Monday, November 28, 2016

UPDATE Year 1 Week 14

Thankful for these guys

Will Troxler
"I am thankful for a community and body of believers that long preceded the Fellows Program in prayer and preparation for the Fellows (both the program and individuals) and continually support and guide us." Will Troxler

Camille Stogner
"I am thankful for my family and this program." Camille Stogner

Christina Sandstedt
 "I am thankful for my family in Chicago, St. Louis, and Nashville, for sunrises and sunsets, and for praying friends." Christina Sandstedt

Dakota Lee
 "Thankful for gods plan being revealed through this year and for the community that has been strengthened through it." Dakota Lee

Sean Henderson
 "Everything haha. Life. Breath. Food. Friends. Nature. Family. Jesus." Sean Henderson

Alex Loy
"I am thankful for a home in Tennessee with family and friends who love me so well. What has made me extra thankful this year is returning from Thanksgiving break to a family (shoutout to the Sotos) and friends that have made Winston-Salem feel just as much like a home to me. Y’all are awesome. Also, I am really thankful for coffee." Alex Loy 

Reese Schaffner
 "New friends and community." Reese Schaffner

Rahel Tafese
 "I'm thankful for my aunt who is coming to the US in two weeks and the Winston-Salem Fellows." Rahel Tafese

Campbell Anderson
 "1. The support and love of my family. 2. The opportunity to do the WS Fellow. 3. (Most important) God's faithfulness to me when I am not faithful to him." Campbell Anderson

Julia Lovett
 "Thankful for friendships - new and old, the opportunity to explore NC mountains and laughter, lots and lots of laughter!" Julia Lovett

Jessika Kok
 "I am thankful for North Carolina, as it may truly be the prettiest state I've ever lived in. I'm also thankful for the wisdom of the old and the yearning for wisdom that characterizes each fellow in this community of believers." Jessica Kok


I am thankful to be entrusted with the leadership of this program. It could not be done without the help of dozens upon dozens of volunteers. They make this thing work. 

All I try to do is be a blessing. And as my friend Nigel told me: you can't be a blessing unless you are a blessing. Which is true: I am blessed beyond measure.

I am also thankful for this big, crazy family that spent the holiday with us!


These Fellows don't know how good December's going to be for them!

A few things to be excited about:
- Wake Forest Love Feast on December 4
- Black Nativity on December 9
- The Annual Christmas Vacation Viewing Party - TBD
- The Annual Winston-Salem Fellows Christmas Party on December 19
- Christmas for the City on December 21


We are well on our way but we still need your support. Take a moment to make your contribution today, on Giving Tuesday, or some time later this week. 

Send Checks to:

Winston-Salem Fellows 
851 W. 5th Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27101

or give online at

 All contributions are tax-deductible and deeply appreciated. 


Praying for the following:
- We have extended our first invitation to the 2017-18 Class.
- We interview with another candidate this Friday from 12pm-3pm
- Recruiting efforts. 
- Reconnecting with the Fellows after Thanksgiving Break
- Campbell Anderson as he continues to heal
- Solid family time
- Meeting on Thursday with CCL to plan second semester
- Round Table at the Chases
- Leader Lunch with Yasser Youssef
- Classes with Cathy McDowell and Jack Wilkerson
- The Mistletoe Half-Marathon on Saturday!

Looks like another great week!

Thanks all. Keep spreading the word and sharing the love. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

UPDATE Year 1 Week 13

The Fellows are feeling the love!

Sean is feeling the love for the season

No one will ever be able to replace these Fellows - but we are already starting to think about our Class of 2018! 

This Wednesday, we have our first final interview for next year's class. He may be reading this, but I'll say it anyway - the guy is a stud, and I hope he picks us!

Speaking of studly characters: I'd love for you to join me in praying this guy into the Fellows. I met Will Brewster at Davidson last week. 

He is one of the faster collegiate runners in America. He goes to Davidson. And he loves Jesus. What is there not to love?

I asked him if Thanksgiving is a big deal where he comes from. He said (no lie), "Yeah. My great grandfather fourteen generations back was the pastor on the Mayflower." Ha!

"I guess it is." I said. 

Please join us in praying six guys and six gals into next year's 2018 class. 

We are searching far and near for hungry, passionate, community driven individuals...if you know one, please introduce us!


We had Fellows all over the twin-city this week. 

While Reese and I ventured down to Davidson to recruit, Will Troxler and Rahel Tafese served at a fundraiser for a Ugandan ministry. 

Others participated in a book study on racial reconciliation over at the Winston-Salem Social Club. 

On Wednesday, we all met up at River Oaks Community Church to listen and learn from Lanie Ehlinger. Lanie pulled out all the stops (including her "red rope of grace", her "sifter of precious jewels", AND her "BIG bowling ball of prayer." (Should have gotten a picture of that!)

