On September 6th, forty students including myself moved into our homes here on campus for the next nine months. We were overwhelmed, overjoyed, and well-loved. From the very first day at Impact 360, we are taught to be intentional about creating Christ-centered community. During this first week, we got a glimpse into the power of community where we are able to share in the joy and tears of fellowship. Our character is being transformed into Christ, our hearts are being tested, and our minds stretched. Week one was filled to the brim as we worshipped together, learned together, and shared our hearts with each other. Our new home here is already transforming our lives. God has gone beyond our expectations and the best is yet to come. He has given each of us a unique opportunity to dream boldly, pray dangerously, and be the change in a dying world. Through Christ, we have already begun shaping our community. Community is a choice and at Impact, we are given the opportunity to make this choice daily. Christ-centered community is a commitment and must be intentionally grown. We must lean in and stand strong. May we model after the righteous man in Psalm 1:3, “He is like a tree planted by streams of living water, which yields it fruit in season and whose leaf does not whither, whatever he does prospers.”

This week, we had the opportunity to serve the town of Pine Mountain. Gap Year students were put in teams and worked hard to serve their new neighborhood. We cleaned the local gym, little league ball parks, and the cemetery. While walking among the grave sites and seeing people’s lives etched in stone, I wondered about many things including what mine would say. I was convicted and inspired to live my life to the fullest – to live in Christ’s joy and glory. My heart also sank at the lack of beauty found in the grave yard. A cemetery should be a place of beauty, peace, and new life. For we as believers know that we long to hear the words, “Welcome home,” by our Heavenly Father. As many tears have been shed in sorrow, more shall be wept in gladness.

Although, homesickness can be found in the hearts of so many of us, we have been invited and welcomed into our new home at Impact360. And what a privilege to call this home!