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  • Writer's pictureJules Arata

can't pour out unless you're being filled

Red Oak, TX

this weekend, i was local, but just a little bit south, in a small town called Red Oak. so familiar, yet new. we got to partner with First Baptist Red Oak and Tacos4Life to put on a truly amazing packing event!

a week before the event, the hosts came to our team & raised the meal goal by a pallet, && they not only reached that goal, but packed an additional pallet! (7,776 meals more!)

but one of the coolest things? last week at Jim’s Tacos4Life location in Waxahachie, a ministry partner, Haiti Bible Project, came in to eat and talk with Jim. he then made a video with the family, who have two adopted children from Haiti who received MannaPack Rice as children, and we got to share that with our volunteers.

what an amazing opportunity to show the other people on the other side of the food, who currently have their boots on the ground distributing!

we got to dive into tabletop fellowship with volunteers and hosts throughout the event, hearing stories of heart change, and the impact that FMSC has had in their lives. it was an event to realize not only the international ministry, but the local ministry we get to be a part of at these events.

a lot of what i will think of when i think of this event actually happened the day after.

one of our international ministry & distribution partners, Food For The Poor (check them out here: was in town for a conference and came by the site to see the packing in person and talk to some staff about our hearts behind why we do what we do.

we talked about how we each found our way to this job, what advice we would give to the next generations who are hesitant to get involved, && how we see our impact through the lens of the current state of humanity and how we have felt God respond through it.

we got to share that while we may all have different reasons how we got here, we stay for the same one: God's presence is so clearly felt in our work & in our team. we all realize the responsibility with which we have been entrusted with to lead others to serve. we all talked about how meeting volunteers & hosts from all over the country changes you, && how those interactions stay with you. we all are humbled daily by what the Lord is allowing us to witness, && how much He has changed us since we started this job.

such a cool opportunity to sit beside people you work with and be reminded of their "why's", to get emotional, and to laugh in remembrance of what we have gone through together. three women who i have worked with from anywhere from 1.5-2.5 years, and to be known by them is a gift.


so thankful for partners like Tacos4Life and all of their generosity through their restaurants and events, but also how joyfully they share their hearts for our shared mission!

what i learned

  1. i really do love a checklist, and do heavily rely on them

  2. got to meet the people of the small town who's water tower i have seen my whole life

  3. correcting with kindness can completely change how a team works together

how i grew

increased understanding of how well-equipped i am for the position i have been called to

favorite parts

group road trips to HEB

always throwing rock in rock paper scissors

stick figures drawn on the ground


volunteers: 480

boxes packed: 684

meals packed: 147,744

kids fed daily meal for a year: 404

to first red oak

thank you for your grace & kindness this weekend, your patience and your heart posture. you serve from the center of your being, doing it with the entirety of yourself, joyfully. it was such a sweet thing to have gospel conversations throughout the event, talking about how to grow the event and new areas of the church. thank you for being a host team that was excited to be involved and stepped up to help in any way we would let you. please continue to emulate Christ in your hospitality, your eagerness to be the hands & feet of the church, and how you share the fruits of the spirit! may we meet again.

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