We double dipped with leader lunches with a special Friday edition with Chuck Spong from Love Out Loud. 

This is us praying for Christmas For the City
The Fellows were so inspired, several are going to hold off going home for Christmas so they can volunteer at Christmas For The City

(to learn more about Christmas for the City Click here)

Thursday night, the Fellows headed to the Budd's farm for a Vision Night for Mission Emanuel. 

Lia is giving me the eye as I take her picture
 There is a strong chance the Fellows might be heading to Mission Emanuel in the spring...still in the works...

Friday afternoon, the Fellows helped move Rob and Becky Paynter (Will's host family) across the street (long story).

Reese and Christina killing it
Will Troxler and I only broke one priceless heirloom! It happened to be the first thing we tried to carry. Yikes! 

Rob and Becky were quite gracious.

Friday night, the Fellows went to a Flannel and Cider Party with new friends in town. 

Reese, Alex, Sean and Christina
The cider may or may not have been spiked!
 Saturday, several of the dudes went to the Wake Forest Football Game.

The girls had "Girls Night."

Girls Night
 And on Sunday, Dakota Lee joined Salem Presbyterian Church!

Dakota is just right of he bald head on the left

I don't know about you, but I feel like I have been asked for money a whole lot lately. Every week I seem to be going to some fundraising function or another. 

We at the Fellows want to be different. We want to do the most with as little disruption as possible. No events. No mass mailing campaigns. Just prayer and the hopes that the people who read these Updates realize that their support is well spent. 

We are just under the $15,000 mark for funds raised or pledged this year, which gets us 37% of the way to our annual goal (40k). 

Our budget is a fraction of most non-profits, which means even a small gift makes a big difference, so make your tax deductible contribution today. 

Or mail checks to

Winston-Salem Fellows
851 W. 5th Street
WSNC 27101

Thank you!


Please welcome future Fellows Class of 2040 member: Brooks Wilson Brown!

Caroline and Wilson
We congratulate Chad and Caroline Brown (Board member and friends of the Fellows) as we celebrate the arrival of Brooks Wilson (He goes by Wilson) Brown. Born at 5:35pm on November 20th at a solid 7lbs 7oz, and 20 inches.

I sent Chad a text message at 5:34pm, and then joined friends to pray for Chad and Caroline, which means that Wilson was born precisely during the time we were praying for him. How about that!


We enjoyed a little family time with Lia's parents over the weekend.

Sue flanked by the kiddos

The one and only Rich Simpson
Wrangling to capitalize on a Christmas Card Opportunity

Not bad

This week I continue to connect with some amazing community members like Michelle Schapira, Paul Allen, Nigel Alston, Kris Cox, Kevin Boyd, and others.

So amazed at the men and women God is attracting to this program!

- Pray for safe travels for Fellows
- Pray for attitudes of gratitude
- Pray I stay in the flow
- Pray for good family time over the holiday

Thanks all!

Keep the faith and spread the love!

Monday, November 14, 2016

UPDATE Week 12 Year 1

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.

Welcome to the Fellows Update...Mountains to Sea Edition

Christina and Reese doing the starfish

Rahel and Jessica on the rock at Pilot Mountain
For those of you readers who are looking for yet another reason to apply to the Winston-Salem Fellows - consider the above two pictures: where else can you day trip to the beach and the mountains? 

It really is great to be a Fellow.


Round Table was hosted by Chad and Caroline Brown. Thanks guys! In fact, not to up the ante or anything, but the Browns installed a back patio meeting space and fire pit just for us! Ok. Not just for us. BUT! We were given the privilege of being the first people to use it! WOW!

All was not perfect, however. Poor Jessica suffered another car accident. She is doing well all things considered. The next day we counted the things that have not changed: God still loves her. We still love her. Her family still loves her. She still has a job. She still has a home. She still has her health. She still has all her books! All she lost was a car.

Her parents, Bill and Cheryl, are amazing, by the way. They drove down from Chicago Wednesday to provide Jessica with "new" wheels as much as a 2000 Grand Marquis can be considered new. They stayed until Saturday, and I have to admit that the time spent with them Friday afternoon at Tart Sweets was the highlight of my week. 

We prayed a lot during Round Table. For Jessica. For our dear Fellows friends the Perry's, who lost a mother, and for Peter Barnes, who lost Lorie. As well as for our country. We confessed to each other that around 5:30pm something ominous seemed to cloud over Forsyth County. We weren't sure what it meant. But we prayed hard against whatever it was.

Tuesday, Will Troxler and I stayed up late to watch the election results. Jaws dropped. 

Leader Lunch on Wednesday was hosted by one of Winston-Salem's superstars: Jen Brown, the Engaging Educator. Jen uses improv to help businesses and organizations better communicate. 

