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  • Writer's pictureJules Arata

the capitol

Updated: Sep 30, 2022

Austin, TX

much like the fort worth event, we drove to this one. and i know that i said driving to an event didn't really make it feel like one, but its different when its 3.5 hours in a rental car and you stop at Buc-ee's both ways.

this was an event that i went into with no fear, one where i felt so confident in the outcome. this was partially because i had worked with every member of my team for this one and truly trusted our ability to work together well. its like i got into that rental car friday morning and all i could feel was a sense of calm.

and yes, while every event does have its hard moments, this one was majority happy ones, full of laughter. it always is so startling to me when i have volunteers who are twice or three times my age coming up to me asking me for guidance, saying: "oh ask jules! she is in charge, she knows what to do."

that is something that is so humbling to me. it reminds me of what i learned in MN, that things that may seem like common sense to me, aren’t to these people doing it for the first time. honestly, it is all in the realization that i am competent and capable in my job. being seen in a position like that is not new, but it is a reminder of the influence i hold and how i have the opportunity to use that to further the Kingdom and not a selfish earthly agenda for my own glorification.

something that i think i take for granted in this job is that i have the luxury of enjoying my coworkers, of having those moments of laughter and of vulnerability, all while actually loving the work i am doing. i have been told how rare it is to have a job that you love right out of college, one where you have a clear impact and purpose, and i am so grateful for that.

this event is one i will carry with me, not because of what i got to see or what i learned necessarily, but because of what i got to witness.

i got to witness a 10 year-old volunteering for the first time

i got to witness a young adult pray over the meals they had packed in that session with such passion and trust and conviction in the Lord

i got to witness a group drive all the way from seminole, tx (which is out by lubbock) to better prepare themselves for the event they are hosting in june.

i got to witness a man with special needs come back session after session because after the first one, he couldn't get enough and loved being able to ask us tough questions about who the food was going to and how exactly it got there, so eager to learn about the impact he was making.

there is something that i find so beautiful about human interaction, and this job gives me the opportunity to travel the country doing just that. meeting others with servant hearts, and creating a community that is based on others needs instead of our own.

what i learned

  1. how encouraging a laugh can be

  2. how the more you do something, the better you can get at it

  3. how a text from the right person can light up your day

how i grew

this was the first orientation that it felt truly natural. one where i flowed from point to point and my jokes landed and i connected with the volunteers. one where i feel that my love for my job and what am i doing came through.

favorite parts

the car ride down full of making fun of billboards and telling stories and miscounting cows and hearing movie reviews on radio stations

my host team members all accidentally wearing the same exact outfit

coincidentally being in the same city with my sister who lives in denver

ending up eating our tacos on a park bench in front of the capitol building with a squirrel

sneaking into the capitol building during a private event to use the restroom

to austin ridge community church southwest:

thank you for continuing to partner with us, for inviting us in to two of your campuses and embracing the challenge of hosting two packing events at venues that are 15 minutes apart. every single volunteer, church member or not, came through yours doors equipped with aa heart utterly focused on service. which is a beautiful thing. you easily ran directly at obstacles, not seeing them as a road bump that would slow us down, but as an opportunity to work together to further serve others. thank you for your kindness and grace.

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