Sunday, October 4, 2015

Happy Autumn!

Hello Friends!
     So much has taken place since our last blog, and there's plenty to catch you up on! Last month Jake and I had the privilege of going to Switzerland and England! Jonathan and Melissa were invited to a small and incredible church in Winturthur, Switzerland and to David's Tent in West Sussex, England. This year, Jonathan and Melissa wanted to take their children and needed a nanny, so I got to go! It was an amazing honor to go and an answer to prayer! 
    David's Tent was amazing this year. 3,000 people gathered from all over England to worship Jesus for 72 hours straight! The sustained hunger of the people was deeply moving, and it was beautiful to see how the Father responded to his children! Jake had the privilege of playing with Jonathan and Melissa as well as Steffany Gretzinger and Amanda Cook from Bethel Music, which he was so excited about.

    Jake playing with Jonathan and Melissa at David's Tent
    We just started up our 8th 18 Inch Journey, which has been so wonderful. 32 students from all over the world arrived at A Place for the Heart on September 14th and will stay until mid-Nonember. These 32 students are some of the most humble and willing students we've ever hosted. God is already showing up in amazing ways, taking broken lives and making them whole, and surprising us at every corner. One of our students was radically healed of depression on the 3rd day of the school, his countenance has changed and he said that the intense cloud that used to haunt him has completely lifted! Praise God!
     We love discipleship so much, and it has been an honor to encourage these students to receive the true love of God that is never disappointed, never demanding, but always compassionate and patient. Jake and I are leading a small group of 6 men and women and we are already seeing beautiful shifts
in their heart postures toward the Father. During the school we teach the students processing tools to
help them walk through conflict, disappointing and fearful moments in life. These tools help them get a grip on what's happening in their hearts so that they can see God's perspective, repent and move forward without repeating unhealthy patterns. The greatest thing we teach them is dependency on the Holy Spirit, who will never leave us for forsake us. So many kids go to ministry out reaches, events, and worship gatherings, and very few of them actually learn to live a sustainable life with God. We are so thankful to have the privilege of teaching these students how to go to the Father first, because His spirit is the ultimate helper, counselor and friend!

    Impartation session with Melissa Helser at our 8th annual 18 Inch Journey 

   Jake and I on an outing with our small group. 11 people representing 4 different countries! 


                                      Jake and I leading worship this week at the school. 




Monday, February 2, 2015

Hearts Full of Thanks

What an incredible year it has been. We got married, we moved into our first home, and the Lord has blessed us beyond words spiritually, physically and financially. We want to thank each and everyone of you that has sewed into the Stevens' Legacy, and into the dream of discipling a generation to be changed by the great Love of God.

In the spring we got married in the middle of the woods on the 52 acres at A Place for the Heart.  We invited 60 of our closest friends to witness the glorious day.  There was no denying that God was there, we both cried our eyes out as the wind picked up through the sunlight and butterflies circled around us as we said our vows. Jonathan and Melissa married us, and gave us the most incredible pre-marital counseling. We waited 2 and a half years to say I do, but God was so faithful to set us up for success in marriage. We were ready for that beautiful day that changed our lives. 

         What We're up to now 
 Jake: It has been a very busy beginning of the year. Currently Jonathan and Melissa are recording a new album, which means a lot of studio time to birth the beautiful new sound.  The whole band has changed SO MUCH since "On the Shores," and the new record will be proof of that. 
In case you haven't heard, Jonathan and Melissa are now Bethel Music artists. This is an incredible opportunity for the farm and the 18 Inch Journey to grow into its full potential. In January we took a trip to Bethel Church in Redding, California. It was awesome.   It was great to meet the whole Bethel Music team and to spend time with that family since joining their community of artists. This is going to be an incredible partnership for everyone involved. I can already feel the growth in my own heart and a deeper desire to cultivate this gift of music that the Lord has given me. What beautiful 
opportunities await! 
In other news Joel Case and I are wrapping up an instrumental music album that will be released this year! We have been working on it for the past 2 years and are very excited for the world to hear it! Needless to say, it has been a very musical year thus far.  Looking forward to more music and building projects that will expand our capacity at the farm to house students from all over the world. I'll be sure to keep you updated on the progress. 
Here is a link to Jonathan, Melissa and the band playing at Bethel:

