginning.
Each week during the Journey has a specific theme as well as a focus on one of the Fruits of the Spirit. Last week was Jesus week and Joy was the accompanying Fruit. We were honored to have our dear friend, Adam Cox, from Kansas City Boiler Room here with us. Adam has come to teach during Jesus week over the past several Journeys and every time, we as a community are changed and transformed. We were blown away as Adam shared the God Story with us again, unpacking the story of Jesus in a fresh and inspiring way. By putting the Gospel within the context of history, we understood the radical love of Jesus that is revealed through the Scripture. This year, the staff and students were undone by the love and humility of Jesus as Adam taught the God Story and the revelation that we are the Beloved. Adam shared that we are “found in the Father and formed in the family”, meaning that our identity is rooted in and discovered in God and that, by His intentional design, we are shaped and grown in the safety of community. We are overwhelmed with gratitude that Adam and his family gave another week of their time to come be with us and invest in the Journey students that we love so much! We highly encourage you to check out Adam’s teaching on The God Story that has impacted our community so deeply!