The adult retreat is full for 2017

Check-in: 3:00 - 4:30 pm on Wednesday May 17, 2017
Check out: 6:00 - 9:30 am on Sunday May 21, 2017.

Ages: 26 and up

Tuition: $750 - This tuition covers all food, lodging, supplies, and classes.

The greatest journey a man will ever make is the 18 inches from his head to his heart. The 18 Inch Journey Retreat is about going beyond what you know about God in your head to really knowing Him in your heart. Led by Jonathan and Melissa Helser and the Cageless Birds, this retreat will expand the possibilities of what your daily relationship with God can look like.

Come experience the love of God and discover the beauty of the home He’s made inside your heart.

What to Expect:
These four days are set apart for…

  • experiencing family, and encountering the inexhaustible love of God
  • learning to hear the voice of the Lord for yourself
  • receiving tools that help cultivate a sustainable relationship with Jesus
  • taking risks in creativity in a safe and encouraging environment
  • exercising and exploring our identity as sons and daughters made in the image of a Creator
  • celebrating, championing, and encouraging every heart
  • sharing home cooked meals around the table and enjoying lots of Maker Coffee
  • discovering Jesus inside one another
  • times of worship and adoration in the presence of the Lord

We have experienced first hand how powerfully the Father can meet our hearts in a matter of four days.  Each day is intentionally designed and scheduled full to pursue Jesus' heart together. You will receive deeply from both His presence and from the joy of engaging new friendships.

Who the 18 Inch Journey Retreat is For:
The 18 Inch Journey Retreat is designed for people who are hungry for an encounter with Jesus, and are ready to initiate their relationship with Him. 

This is a retreat for your heart.

You don't need to be an artist or a musician to come, however you must be willing to take a risk and step out into your God-given right to be creative. If you are hungry, willing, and ready to engage Jesus in new ways and ready to sit at the table and be seen and known in family, these four days are for you. 

We desire that people from every arena of life, work and ministry. Although this retreat is not specifically designed around worship leading, ministry, songwriting, or marriage, we strongly believe that giving four days for your heart will feed and nourish all these areas of your life.

By applying for the 18 Inch Journey Retreat, you are saying yes to being willing to engage with your own heart, the heart of the Lord and the hearts of other people.

Here are a few amazing testimonies from some of the men and women who came to previous retreats:

From the moment I pulled in, I felt welcomed - expected - even known, though I had not met anyone else before. Everyone immediately felt like family. I was blown away at how easy it was to immediately let down walls and defenses, and to realize there were walls in me that I never even knew existed. I knew that you had truly cultivated a community of safety, vulnerability, and authentic, Jesus-focused love. I feel that everything you did with us each day modeled the invitation of the Father. I did not feel pressured into doing anything. I was invited, and eager to answer the invitation.
— Taylor
I really didn’t know what to expect. I just knew I was supposed to be there. I will forever remember my time there as the first place that I saw Jesus face to face. I have been a Christian for a while but I have never seen him like I encountered Him that weekend.
— Misty
The level of professionalism and excellence surrounded by love was unbelievable. God confirmed and revealed so many things to me I was astonished at times and almost in a state of laughter. I know God set me up for some incredible experiences through Him and the staff.
— David H.
Personally I feel peace like never before. In the past I would be stressed and not know why, but now I’m learning to carry His sweet presence in a new way. We were greatly impacted and wrecked in a good way. We will soon be beginning to disciple and steward our worship community in our home through our church family; and we know being at the retreat was pivotal for knowing how to pour and serve our own community with excellence while pursuing Gods presence together.
— Renee

A Place for the Heart
4228 Beckerdite Rd. Sophia, NC 27350


The 18 Inch Journey Retreat is held on our beautiful 52 acres called A Place for the Heart.  This land is great for coming away from the noise of the world and hearing the voice of the Father. This is where we host the 18 Inch Journey and live and work year round.


You will be staying in beautiful cabins that hold many amazing memories from the 18 Inch Journey schools.  There are men's cabins and women's cabins. The women's cabins both have a ground floor and a loft with a bathroom located inside the cabin. Each cabin sleeps six to eight. The men's cabins each have two rooms that sleep four to six per room and there is a short walk to the bathrooms. All linens and towels will be provided in your cabin.


Attendees are responsible for their own transportation.

We will be providing one complimentary shuttle service run for pick-up at Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTI) on Wednesday May 17 at 2:30pm, that will arrive at A Place for the Heart at 3pm  and one drop-off shuttle run on Sunday May 21 that will depart at 7:00 am and arrive at the airport at 7:30am. If you would like to use our complimentary shuttle service, please make sure that your incoming and outgoing flights fit within this window and designate your desire on your application.

Airport Information
Piedmont Triad International Airport - 40 minute drive
Raleigh Durham International Airport - 1 hour 30 minute drive
Charlotte Douglas International Airport - 1 hour 30 minute drive

The adult retreat is full for 2017

Acceptance process:
Filling out the application below is required to be considered for this retreat.  Due to size and space limitations of this retreat, we will only be reviewing the first 60 applicants.  You and your spouse can apply together using the same application.  Applications will be open for submission from February 15 to March 8.  We will notify you on March 22 if you are selected.  Payment is not required to submit an application.  If you are selected, you will be given a registration / payment deadline.

Why an Application?
We have chosen to use an application process because of high demand for our events. We receive many emails from people wanting to come to the land and experience everything God is doing here at A Place for the Heart. While we are extremely honored by this, we also feel the wisdom to preserve the nature of our schools and the intentionality of our events. We live in a culture that says “more is better” and that the more we do, the more we can turn a profit. However we have found that “more people” means less face-to-face conversations and less intentionality. It is our desire to always be able to fit people around the dinner table, to always have the capacity to look the people that come in the eye.  In order to do this, we have chosen to use an application process to preserve the intimacy of this event. 

We also realize that four days is a very limited amount of time.  One of our highest values is community and it is our desire that you would step into family as soon as you step onto the land.  We want you to immediately feel how loved and seen you are by those around you and by the Father. It is our desire to get to know you a bit before your arrival and an application will empower us to get to know you better than we would be able to do with a blind registration process.

Cancellation by Registrant
To reserve your spot for the 18 Inch Journey Retreat, we request that you make your payment within two weeks of your acceptance. Full payment is required at the time your reservation, and your spot will not be held until the full amount is received.  You may cancel your registration and receive a refund of your registration fee up to 3 weeks prior to the date of the event; provided, however, you will be charged a $50.00 handling fee upon the cancellation of your registration.  In the event that you cancel your registration less than 3 weeks prior to the date of the event, you will forfeit 50% of the entire registration fee.  Regardless of when you cancel your registration, your registration is not transferable to another event, date, or person.

Cancellation by The 18 Inch Journey Retreat
If the event is made impossible by any act of God, war, earthquake, fire, strike, sickness, accident, epidemic, act of government, its agencies or officers, or any other legitimate cause beyond our control, we will cancel the event and will gladly refund you in full.

You can reach us at with any questions about the retreat.