Justina: Last year I began to pioneer a leather goods department for the Cageless Birds. The Cageless Birds is the farm's artist collective. Simply put, everyone on staff that helps lead the 18 Inch Journey are creative individuals that needed a space to be accountable with their creativity in music, art, photography...etc. So, Jonathan and Melissa approached all of us with the idea of a creative collective that inspires each other and the world that it is possible to be an artist and be a kind and balanced person. Since then, we all have encountered the great favor of the Lord. We have sold 600 leather bound books in six months! God has truly blessed the work of my hands in bringing me under the beautiful covering of the Cageless Birds. I had no idea what an incredible blessing it would be. This leather department is helping us create jobs for more people to join the mission of the farm, and it is satisfying the great longing in my heart to create.  
Last year a girl named Lindsay came and interned at the farm and assisted me with art lessons during the 6 months of discipleship. Last fall she came on as staff and has help tremendously with the leather goods department. It is such a blessing to get to work with someone that has vision and understanding for quality and beauty. I know that with our heads together, we will create even greater goods than last year. Here is a link to a beautiful video that JD (the videographer at the farm) made about me, the bookmakers and journal making at the farm:

We begin our 6 months of discipleship on May 23rd! We are excited and are gearing up for another incredible season of discipleship! 

Thanks again for all your love and support! May God fill your barns to overflowing, and may you have a joyful year!

If you would like to support the Stevens and partner in the dream of discipleship, you can make a check out to "A Place for the Heart."  because we're an established non-profit, your gifts are tax deductible. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Hey everyone! Life is a beautiful thing. So much has happened, is happening, and will be happening soon. I have never been busier that this in my life nor have I ever had so much grace to overcome and handle all of the things on my plate. This is just a small update on some of  some of my intentions with using a blog to keep you all updated in my life and raise support. As you all know I am getting married very soon, 17 days soon! So crazy incredible. Justina and I's plan is to start our own blog and unite in our journey to live this life The Lord has called us to with the help of all of you financially and with your beautiful prayers. So be on the look out for that! I hope that this small update finds you all in good health and in the joy of the father. Thank you all for your support I really do appreciate it and am super grateful for your sacrifice.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


This story dates back almost a year when I first heard of a ring Justina had found at an antique store, in the town she went to college in. Her and her friends were shopping one day and she saw the ring of her dreams and of course she had to try it on. A very brave move for a girl to make. She could love it, and have to bear the thought of never wearing it again, giving the fact that it was in an antique at that, say, an easy hundred people walk through and see everyday. Well she put it on, fell in love with it, but now had to face a reality that she may never see it again. It went back in the case. But... little did she know one of her dear friends was working for her to get this ring. Justina's friend Rachel called me shortly after the rings' discovery and left me a message saying "Jake I don't know when you are planning on asking Justina to marry you but when you do I know the ring she wants." So, this message obviously peaked my interest. I call her friend back and we talk and I devise a way to save the ring from any other buyer. I got some money to our friend to hold the ring and there it sat, more mine than any ring had ever been, now I wait. We end up taking a trip to see Rachel and her husband for the weekend and my chance came to claim my prize. Justina had a birthday party to attend and I was left to hangout with our friends for a night and a day. We went to the store and I bought the ring. It was finally mine. This was in February. Yeah... Fast forward to November and it was time, time to place that ring on the finger it would call home for the rest of our lives. November sixth was the day. I have a lot of awesome friends that I live with so they tirelessy helped me come up with a plan to take her out for a day while I stayed back and set up a dream boat to ask her to marry me on. Our friend Mel took Justina out to "work" on a book they are creating together and me and the boys set to the water. Where we live there is a two acre pond and on this pond we have a floating dock, right out in the middle of it. We turned this simple dock into a bright floating island, full of the warm light from tea candles in hanging mason jars. We worked all afternoon transforming the dock and then the time came. My plan was to have all of our friends down there when I asked and we she said yes they would all run out and light a huge bon fire and yell for joy in celebration of Justina's incredible patience. She has been very patient. So I take Justina on a drive to catch up on each other's day (to give every one time to get down the hill)  and we pulled into where we live and I said "lets just drive around the lake real quick before dinner." So we did and she soon discovered my intention for driving around the lake and she was in shock! She just kept saying "oh, oh." I reassured her that it was really happening. We got out of the truck and I looked deep into her eyes and said "I am sorry this took so long" then we both cried and then laughed. We got into a canoe and I rowed us out to the dock, confessing my undying love for her and we arrived to our destination a mess of tears and joy. We're on the dock taking it all in and I asked her if she was ready, she said yes, so I got down on my knee, took out the ring I had had for almost a years'time and asked her to marry me. SHE SAID YES! I hollered and to my suprise the fire my friends were gonna light was a dud, no one yelled back and there we were laughing and crying as i was explaining how the rest of the plan should have went. But eventually they shot off some fireworks and got that darn fire lit and yelled and celebrated back at us. It was so incredible. I rowed her back and we went and greeted our friends and had a toast of wine. That is how it happened. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The summer is over..

