We’re starting a special series of guest blog posts—written by alumni of our Cultivate Cohort program. We’re excited for you to hear what the Cohort has meant to others. Our second post comes from Travis Boesch, a member of Cohort Bet, the second Cohort 40 Orchards offered.
A few short years ago, I found myself in a spiritually barren place. I was yearning to recapture the taste of the last gratifying encounter with the Spirit. Yet it had been so long, I could scarcely remember what it was like.
If my spirit was a visible landscape, you would see dry cracks left in the dust where floods had once been. I was thirsty and needed to find a way back to water.
My quest started with a pursuit of knowledge, hoping that with enough of it, I could understand and discern the way on my own. Fortunately (though fortune had nothing to do with it), I had trusted friends that opened the door to their most sacred experiences. They shared their personal paths to spiritual nourishment. One highly suggested trail would lead me to a 40 Orchards Scripture Circle. I was skeptical whether such studies would help me on my journey, mostly because I did not think I had the qualifications to be part of one. Not to mention, these sparkling mineral water loving spirits may be fully repulsed by my well refined desire for more of a Diet Dew type of experience. I decided to take a shot at expanding my palate. When you are parched, you will drink anything!
At my first Scripture Circle, I had the covers blown off my Bible! By the second study, it was becoming apparent that the Cultivate Cohort program was the right direction for me.
A couple of weeks later, with thoughts on the numerous other ways I could have used the money spent, and lingering uncertainty of what I had just signed myself up for, I was enrolled in Cohort Bet.
Cohort Bet explored our lives through the lens of the Bible. Together we observed the patterns and stories in our lives that could be found in the ancient patterns and stories contained within. Together we saw the beauty in our brokenness and submerged ourselves into the trust of the Father, using our collective experience to create a path worth walking, worth remembering. Together we re-examined what is important to build up and what to pull down. Together we explored endings being beginnings and the downward spiral being an invitation to strength and trust within our newly found community. We journeyed together.
Not only would the Cultivate Cohort process lead me to a well, I would be led to many different wells: bitterness, sorrow, grace, joy. and all perfectly balanced with an unexpected portion of love.
I did not acquire the knowledge to make the journey by myself. Instead, I acquired a community that I journey alongside. Having them is far better than anything head knowledge alone had offered me. My Cohort experience evolved from craving to understand the Text, to developing a (though admittingly reluctant) love for the people in the Cohort.
Where does that leave me after ending the Cohort? There is no ending!!! Haha! Seriously, I find it is what I make it. The lessons started here do not have to end. I do not want them to. There is wisdom in the curriculum that took me as deep as I wished to venture. The care of the 40 Orchards leadership goes far beyond the moments spent together. Because of this, I have a new understanding of what it means to shepherd well and want to duplicate that in the areas of my life that I see it lacking.
My hope is that all of what I have learned and continue to learn will overflow out of my life and into the world around me. May others who are feeling dry and parched find their way to a well with a community like I found in Cohort Bet.
Wondering what’s next in your life? What if you had space for intentional discernment? How might a deep dive into study, community, transformation, and scripture impact your journey? Wrestle with all your hardest questions in our next Cohort, which starts in August and is filling up now. Learn more HERE.