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  • Writer's pictureJules Arata

life is good, God is greater

Novi, MI

the Lord used this event in so many ways.

He used it as evidence of something i learned recently: that we are emotional beings created by an emotional God. in today's culture we are taught to apologize for or feel shameful about showing our emotions. but why should we apologize for simply expressing our emotions externally? our host beautifully exemplified what bold expression and

acceptance of her emotions looks like.

the first time that we gathered as a team, hosts and staff included, she cried at the sight. of a plan coming together, of people joining in a shared mission, of a dream becoming reality. she went straight into prayer, confessing not only to the group, but to the Lord, that she was overcome with emotion at the opportunity to serve and worship the Lord. she surrendered it, but also empowered us to embrace what we were feeling and better see the bigger picture.

He used it to teach us more about what worshipful work looks like. the church we partnered with, Northridge Church, has a 16-word mission:

wake the world to Jesus,

show them His love

tell them His truth

involve them

and while yes, they may have said that this event was an opportunity to show them His love, i believe that it did all 16 words. most of the volunteers either were first-time packers or hadn't done it in a decade, same with the host team. but they all took to it with joy and as an expression of worship to be able to come together in such a big scale to try to make a difference.

He used it to further our collective understanding of His providence being greater than we believed before. when we thought it was not going to happen, He showed up and gave us the people, passion, and pace required. that despite all odds, every event is God's number and He will step up when we step in to Him.

it was an amazing opportunity to work alongside a team of leaders. most of our staff was supervisors, and the ability to bounce ideas off of each other and learn strategies from each other was so beneficial and growing for me. there was an extra feeling of gratitude as this was a rare chance to work together, we are usually leading our own teams, but to be able to all work this one was special. thankful for shared experiences and this weekend being a beautiful way to be introduced to the state of Michigan.

my feet hurt but my heart is full, and i can’t ask for much more than that!

what i learned

  1. our job is a ministry, an opportunity to collaborate with Christ

  2. saying yes to switching events at the last minute is worth it

  3. getting to be on the news is way more stressful than it seems

how i grew

much like Fargo, this event was God's number, His providence, His sovereignty. trusting in the Lord to provide gives you abundant peace to replace the stress the world wants you to feel.

favorite parts

hufflepuff shrute farms

bomb pop hairnets

big orange forklift

security guard helping wrap and strap


volunteers: 4,283

boxes packed: 4,840

meals packed: 1,045,440

kids fed daily meal for a year: 2,864

to northridge church

five weeks to bring this event together! a decade between events! i have never seen a host team so large and so excited to help. your team of "blue hairnets" were instrumental in making the event as amazing as it was. i am so grateful for your joy and your eagerness to make a difference, i know it impacted my team's energy and outlook throughout the event. thank you for trusting us with this event, inviting us into your church family, to be a part of enacting your 16 words, and welcoming us all into bold gospel conversations. may we meet again.

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