Monday, July 29, 2019

UPDATE Week of July 29


I think Trent's happy

Oh Happy Day!

Congratulations to Trent Hancock and Jess Kraus. On Saturday, they went on a date down at their old stomping grounds at University of South Carolina.


Trent took a knee
It wouldn't be Trent if there wasn't some humor

I think it worked
congrats guys

Congratulations guys. When we recruited Trent, I didn't know we were getting a two-for-one. Jess is awesome. She is currently enrolled in the Masters of Education at Wake Forest University and helping me figure out the Winston-Salem Teacher Residency.

So glad to have these guys in Winston.

Looks like we are gearing up for another Fellows wedding!

Speaking of Couples

Reese and Julia the Original Fellows Couple

On Saturday, we had dinner with Reese and Julia and Jeanne (Reese's mom). They are getting ready to spend a year working for a non-profit in Peru!

We are sad to see them go - but excited about the adventure they are going on. Stay tuned!

Julia and David have a special bond
Jeanne and Lia


It's pretty crazy to think that we are a little over three weeks away from the start of another Fellows year. 

I often describe the summer as being like trying to fly and land twelve different planes from twelve different locations who all need to land at the same airport at the same time. 

There are host families to find and jobs to secure and mentors to recruit and churches to negotiate with and helping fellows with fundraising and calming their nerves and preparing the coursework among other things. 

It's a miracle every time. 

Which is why it always begins and is sustained through prayer. So please join us in praying these planes to the gate. And also pray how you might be an answer to these prayers!

Anna Rose is carrying all the groceries while wearing my shoes


- Host Families - Do you have the gift of hospitality? Do you have an extra bed? Do you love responsible young adults who love to help out around the house? Then, being a host family may be for you!

- Jobs - We are still landing a few job planes. If you know of or have opportunities in non-profit, health, nutrition and exercise, research, or something else - let me know. 

- Mentors - I'm excited about a new partnership that we are forging with our Mentor Portion of the Program. Leadership Edge, founded by friend John Hawkins over twenty years ago is perhaps the best leader mentoring program out there. And we are bringing it to Winston!

If you are interested in learning more and being trained - we are opening this up to the public (space is limited)


The Winston-Salem Fellows have a new address:

PO BOX 20514
Winston-Salem, NC 27120

These strapping young men from Habitat for Humanity were helping me move this week


We need your support. Our 2019-20 is $172,000. Over half of that is covered by Fellows tuition and the generous support of churches. We need the community to fill in the rest. Which means you! I know of no better investment than the life of a Fellow. 

Checks go to:
Winston-Salem Fellows
po box 20514
Winston-Salem, NC 27120

or give online

consider giving monthly!



If you have been thinking about applying - this is the last week we are accepting applications. 

How do you apply, you're wondering? 

Send a cover letter and resume to

If you have any questions, reach out to Ned (336) 413-4918


This week I'm packing two weeks of work into two days! How? No idea.

Lia, Anna Rose, David and I are shipping out to visit our friends Tim and Lindsay Musser (and Daisy, Reid and Sam) in SENEGAL!

Praying over our dear friends Richard and Tiffany's new house

David caught a whopper

Tiffany's orchid - a beautiful sign of new life

A-Ro at Adventure Camp

David stays hydrated


David and A-Ro at NC Adventure Camp

Rock Castle Gorge


NC Adventures

Monday, July 22, 2019

UPDATE Week of July 22


John, Marty, Ned, and Jake
On Thursday, I had the chance to eat at one of my favorite eating establishments in Winston-Salem: the Samaritan Inn. Not only that but they put me up for the night!



Look at these faces!

Hannah Blaine is from Lexington, SC and is a graduate of Clemson University. She has an amazing heart for special needs children and plans to attend Occupational Therapy School post Fellows

Reiley Burris is from the Charlotte Area and graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a degree in Health and Exercise Science. She loves Volleyball and Coaching

Jessica Baker is from Mechanicsville, VA and graduated just down the road at Wake Forest University. She is a bookworm and recently went on a William Faulkner pilgrimage. She was a Young Life Capernaum Leader. 

Jackson Wood is from King, NC. He graduated from Davidson College as a history major. He actually went to Calvary Day School prior to going to college. 

Greg McClinton is from Winston-Salem. After graduating from WS Prep, he went to Wake where he played basketball. 

Mattie Weldon is from Florence, SC and attended Wofford College. She was also a Young Life Capernaum Leader and is spending the summer at St. Christopher's Camp on Seabrook Island

Haley Westervelt is from Lexington, NC and went to Wake Forest University. She has a love of medicine and plans to go to medical school post Fellows (she has already been taken - sorry y'all)

Jacob Pardue might look familiar to some of you. His brother, Bryan did the program last year! Jacob graduated from Western Carolina and true to this picture - he loves his mom. He also loves to fly fish

Sophie-Earle McCraw is from Charleston, SC and graduated from Clemson University. She is a creative at heart and is loads of fun. 

Joseph Dixon is from Mount Airy, NC and graduated from Wake Forest University. He was a philosophy major and has a huge heart for service. He will be working with Love Out Loud this year. 

Each one of these amazing young men and women need a family to welcome them into their home. What's needed is a bed, access to a bathroom, and a meal a week. In return, you'll get someone who will take out the trash and wash the dishes and be a role model for children or a good person to have a conversation with.

If you are open and interested (even half-interested) - contact Ned Erickson (336) 413-4918
or Virginia Perry (336) 403-9218

If you'd like to talk to a former host, let us know and we will connect you!


