We are the Fellows. The moments, memories, hopes, and experiences we’ve been waiting for are here. The journey has begun. Just over a week ago, 63 students from different places, cultures, backgrounds, and walks of life gathered for the very first time to begin the journey of a lifetime together as Impact 360 Fellows. Class Thirteen came from across the globe to dedicate nine months to cultivating community, growing in a deeper relationship with the Lord, and learning how to own our faith. At the beginning of the Week of Welcome, we were invited by Impact 360 Institute’s co-founder John White to ask ourselves, “What do I want God to do in my life this upcoming year?” For some of us, the answer is a greater knowledge of what we believe and why; for others, to develop a deeper relationship with the Father, or to figure out what exactly God has in store for the next chapter of their lives. Regardless of what our answer to this question is, one thing is for sure: God has purposely brought together 63 unique and diverse individuals to commune together in Pine Mountain, Georgia and there is no limit to what He can do with Class Thirteen.
What we call the “Week of Welcome” (or WoW, for short) kicked off on August 24th with Move-in Day, which was a monumental starting point to our adventure. We, the Fellows, moved our lives into Legacy, said good-bye to our families, and spent the day getting to meet our new family. From then on, we were thrust into a full week of life and learning. Throughout the course of the week, we had the privilege of hearing from dynamic teachers like John White, Jonathan Morrow, Greg Brown, and Ed Bort. We were enlightened on various topics, such as how to improve the mind, along with how to live a Christian life in a digital world through various means. These ideas for us have become pinnacle topics to continue to learn to embrace and live by, as we develop methods conducive to the improvement of our minds, spirits, and interactions.
We had the opportunity to further grasp the depth of influence of our founders by visiting and touring the Chick-fil-A Support Center. Founder of Impact 360 Institute Trudy Cathy White took us on the “Who We Are Tour”, which brought us into the history and vision of her father, Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A Inc. Of course, a successful trip to the Chick-fil-A Support Center would be incomplete without some Chick-fil-A, so we indulged (Yum!). We participated in a lecture with Ryan Bowman, Senior Training Manager at Chick-fil-A, in which we were able to learn about what makes up the heart of an effective leader. We were inspired by the thought that we all have a purpose to influence for the Kingdom, and in fulfilling that purpose we must ensure that our heart is right.
But the Week of Welcome wasn’t just a week of conventional learning; it was a week full of learning as well as celebration! From dancing the cupid shuffle in the middle of the roller rink to playing tag and dodgeball at the trampoline park to showcasing talents at Open Mic Night, it’s safe to say we had a blast getting to let loose and know one another. The celebration continued when John and Trudy were kind enough to have all of Class Thirteen over for an initiation pool party. We are so thankful for their generosity in hosting us for the evening, and for their continual encouragement to the community. And of course, no Week of Welcome would be complete without some amazing food, and we sure know how to eat good, whether we were enjoying some classic Chick-fil-A chicken, a melt-in-your-mouth Krispy Kreme donut, or an astonishing amount of Moe’s, both our stomachs and hearts were always full and happy.
What a wonderful week, and what special moments we spent crafting and molding the beginnings of our time together. Here’s to nine months full of learning, growth, community, and love.