       Hey everyone! I hope that you are all doing well. The Summer is over, Fall is here. I feel it in the way the nights feel still and cool and the the way the sun hangs in the sky late in the afternoon. Last time you heard from me I was in the middle of helping my good friends lead the 18 Inch Journey. Every year we finish, I think to myself, I am so glad I got to do that again! This time was no different, I am so glad I got to do it again. The Lord never stops pursuing me and calling me higher and revealing more of myself to me and more of Himself to me. The Lord is so gracious to show us ourselves isn't he? This was literally the best school I have had the honor to be apart of. From start to finish and every little nuance in between, the Lord was there. He was as hungry to meet us as we were to meet by him. I like thinking of Him that way: desperate in His pursuit to meet us. I had an incredible time leading my small group this summer. There were times where I thought I didn't have it in me, but I can humbly and honestly say that I surpassed my own expectations. Don't get me wrong I wasn't perfect but I could tell that I have grown in my confidence and leadership. What a great gift from the Lord to put us in situations to show us how much we've grown. As with every July 31st in my summer the school is over. What beautiful memories I have in my heart from this summer. Thank you all for your prayers and support, I literally couldn't do it with you all!
       Jonathan, Melissa, the rest of the band and I were just recently in England on a ministry trip and it was awesome! Man, it was so good. Probably one of my favorite trips out of the country so far. We played at this event called "Davids Tent". It is a 72 hour non-stop worship event in the English countryside, dreamed up by an amazing group of friends in the UK. We got to see some of our incredible friends, some 18-Inch Journey alumni and we made some more really great friends. The presence of the Lord at that event was so awesome. He consistently met us, whether it was 12:30 in the morning or 2:00 in the afternoon. The spirit of adoption was definitely the big theme of the event this year. Which is a big deal for our english neighbors. What the Lord is doing in england is so special. He is meeting there lack; their need to feel and Fathers smile, their need to feel apart of the family of heaven, their need to experience God outside of a church building. He is intentionally pursuing them exactly how their hearts need it. He is so good to do that with each of us. What a guy.
       I am excited for the Fall. I am excited about playing music and about traveling and cultivating my craft of playing guitar. I am excited for the rest that Fall brings. The slowing down of my heart and my mind. The remembering that takes place. And as always the growing. The realizing. The revelations. Fall is the best time of year. I have a feeling this Fall is going to be one of those ones that marks the rest of my life. Lord, let it be so. I am beginning to really believe that I can not do anything unless it comes from a place of being fully identified in the Father. I mean, the fruit that comes from a deep rooted,  trusting, faithful, joyfilled heart is much sweeter and satisfying then any shallow rooted, "I can do it alone," "I need it now," orphan-minded kind of heart. I've experienced both kinds of hearts. But I feel the maturing, by Gods grace, into a full-time soft heart, the one with the sweeter fruit. The Lord is still redefining "responsibility" and trust and sonship and ownership in my life. It feels like I am blind folded and being asked to take the next step in unknown surroundings. I guess that's faith though. Thank God He doesn't make us go it alone. He is always right here with me, one step at a time. You ever walk through the woods waving a stick around to get all the spiderwebs out of the way? That is what I feel like the Lord is doing for me right now. He is protecting me from getting entangled in things I can't even see half the time. He is good to me.
       Thank you all for taking the time to read this. Thank you for all your prayers and financial support. It means so much. I am so thankful that I love what I get to do and do what I love all at the same time. I pray that all of you would be able to enter into this Fall full of expectation for all the good things the Father has for you! What ever you need, He has it. Just ask him for it. I'll be asking Him to give you all what you need to. Until next time!