The Fellows are looking for an Assistant Director!

This is about the most exciting news ever for the Director! 

We are looking for a dual threat organizational/relational machine who can help coordinate all program aspects of the Winston-Salem Fellows Program plus spend time caring for and walking alongside the female Fellows.

This is a Part-Time, Hourly Position (roughly 15-20 hours per week) with a lot of flexibility built into it.

For the full Job Description, please contact or call (336) 413-4918


One of the big highlights this week is that Lia had the chance to share with the youth from a couple of our parter churches during their Mission Trip called Seek the City. 

Lia shares with youth at Seek the City
What a treat to be in the audience
I'm trying to upload the video of her talk but it hasn't published yet. I'll keep you posted.

I stopped in to see the new office at Big Brothers Big Sisters - and Julia. 

Moji continues to light up Winston-Salem

On Saturday, I got to be a Run Buddy at Beat the Heat. Me and Jordan slaughtered the Fun Run. 
MEANWHILE: Last years Fellows got together to celebrate Garrett Briggs' birthday!

Sunday Night I had the chance to speak to the counselors and staff at Camp Timberlake. (I also used the occasion to expose David to this awesome camp. (He told me he wants to go next year! Yay!)
Future Camper

We had to wake up at 5:45 to make it back home

David jumped right in

Meanwhile, Anna Rose got two blue ribbons at a horse show!

Ethan Smith wants you to give to the Fellows
As you can imagine, bringing on a part time staff is going to increase our need for community support. Please consider how you would like to contribute.

Send checks to
Winston-Salem Fellows
PO Box 20514
Winston-Salem, NC 27120

or give online at

Thanks. We love our donors!


a few tidbits for the week to come

Monday: Meeting with John, Todd and Tim with Leadership Edge as we plan a partnership to take our mentoring to the next level. 

Tuesday: Home Inspection on Old House - PRAY!!!

Wednesday: Exec Lunch

Thursday: Interview Lunch

Friday: Lunch with Old Young Life Friend...

Thanks All!

The Fellows will be here before you know it!

Monday, July 15, 2019

UPDATE Week of July 15

Alex and Camille join me for a little Moji this week
It was great to see some of our inaugural class members this week. Alex was in town for work (she is still with her Fellows employer (Sunshine Beverages) but has expanded her territory to all of Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama. 

Camille has finished nursing school and had seven job offers. She is starting in August in the Stroke Unit at Baptist Hospital. 

So proud of these gals. 



One of the best parts of the Fellows Program is Host Families. 

Grace with her Host Family
Host Families come in all shapes and sizes. 

Empty nesters? YES!

Families with young children? YES!

Families with teenagers? YES!

Julia with her family

Aly with her host mom
 Katie Moretz another Host Mom has this to say.

The relationship we developed with our fellow (Tim) was really special.  Our boys often cheered when he walked through the door.  Though he wasn't around very often, we looked forward to the Tuesday evening dinners that we shared together most weeks.  We aren't the most tech-savy, and Tim was a big help when we needed to learn to navigate new tech, and we got to teach him a few things about living life around the house as well.  It was a blessing to us to have the opportunity to share the home God has given us, and Tim will always be an honorary member of the family.  

The Ask:
- a bedroom
- access to a bathroom (can be shared)
- one family meal a week

The Benefit:
- you get to make a difference in a young adult's life
- you get a helping hand with the dishes
- you get the blessing of a life long friendship
- you get an invitation to a wedding someday

Fellows are NOT exchange students. They are NOT air b&b-ers. They are USER-FRIENDLY, ACTIVE PARTICIPANT ADULTS who will join in the life of the family. 

CONTACT Ned Erickson, Virginia Perry, or Shannon Rainey today! Or email

Sarah Wilkins with her host dad baking cookies


It was another full week in the life of the Fellows. The Board is in full swing, getting the budget approved, strategizing jobs, host families, mentors, and other program items.

I am so thankful to have such an engaged, talented, positive and committed board! It's one of the secret sauce ingredients that make the WS Fellows so special.

Other Highlights.

Nigel Alston presented 40 free tickets to Big Brothers Big Sisters for the National Black Theater Festival thanks to the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. Fellows Julia and Abby were there to receive it!


Hope VBS was all rainbows and sunshines

Lia and Jen, friends til the end

Anna Rose turns 13!

How did this happen!


We Celebrated Dakota!

Praying for Dakota

Dakota Lee, member of the inaugural class this year will join the staff of RUF at Wake Forest University!

Couldn't be more excited for Wake or Dakota!


Remember: the Fellows needs financial support to be able to run. If you have the means to be part of the support team give to 

or send checks to 

PO BOX 20514
Winston-Salem, NC 27120



We have the space to take on a couple more Fellows. If you know of a recent college graduate who is still trying to figure out his or her future (ok that's like all of them) please put them in contact with us today!


We need to nail down JOBS!
We need to nail down HOST FAMILIES!
We need to nail down PROGRAM ITEMS!
We need NAILS!

Seriously - it's time to step up. Please reach out and volunteer to fill a need this week!

Bill McClain and Nigel Alston have volunteered. 
Other Stuff:
Lia is speaking at Seek the City on Monday
Samaritan Inn on Thursday
Beat the Heat on Saturday
Night of Destruction after that
Ned is speaking at Camp Timberlake on Sunday

More Photos

We are settling into our new home

The rocking chairs have finally been moved

Anna Rose and David almost hug

That's more realistic

Will and David - lifelong friends
What's with David and headlocks

letter David wrote to local firefighters

Celebrating friendship with some of our lifer friends