Her story is incredible. Then, afterward, she workshopped us to the ground. Never knew how much I ummed...sorry y'all!

You should hire her for your next professional development day. Click here for her website.

Thursday, Campbell Anderson, Melissa Martin, and I headed to the HQ (it's like Flywheel but in Greensboro) for a Networking Event put on by the Greensboro Fellows and the Center for Creative Leadership. I strategically did not bring the Fellows so as not to have any of them recruited to live in Greensboro! Ha! Just kidding. 

Campbell works at Flywheel, and it was sweet to connect him to a bunch of young entrepreneurs living in the Triad. 

Afterward, I introduced Campbell to one of my favorite eating establishments: Beef Burger!

God Bless Paul Barclay who introduced me to this joint

Friday after class, the Fellows were given a behind the scenes tour of Goodwill Industries.

My friend Karen with Reese, Campbell, Will, Christina, Sean, Patti Stanford (Career Connections Manager), Jessica, Julia, Alex, Rahel, Dakota and me
I highly recommend getting the tour.

AND shopping there! Check out this score:

Millenium Falcon shirt $1.25
Alex and Reese jealous of my shirt. Just kidding. They are doing their best to blend in at the Art Park on Liberty Street


A VERY quiet week on the fundraising front.

Let's make some noise people!

Click Here to Donate Online


Mail a check to

Winston-Salem Fellows
851 W. 5th Street
WSNC 27101

Thanks guys.

Let's make it ThanksGIVING season!


We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give. Winston Churchill

The Fellows are gearing up to serve this week!

Tuesday, Fellows will be engaged in not one, not two, but three service opportunities in the area.

Wednesday's Leader Lunch will be with the best Prayer Warrior I know Lanie Ehlinger!

Thursday, we are joining Mission Emanuel for a fundraising barn party.

Friday, we are lunching with Love Out Loud...then participating in a TOP SECRET MISSION.

Sorry. Can't tell you.

Wednesday we also have a monthly Board meeting.

I also continue to do my One-On-Ones with Fellows and Mentors. I have two this afternoon!

Prayer Requests:
- Chris and Virginia Perry and the loss of his mother. (One cool thing: Camille Stogner had the privilege of being her CNA for the last couple months of her life)

- Peter Barnes and the First Presbyterian Family as they mourn the loss of the beautiful, inspiring Lorie Barnes

- My friend Doug.

- Pray for RECRUITING! We have two applicants. I'd love to have six by month's end. Pray for the right Fellows to apply, and that we have a full class by the Spring.

(Pray for Reese and me as we go to Davidson on a recruiting trip tomorrow!)

- Pray for me and Lia. I have accidentally committed to four straight 12+ hour days for work. Not good.

Thanks y'all!!!!

Keep sharing the story and spreading the love.

Monday, November 07, 2016

UPDATE Year 1 Week 11

This may have been my favorite Fellows week so far. 


Camille looks on as Dakota and I try...I'm not sure what we're trying...
It culminated at Camp Oak Hill in Oxford, North Carolina, at the Regional Micah 6:8 Fellows Retreat. I have been having a lot of these lately - but driving into camp Friday I had to pinch myself once again as the memories came flooding back of driving there last year without a Fellows Program, wondering with Lia whether this dream would ever come to pass - to suddenly, this year, showing up with 11 of the coolest young men and women in the country. 

It is safe to say, we took camp by storm. 

Not only did we win the coveted Ultimate Frisbee Tournament Championship, we won every game with a margin of victory of at least five! Not only that - we did it wearing Pooping Rainbow Emoji Shirts!!! 

Blame it on the miserliness of the Fellows Director. Wouldn't you believe, these Poop Emoji Shirts were only $4.75 a piece!

Julia, Camille, Rahel, Jessica, Christina, Will, Dakota, Sean, Reese, Ned, Alex, and Campbell
Clearly, we were not the best dressed. We weren't even the most talented. But we were the best team. That made me proud. We played with heart and will and a mutually affirming attitudes. Enjoy a few more pics from the tourney...

Doing our best Pooping Rainbow faces

Getting fired up before the game

Reese playing tight D

Dakota knocking the pass down

Will looking long

Julia showing her vertical

Davidson Wildcats

Never been lifted on shoulders before

The thrill of victory

Blinded by the light

Sweet Victory

A special welcome to my female assistant for the weekend, Shannon Rainey!

It was a great weekend. We met Fellows from all over the country. The Keynote Speakers were John Richmond and Bill Fullilove. 

