by Becky Chappell
It started with a question: “What would it look like for our church to sponsor a Fellows program on the peninsula in Hampton Roads?” The question, after much discussion and many prayers, turned into the formation of a Launch Team, which over the course of a year gave birth to a recognized Fellows program. This month, the first class of Peninsula Fellows arrived.
I joined the Peninsula Fellows Launch Team as the new Assistant Director just three months from the launch date. The excitement among the group was palpable: God was doing something big and we all had front row seats. Over the course of the summer, mentors were trained, host families were recruited, and handbooks were written. This was really happening.
Then they arrived. Five Fellows from a variety of colleges, states, and backgrounds descended on a guest house in Williamsburg for a 4-day orientation retreat with the Director and his wife. The time was a mixture of business, relaxation, team-building and devotionals. The goal: create a close community of Fellows while gaining a vision for being fully alive in Christ through work, classes, service, and fellowship. They laughed, they cried, they napped.
The capstone of the week was a Friday evening Kick-off dinner with a room full of distinguished guests: pastors, mentors, host families, Launch Team, and of course, the Fellows. It was a beautiful time of worship and fellowship, celebrating together what God has already accomplished and expressing our hopeful expectations of what He will do in the lives of these Fellows over the course of the next nine months. In May, we’ll return to the same room to celebrate the end of a successful program year. Until then, our mission is clear: we will work, study, learn, serve, and grow, all to the glory of God.