Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” (Lamentations 3:22-24)


My father-in-law, Clare DeGraaf, is a man who seeks to see things in a new way at every stop on his hero’s journey. He is faithful to discovering the new.  His hero talk told about his journey as an inventor some forty years ago as he developed the ubiquitous tilting mechanism supporting office chairs everywhere.  He sees the new in ways to share the Gospel with the deaf community.  He sees the new in innovating ways to care for people on the street.  He sees the new as he recognizes each person he meets as an image bearer of God.

At Journey we love to discover the new things in each day, whether it’s a new way of giving a tour of Journey Academy, hosted by our heroes in this time of distance; or whether it’s in the way that we welcome prospective heroes for a Shadow Day.


Throughout his Shadow Day, Max was been guided by the heroes of Journey Academy rather than some stuffy aging program director.  Above, you can see Jaina engaging Max during Core Skills as she reads Fly Guy and asks Max his thoughts on the story. Journey values  new ways to do things.

We believe there are some new ways to “do school” as well. You can read more about our approach to learning where we articulate our identity, the beliefs that guide us, the capabilities we look to foster, the skills we ask the heroes to demonstrate and the environment that we set up for them to learn.

During Core Skills, Will toggles between reading books about basketball, learning at his own pace on an adaptive on-line platform as well as working with letter combination manipulatives sprawled out over the studio floor.

The older heroes continue to co-plan for the Intermediate Studio with me over lunch time.  Miss Cheryl had wisely called them to develop a draft of the IS badge plan for mastery.  As heroes master skills as well as content, they earn badges.  Miss Cheryl invited the older heroes to start thinking about what kinds of performances and skills demonstrated could earn character badges.  They shared some of their initial thoughts about service as well as skills over lunch.

And as I munched on my Cobb Salad listening to them, I was struck by their nonchalant embrace of planning a studio for learning.  This is what they’ve known and they are developing into intentional learners capable of failing forward as well as advocating for themselves.  They’ve been faithfully pursuing their journeys.  It’s quite heroic.  And it’s quite new.  Let us wait as God calls them into all that they were designed to be.

//Dr. T//


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