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2014-2015 Fellows


My journey to Siloam Family Health Center by Gage Arnold

It wasn’t easy. As I was prepping for my May graduation from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville this past May, I began the heady process of applying for post-grad jobs in the workforce. As a journalism major, who had worked for the Knoxville News Sentinel and UT’s campus paper, The Daily Beacon, taking a job in the media industry seemed to be where the Lord was leading. But it became quickly apparent He had greater plans; plans that far exceeded the knowledge of my 22-year-old mind.

I knew that I wanted to use the gift of writing and storytelling in some way, shape or form. Newspapers, then, became the most likely place for me to do that on a daily basis. There’s just something about a story that captivates, compels, and resonates with humans.

So as I applied to more than 100 job openings from January of this year until March, I came up empty-handed. God was closing that door for the time, and opening a new one; one I wouldn’t have walked through on my own.

I applied to the Nashville Fellows Program in March of this year. I’ll explain a little further to give you an idea of what the Fellows Program actually does. These programs exist primarily in cities across the Southeast and along the eastern coast and seek to help recent college graduates comprehend the idea of “missional living” (treating every walk of life as a mission field including, job, home, etc.). There are usually 10-12 Fellows in each program’s class. From there, each Fellow works an internship in the field where they got their degree (32 hours per week usually), takes two seminary classes on the topic of “missional living” and “vocational calling,” and attends/serves in a local church.

Upon hearing about what the Fellows was, I knew immediately this was where the Lord was leading. The Fellows represented everything I was hoping to find for myself and then some. A new city, a community of fellow believers who are figuring out life alongside me, an internship and opportunity to tell stories at a job on a daily basis. That’s been what’s so neat about my move to Nashville. Although it hasn’t been easy with the incredible amount of newness that’s infiltrated my life, I can rest assured knowing His plan is at work and my story gets to intersect with His.

I spent this past summer working in my hometown of Chattanooga and preparing to leave for Nashville. And now I’m beginning to get fully integrated into Nashville life. I’m working part-time at Siloam during the week, taking seminary classes on Mondays and serving at Christ Presbyterian Church in Brentwood. It’s been messy and yet so beautiful, like a four-year-old’s finger painting for which his mother has saved a special spot on the fridge. I so look forward to making more of these paintings as I grow and learn and stumble and fall and lead over these next nine months.

As for my role at Siloam, I’m technically the “Social Media Coordinator” but I’ll be doing so much more than just running a Twitter and Facebook account. This blog, for instance, is something I plan on reviving over the coming months in an attempt to share the incredible, life-altering stories that take place at Siloam on a daily basis. Expect more video, photos and to hopefully see stories that so capture the beauty of Jesus’ essence. He’s been so good to Siloam.

I can’t wait to share how Jesus is at work in this place with you all over these coming months.