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  • Writer's pictureJules Arata

Christ for the nations

Updated: Apr 30

Bee Cave, TX

the second picture may seem out of place, but my cousin and i had the chance to drive down to Austin just a couple days before this event to celebrate our youngest cousin playing in his senior night for baseball. it was so good for my heart, being able to see someone you love doing something they love. he was MVP of the game, and that night is a core memory for me, being able to be there for him.

but about the event:

just to catch you up, i was on this event two years ago, sort of (read here:, only at the other location.

it was the time of year for the much-anticipated Austin Ridge double-location event! what an awesome opportunity to engage with this church community, and to have the majority of the Texas team together! this time i was at the larger of the two campuses, and got to work closely with our joint host, Christine. while it was only her second year in the role of main host, she clearly has such a passion for living out the Lord’s command to feed His children.

this event was an interesting one, as it felt like i knew it so intimately, yet had never been there before. for some reason, God gave me peace over this event, an attitude of joy and problem solving. and i think i can pinpoint the sign that He gave me.

having driven down to Austin quite a bit lately, there is one building that always catches my attention as we pass. (it is the seventh picture in the carousel above) a white building, with huge black block letters on both sides of the building, in order for drivers to see it no matter which direction they are driving. the building simply says: "Christ for the Nations". No mural, no frills, just simple truth. and this event feels like it follows that mission.


we had the opportunity to work with one of our partners, Women of Pader, selling their items and actually meeting a woman who works for them state-side in Austin. their partnership with Austin Ridge is so fruitful, with a church plant in Pader, Uganda, and an impact video from the church that they shared each session. what an amazing chance to walk through the process of a social worker driving over 250 miles to pick up the food and then distribute it in their own village.

we got to witness one of the tangible ways that Christ is for the nations outside of our organization. that the Lord has a heart for the 42% that have never heard the gospel, for the people that fall within the 10 & 40 latitude and longitude lines (the 68 countries that hear about Jesus the least). what a beautifully uncomplicated way to remind me of His heart for the nations, and how He has sent me & this organization on mission to feed His children in those nations.

&& then the sermon i heard right after the trip furthered this lesson. we are going through Colossians, and there is this idea of orthodoxy v. orthopraxy. the knowledge & belief of theology and the divine v. the practice and behavior because of that belief. book smarts v street smarts.

&& this applies to this job. there is a lot of logistical leg work and physical paperwork that goes into it. there are tangible ways to prepare yourself for it, that you must do in order to not only be in compliance & keep everyone safe, but to carry out a smooth event. but there is also the actual carrying out of the event: applying that knowledge, being able to problem solve, how to respond if an issue arises.

but it is not an issue of one verses the other, but an equal amount of both, working in tandem. it is an "&" instead of a "v.". we could simply let all of this knowledge sit in our heads, but there is an urgency of taking it out into the world, through backyard missionaries, and using the outpour of the abundance we have in order to serve His children in body and spirit by being His hands and feet. that we have a divine appointment to edify!

this event && sermon drove home all of this plus one last point: "He not just waiting for you, He’s wanting for you". that the Lord has a posture of expectant desire for you & His will to be done through you.

what i learned

  1. having another leader simply being in town is so good for your confidence

  2. tarantulas are somehow both smaller and bigger in person than i thought

  3. engaging with local partners is so life giving

how i grew

i had the opportunity to practice managing expectations, working with unexpected weather, and stepping in boldness and asking for help.

favorite parts

the packing room feeling like a high school cafeteria

quotes like: “my eyes can’t zoom in” & "look at all those broccolis"

the "warehouse twins" which were really just two eighth grade boys who scooped soy together and talked my ear off (but in a good way)

kids still knowing songs that came out when i was in middle school


volunteers: 725

boxes packed: 792

meals packed: 171,072

kids fed daily meal for a year: 468

to Austin Ridge Bee Cave,

thank you for continuing to trust us with your event, being able to roll with the punches, and see possible disappointments as areas for improvement for next year. we are so grateful to have been invited into your church family and community to put on an event that has become tradition for your church body. you brought laughter, understanding, grace, and joy to this event, and that made the difference. may we meet again.

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