Me and the band at David's Tent 


- Jake

Sunday, June 30, 2013


Hey everyone. 
I want to give you an update on what my life is looking like currently. Right now I am smack dab in the middle of leading the 2013 18" journey. It is quite possibly the best summer/school we've had yet. The willingness of all the students and the willingness of the Father to meet us in our willingness is immense. Even in my own heart the Father has been proving Himself faithful more than ever before. He is continuously providing for me in extravagant ways from financial needs to my heart needs, it has been eye opening and heart softeningly humbling. 

Last week the Father met me in an incredible way after some medical needs came up. I went to the doctor and it turn out that it was going to cost me a great deal of money. So after some wrestling in my mind and heart about the cost I moved some money I has saved around and I would be able to cover the bill. When the doctor saw me he began to ask where I lived and what I did. I told him about "A Place for the Heart" and the schools we run in the summer and of all my travels around the world leading worship with one of my best friends. As he was writing out a prescription for an antibiotic that I needed he said, "I am glad that I got to meet you today. You bless so many people around the entire world, you were chosen to do this with your life." I was taken aback by the encouragement I was receiving from this doctor, it was so special. He sent me on my way and I go out to pay and the amount was.... $60! OH MAN! I couldn't believe it. The Lord's favor is so real. As soon as I walked outside to meet up with my girlfriend Justina, we hugged and cried together because the Lord is so kind. 

Next tuesday is my 22nd birthday! It's so crazy how we are always just getting older. It is such a gift from the Lord to grow and mature not only in age and in life but also in our hearts. I feel such a growth taking place in my heart this summer from leading and being apart of the school. It is always good when you can look back at last summer and see growth in just a year. I've seen dramatic changes in how I view the Lord. I know that doing what I am doing here at the farm is really forming a foundation of dependence on the Lord that I will be able to build my life and my home upon one day. He is teaching me so many things that will help me be a better husband and father, when those days come. Discovering my identity in the Father is probably the biggest thing that my heart is undergoing this summer. That and falling in love with the Word like never before. I mean, the bible is fully alive! There is so much life inside those words. I pray that you would began to experience the bible to its fullest.  That the the places your heart has grown tired or familiar that the Father would re awaken to the beauty of the written word of God! My good friend Adam says we've gone from "fascinated" to "familiar" when it comes to the Bible, and it is time that we turn that around. We need to become less familiar and more fascinated. That is what I want for my heart, and all of your hearts too. 

Thank you so much for your continued support and prayers. I feel the weight of your help and I know that the Father is honored to partner with you all in supporting me. I know that the seeds you're all sowing will reap a harvest greater than you could imagine in your lives, because the Lord is so faithful. 

Until next time.

- Jake

Friday, March 1, 2013

The "It's March already" update.

Hello friends and family.
        I hope this blog update finds you all in a very good place. I have had quite the busy year so far, much busier than I had expected it to be. Not long after our ten day christmas vacation we were back at it, hitting it hard and heavy. We began the new year with remodeling our kitchen here at the farm, in preparation for the 2013 "18 Inch Journey Internship," that began January 15th. Needless to say we had our work cut out for us to remodel and double the size of our kitchen in just two weeks, and cultivating the atmosphere with prayer and thanksgiving for the fast approaching internship. Before we knew it January the 15th showed up, and thus began the new internship. It really has been incredible so far. Here we are, almost two months into it and I know that all us of us in leadership here have grown an incredible amount. The Lord has been inviting me into a higher place of leadership than I have ever been before. It has been one of the hardest things I've had the honor of going through, but I truly believe that this season is going to set into place a firm foundation on which I will one day build a marriage and a family and a life full of the Lords favor. A place to call Home. A Place for My Heart.
        Me and a good friend and spiritual father of mine, David Shaver, have been building a new dark room for photography the past couple of weeks. Once we finish this new space we will have three fully functioning art studios. One for visual art, a studio for music and now finally a photography studio. Which is incredible to continue to grow the dream of A Place for the Heart and release a generation to discover the Lord through creative arts.
        The Lord has been so faithful to have placed me with a family such as this to learn all that I am learning and to grow in what makes my heart come alive and to teach my hands to work hard and steady.
        I hope you're all doing well!