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  • Writer's pictureJules Arata

the stories untold

Austin, TX

i was going to call this blog: "the capitol: family edition (again)" but i just did not want to forget what the Lord taught me through this weekend.

i worked this event last year (you can find that blog here: so i kind of knew what to expect walking in. but i only had one orientation this time, and the words the Lord put on my heart while closing the session were so impactful for me.

it was the last session of the night, with over 200 volunteers who were very fast packers. i was sharing my normal list of things i say at the end: how to stay connected with us, sharing an impact video that tells the story of a child who's life has been changed by receiving our food. I highlighted our marketplace and told them how much they packed. but the phrase from the Lord came after the video.

i was talking about how awesome it is to see the actual impact of the work they had just done, but then i added: "just imagine the stories like this one that are yet to be told because you came to pack tonight"

i mean think about that, it really reframes the entire event in your brain and heart. that a video shown in five years could be about a kid that received food you had a hand in packing. that simple reflection knocked me off of my feet. just thinking about it now fuels the passion i have for our mission.

the first picture in this blog post is my favorite one. it is one of my family. my uncle being on the host team, my cousin helping out in any way he could when he could, and my mom's cousin surprising us by showing up to pack. a sweet unexpected reunion that filled my heart.

i'm going to include this excerpt from last year bc it still rings true today:

"i got to have table top fellowship with my family after the event ended. i got to worship alongside my friends i had made from the church on sunday morning && hear such an encouraging word from pastor (**this year it was Tim). together, they were the perfect way to close out my time in Austin."

what i learned

  1. how beautiful it can be to worship alongside hosts

  2. going back to events can be one of the sweetest gifts

  3. sit with the hosts at meals! dive into fellowship!

how i grew

the greatest gift from shadowing on events so far is seeing how different people make decisions and prepare, and figuring out how i would do it myself.

favorite parts

valentine's day spent with my cousin buying cleats and eating frozen yogurt

being able to connect people bc of their shared heart for the Kingdom

just every single time i hear a kid pray


volunteers: 1,458

boxes packed: 1,475

meals packed: 318,600

kids fed daily meal for a year: 872

to hill country bible church

what a team with vision! you guys are so clearly pursuing your 5 year goal, eager to plant other events in your area and be resources to answer their questions. you have such a heart for serving that you not only increased your packing goal this year (and packed two pallets over!) but you also ran a food drive to help aid the local hunger need (and collected 2,500 pounds of food for it!) thank you for welcoming our team so readily back into your church && for your hearts of service. may we meet again.

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