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  • Writer's pictureJules Arata

it's giving season

Lorton, VA



after never having been to the DC area my entire life, i have now been 4 times in the last year, which is wild to me. but its not a bad thing, bc i love it out here.


bc i went to this event last year, i knew what to expect. last year was daunting, but this year it was in a different way. our team was only four people && i thought that was going to make this event so much more strenuous. but surprisingly it wasn't.


our team was one that have all been around for a while, people who know how to do their jobs well. people who have the ability and skill to see where gap is and fill it, to anticipate problems and get a head of potential issues. a team full of people who love to serve, laugh, and just like doing life together. it is the feeling of overwhelming gratitude for the people the Lord has gifted me with in this season of life to learn from and growth with.


this is the event where there are two floors, two packing rooms full of volunteers and an elevator and carts to move everything in between. but we had our amazing host team at New Hope Church.


people who are on mission to serve those in their community, local && global. bc they have done this event since 2010, they have strategies to do things better, pack faster, partake in tabletop fellowship, && constantly want to improve. it was the feeling of friends becoming family, of volunteers remembering us from last year, && catching up about the last years of our lives.


another year of "soy && rice mines" jokes, of packing in the "sky dome", && of walking up and down the steep hill they call a parking lot.


what i learned


  1. two years allows for a lot of growth in public speaking

  2. sharing the impact they made never gets old

  3. it's fun to share a place you love with people you love

how i grew


i drove the forklift, the world is now my oyster


favorite parts


meeting up with our coworkers to eat ice cream when its below 50 degrees outside


getting lost in the airport rental car parking garage


phone calls through the car speakers that have us all laughing


to new hope church


you guys blew me away yet again, with your passion && efficiency && hospitality. you remembered me from last year && welcomed me back into your family. thankful for how you invite everyone into your hearts && include them in your laughter. thank you for being excited to have me back && insisting that i come back next year. may we meet again.

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