John, a Wake grad, was awarded Federal Prosecutor of the Year honors and now runs his own think tank called the Human Trafficking Institute. To say he was inspiring is an understatement. You couldn't have a better speaker on Acting Justly, Loving Mercy and Walking Humbly than John...except perhaps Bill Fullilove, who spoke on Sunday morning Bill start the Capitol Fellows in DC and teaches at RTS in Manhattan with Tim Keller. 

Not a bad line-up. Thanks Trinity and Raleigh Fellows for putting it together!

Saturday night was Skit Night. We performed an "Explosive Skit" that people will be talking about for years to come (I'd show it here, but it is not exactly suitable for all audiences!)

Sean Henderson surprised all of us by secretly volunteering to share a piece he had been working on...


All in all - an incredible weekend. 


I'm working my way backwards through the week. On Friday we had two amazing things pre-conference that I must tell you about. 

First, we had our first class with Jack Wilkerson on Career, Ethics, and Morality. All I can say is that I can't wait till next week!

Next, the Fellows headed to Chapel Hill to take part in the First Ever Wilberforce Conference put on by my great friend Madison Perry and the Center for Christian Studies in Chapel Hill. 

We had the opportunity to hear and meet people like Steve Garber, author of the formative book Visions of Vocation, and Tom Darden, Founder of the Cherokee Group. We also had the chance to participate in panels on Taking Risks and Creativity and Innovation and Faith and Health.  

Julia Reese and Alex in one of the break out panel sessions
The only negative was that we had to leave before the barbeque and bluegrass music.



After the Fellows worked at their respective jobs, we all met up at the SECU Family House for Leader Lunch with the Executive Director Kathy Carr. 

Kathy apologetically told us she was not a great presenter - then went on to blow us away with her inspiring story. Thanks Kathy! If you have never been to the Family House, you are missing out. They are making a huge impact for folks who are in town to care for their loved ones at Forsyth Medical and Baptist. (Sadly no pics)

From there, we headed to the Center for Creative Leadership. 

A look into Rahel's Network
We studied networking and practiced elevator pitches. 

Diane Reinhold from CCL and Julia
These gals met two months ago!!!
From CCL, our day wasn't over. Tripp Graziano and I (mostly Tripp) had worked out a special Fellows Grub over at our dear friends' Charlie and Ruth's. 

If you don't know about Charlie and Ruth, check out City 616 and be inspired. 

A few times a month, Charlie and Ruth open up their house (which happens to be the top floor of an old hotel) to fifty friends and strangers to share a meal with them. 

This Wednesday, I was flanked by an Operator of the New York City Subway System and a homeless guy who just got out of jail two weeks ago and across from a Syrian who is here on a student visa. 


A table set for 50
After dinner, we went into a room for worship and prayer. 

Thanks Charlie and Ruth!

Then, it was back to Winston-Salem for a few hours nap for the guys to wake up before 6AM to attend the Joe Gibbs Breakfast at the YWCA! 


A wild and wonderful 24hours to be sure. 


For Halloween, we skipped Round Table so that Fellows who live with kids could go trick-or-treating or help out back at home so families could trick-or-treat. 

Christina, Jessica, Rahel and others came to our house so Lia and I could trick-or-treat as a family. I can't tell you how meaningful that was to us.

Christina as heself. Jessica as Chips, and Rahel was Salsa!
Julia was a ghost with the Glenn children

David as Emmet from the Lego Movie, and Anna Rose with Hunter the Bunny as Vampire and Bunnicula!


Another strong week brought in another $4,400 of new donations and pledges, bringing our total to $14,170 for the 2016-17 budget year! THANK YOU!!!

We have jumped to 35% of our goal. 

If you are ready to donate, mail your check to the 

Winston-Salem Fellows
851 W. 5th Street
WSNC 27101


 Lia has been in Phoenix, Arizona this week, posting pictures like this:

She told me this morning that they had an Uber ride from hell - in the form of a baby chihuahua that jumped from lap to lap biting them! Ha!

Tuesday night could not come quicker.

David finished up a great soccer season. Thanks Ben for coaching them up for the last game!


This week, we are calming things down so I can focus on one-on-ones with Fellows, Mentors, Business Partners, and Church Leaders.

Monday, Round Table at the Browns

Tuesday, there is an election.

Wednesday's Leader Lunch and Workshop with Jen Brown (a different Brown than Monday), the Engaging Educator! (I'm also going to see her speak at Rotary on Tuesday!)

Friday, class with Cathy and Jack, then an insider's tour of Goodwill Industries.

Should be fun.

ALSO! We just received our first application! Woo-Hoo!

Which leads us to PRAYER!

- Pray the Lord will lead the right group of men and women to this program
- Pray for the Director that he would stay near to Jesus
- Pray for those praying about investing in us.
- Pray for all the details.
- Pray for a good transition back home for Lia.

Thanks y'all. Keep sharing the story and spreading the love.