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Soft Eyes

By Matt Bolander

In August, when I arrived at Capital Fellows for the Kickoff Retreat, I arrived with a heart unsettled. As I shared my testimony, I deemed it would be wise for me to be brutally honest with the fellows, considering we would be spending the next 9 months together. I shared with them that just days prior I was sure that I wanted to stay in Indiana (where I went to Taylor University) and pursue my desire to work in the entrepreneurial space. But what kept me committed to Capital Fellows was more so a desire to be a man of my word and less so where I actually wanted to be. However, it was the response of the leadership and my newfound friends that astonished me and shifted my heart from where it was, to where it needed to be. They assured me that this feeling was much more common than I would expect and that they were just happy that I chose to be here, regardless of the thoughts and feelings I had been processing.

This conversation and many others taught me to have “soft eyes,” seeing more than just where my eyes are focused. As someone who cares deeply about civics and redemptive entrepreneurship, I have for years focused on big ideas for how to help fix our fractured cities and rural areas so that those on the fringes of economic and social opportunities can be brought into the fold. However, it has been my time tutoring a student in math one on one at Cornerstone School in Washington DC once per week that has connected dots for me in civics and business that I had been unable to do before. I have learned that although macro ideas may seem to have all the solutions, they are nothing without the micro level of caring for an individual and their unique life. The young man I am working with doesn’t need any big ideas or programs to help him raise his math comprehension level, he simply needs me to come alongside him, teach him long division, and despite the challenges we may face, not quit in our journey. Experiences like this, as well as the opportunity to process through them with many amazing people such as my host family, has taught me to slow down, process, and experience life in the moment, rather than just planning for the future. Capital Fellows, in all facets, has reminded me daily of a lesson that I will continually learn and need to be reminded of that the Lord gives us in Matthew 6:34 ESV -- “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”


Pictures from the Week

My view on the way to work

High tea at trivia night

Max and Joel whippin' to Cornerstone School

The Fellows having fun in Old Town Alexandria


Know a Potential Capital Fellow?

We are actively building Season Seventeen! If you know a college senior or recent graduate that would benefit from this program, please let them know about our upcoming informational webinars. 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 is the final week of the semester for Capital Fellows Season 16! They have done well with many new aspects of life. They have papers due this week for their graduate courses. By next weekend they'll be heading home. Please pray for them as they fight off procrastination, tiredness, and the excitement of taking a much-needed break.

Want to pray for the Capital Fellows in an ongoing way? Download this handy prayer guide for your phone or tablet.

Capital Fellows Class Brochure - for Phones
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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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