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.