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  • Writer's pictureJules Arata


Updated: Nov 12, 2023

Dallas, TX && Magnolia, AR

to be completely honest, i expected turbulence. i fully thought it would be a rough re-entry into working. but that's not how it was.

now i'm not saying that it wasn't hard. i mean i only had two days between getting home from camp && starting back up. my body was not ready for that change, not prepared for the physical nature of my job. i got put on two back-to-back trips, both within driving distance. they were all long days and a lot of floating around filling in where needed.

but man, what i was prepared for, was the welcome back i received. their faces when they saw me drive up, or when they walked into the gym, or when we reunited at the hotel, that was enough.

it was enough to remind me a huge reason why i love my job, my team.

re-entry is easy when the people you work with make you look forward to going into work. who make back-to-back events in dallas and arkansas not feel overwhelming.

of course there were moments of frustration and miscommunication and mistakes that were made, but we are human. the fact where i get to work in an environment where teaching is such a big part of it, && where it is understood that failure is the best teacher is a gift. the difference here, is that we have cultivated an environment where trial & error is encouraged, because we are all right there to help if something goes wrong.

these events were only alike in one way, they were both first-time events, which meant we got to set the tone for the future. one was at a church, one was in a college rec center. one was mainly families and businesses, the other was the entirety of the incoming freshman class. while yes they were completely different events in so many ways, the both taught me a lot.

what a joy it is to have a job where i love the mission.

what a joy it is to have a job where i love the places i get to go serve.

what a joy it is to have a job where i love the people that i get to work with.

what a joy it is to have a job where prayer is involved at every single step.

what a joy it is to have a job where i get to meet different people from all over the country.

what a joy it is to have a job where i get to make a difference.

what a joy it is to have a job where i get to glorify God through it.

what a joy it is to have a job where i get to grow the Kingdom.

what i learned

  1. the world truly is so dang small!

  2. the hope of the start of something new can be life-giving

  3. just bc plans change, doesn't mean its the end of the world

how i grew

what an encouragement it is to come back && feel empowered by still being able to do your job well! to be entrusted with the training of others! it continues to baffle me that at this point, i am one of the "veterans" on my team.

favorite parts

reuniting childhood friends over facetime

driving that pine tree-lined arkansas road

feelings & smells that are so familiar they remind me of a place so engrained in who i am

an answered prayer in spending quality time with my new teammates (like wow so much)

doing the dishes in the break room && having a dance party

getting to remember why i love my job

to SAU students

thank you so much for including us in your orientation! what a gift to be able to help you start off your college experience in the mindset of service and creating change for something so much bigger than yourself. so thankful for your adaptability, hospitality, && your willingness to serve! you truly went above and beyond what we could've imagined!

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