By Joel Salazar
When I wrote my last blog, my journey as a Capital Fellow had barely begun. My fellows and I launched into a new season together full of anticipation. In the early days of the Fellows program, I was thrilled to be joining this adventure as part of a community of remarkable people in a fascinating place like DC.
Six months later I still feel that thrill, but as with any adventure, with that thrill comes with hardship and tiredness. I have come many miles as a fellow. Those miles have been filled with both experiences of joy and adversity. I am grateful to say I have felt the Lord draw me close to Him through it all. I have not walked the Fellows road alone, but with many companions in the Fellows community who have shaped my experience.
When you walk in a tight knit community, you witness the highs and the lows in each person’s story. The deeper you know people, the deeper you appreciate the way the Lord shows himself in each of us. Sadly, you also see the ways each of our stories have been marred by sin in this world. When the brokenness surrounds us, it is easy to lose hope. We feel this when our relationships fracture, when the wicked prosper and the innocent suffer, and when the burden of our own sin, the sins of our families, our communities, and the world seem too great to bear.
I was reminded of this during the annual Fellows Lord of the Rings movie marathon put on by one of our host families this past weekend (thank you, Kim and Eddie!). Depending on who you are that sentence may sound incredibly nerdy. But, hear me out. In the Lord of the Rings, the main character Frodo must carry a ring representing the corrupting power of evil in the world on a long, dangerous journey to destroy the ring and defeat evil in his world. At many points in his journey, Frodo is overwhelmed and nearly gives up were it not for his best friend Samwise. When Frodo despairs, Sam is there to lift him up. Sam reminds Frodo that the darkness they face is but a passing shadow and that all that is broken will be made right. Goodness will be restored.
To some, pulling analogies from Tolkien’s work for the Christian life may be old hat. However, as my fellows and I have wrestled with darkness in ourselves and the world and too often felt defeated, the struggles and hopes of Tolkien’s characters ring especially true.
As followers of Christ, we know that the Lord has already defeated the power of sin and death once and for all. Not only has Christ triumphed, but He is actively restoring what has been undone by evil. The light is pushing back the shadow. As Christians on this earth, we get to join in this fight to bring restoration. Yet, until the shadow is gone, we still feel the pain of brokenness. Sometimes we feel that we fight for good in this life in vain and are tempted to despair. But we are not alone in this fight. The Lord has given us brothers and sisters who fight with us. We pick one another up when we fall, we remind each other of the hope we have. As the body of Christ, we are a physical reminder of the God who walks with us in deep friendship, who is at our side as we hope, wait, and fight for his coming as king. Through my relationships in Fellows this year I’ve gotten to experience this friendship of Christ, who like Samwise walks with us through the shadows of this life. For that I am profoundly grateful.
Pictures from the Week
Fellows with YL Capernaum friends at Night to Shine.
Friends for the Fight (Capital Fellows Season 16)
Sights from Fellows sunrise trip to the MLK memorial
George and Will are usual suspects for a Saturday morning mall run
What it takes to feed the students of MPC
Know a Potential Capital Fellow?
UPDATE: The Capital Fellows class for 2023-24 is basically full at this point! We are waiting a final decision from a few. Praise God! What does this mean? It means we are now in the early, early recruiting of the 2024-25 class. If you know current university juniors, please let them know about the Capital Fellows program. We will begin accepting applications for the 2024-25 class on September 1st.
If you know a college student that should consider joining the Capital Fellows program, please encourage them to get in touch with us. The easiest way to express interest in the program is our Contact Us Form.
About Capital Fellows. Capital Fellows is an advanced leadership and discipleship program for recent college graduates. Through graduate courses, a paid internship, one-on-one mentoring and many leadership and community service opportunities, fellows develop and apply their gifts in real-world situations while learning to integrate a Christian worldview into all areas of life. Capital Fellows is a unique opportunity to live and work in the Washington DC area and to be an active member of a supportive community that seeks to serve the city with the love of Christ. It is also a unique opportunity to get hands-on experience in the workplace while deeply exploring God’s design for us as workers and contributors to human flourishing.
Pray for the Capital Fellows
Thank you for praying for the Capital Fellows each week!
This week at Capital Commons, we will be talking about life in the community of the church. Please pray that this conversation and time of reflection will be inspiring to the fellows. Pray that they might commit themselves to a fully-engaged life in the body - looking for opportunities to serve, grow, and lead. Looking beyond the Capital Fellows class, please pray that as hundreds of fellows across the country - and now more than 3,000 alumni - step into their place of generational leadership, that the church may be built-up and encouraged.
Want to pray for the Capital Fellows in an ongoing way? Download this handy prayer guide for your phone or tablet.
About The Fellows Initiative
Capital Fellows is part of a network of similar programs across the country. This network is called The Fellows Initiative. There are 34 Fellows programs in TFI, roughly 3,000 alumni living around the world, and more Fellows programs on the way.
If you know a church in the US or Canada that would benefit from joining TFI by launching a new Fellows program. Please contact TFI by visiting their website.
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