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  • Writer's pictureJules Arata

marked by praise

Friendswood, TX

Space City took a whole new meaning this week.

yes, we were just down the road from the Houston Space Center. && what a cool place to be right before the eclipse! but that isn't the only reason it took new meaning.

this job requires a lot of steps of faith and boldness, from a lot of different people. from our international partners, our local hosts && church bodies, and our staff. they are stepping in trust, in financial investment, in Truth & His providence. while all of these groups are important, the one i most encounter is the hosts. they take a huge step of trust in partnering with our team. i always try to make a point to thank them for trusting us with their event. for welcoming us so readily into their space. && that's what this weekend was.

they created the space.

the space to hold the event, sure. but also the space to ignite a passion for service, to start conversations, to bring a solution. they prayed over the space at every chance, that the space be marked by praise.

the host here, Gerald, used to host an event at his church in Winnsboro, TX, but loved our mission so much, he brought it with him in his move! Gerald prayed before every session, and his prayer was never the same. that the Lord would have mercy to feed just one more kid, that volunteers would understand the power of their time, and that everything points to Him. he also prayed over every pallet that went out of the room, and let me tell you: not a lot of dry eyes in the gym!


they created the space that allowed for chance encounters.

i got the opportunity to meet a volunteer who works with one of our local partners in Texas, Bucker International. she runs all of the senior living facilities and is based out of Houston, but it was such a cool chance to serve alongside someone so intimately familiar with our mission and strengthen our partnership with such a great organization!

i also got to meet several of our newest Texas Council members, and it was awesome to be able to answer their questions and encourage them in this new season of serving!

what an unrealized gift a space can be. a space that allows for joy & laughter & reflection & competition & meaningful moments. this was an example of being a good steward of the spaces you have been entrusted with, to utilize it in a way it usually isn't to do something for the well-being of the body of Christ.

what i learned

  1. leaning on does not replace leaning in

  2. wildflowers are really hard to beat

  3. use the free time you have, it could be life giving

how i grew

i feel as though it is still trial by fire, but this event, once it began, remained fire-free. the Lord is teaching me a lot about patience & perseverance & problem-solving in these first events that i have been entrusted with.

favorite parts

"orange kids" playlist

a beautiful story of wood working and the grace of the Lord && the new life He is bringing to a marriage through long-awaited healing

this quote from Jane Austen in Mansfield Park: "Every moment has its pleasures and its hope" --&& i think that is the best way to view this job (and this world)


volunteers: 641

boxes packed: 612

meals packed: 132,192

kids fed daily meal for a year: 362

to the SE Church of Christ team,

what a group! thank you for letting us come in, for so graciously hosting us yet again & also trusting me with this event. you so easily rolled with the punches, and did not let it change your attitude. you were a joyful group who made the event so easy to run. you guys lead each other with servant hearts and it was a beautiful thing to witness. thank you for making our job even more enjoyable by making it fun! may we meet again.

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