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  • Writer's pictureJules Arata

the neighbors

Updated: Nov 12, 2023

Fort Worth, TX


when you only drive 45 mins to get to your event, no plane or security lines involved at all, it can feel as though you aren't really on a trip at all. and it isn't that i haven't done local events before, but with the addition of a hotel room and having my own car sitting in the parking lot, it just further confused the sensation.


it was refreshing to work with my team again, and with an event this small, it allowed for conversation and connection to take place.


it was amazing to meet a 13-year-old who was already so sure of what he wanted to do with his life. passionate about doing ministry through worship and wanting so badly to work for FMSC and do the same job i do. to be able to work alongside him all weekend and learn from him and his joy was a gift.


it was fun to be able to adventure at night, to drive around downtown fort worth and see a little bit of what a friday night looks like. to drive with the windows down, listening to music that makes you dance, and look around to see smiling faces, strings of lights, and neon signs. to do the same route the next day in the daylight, to get to see that same liveliness from friday night carry into a saturday afternoon. friends leaving lunch, couples meeting for a coffee date, seniors taking graduation pics, emotion in every interaction.


to see how about 380 volunteers pack over 100,000 meals in 2 days. to meet people that have done this for 10+ years excited that it is finally back post-covid. to be able to make them giggle when symptom screening and learn about the history of their community and how it came to be.


what i learned

  1. the importance of not only being able to step up, but to step aside

  2. learning about not relying on the tone of someone's voice to convey their intention

  3. grace. always more and more about grace

how i grew

i am constantly growing in how to take criticism and how to learn from that with understanding.


favorite parts


all of those moments i mentioned above.


how a whole weekend can lead to a hug that means the world from someone you met just two days before.


teaching a new friend your version of the YMCA dance and them seeking you out to perform it for every session.


to st paul lutheran church & school


thank you for continuing to open your doors and hearts to us. so thankful for students who make a session a giant dance party and share their hearts for serving. so grateful for the moments of laughter we shared, the wisdom you gave me, and the work ethic the entire host team had. thank you for putting fort worth in a new light for me.

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