First Church, Foundations, Fall Festival & For The Nations
October 28, 2016
Q & A with Kristen Gary, FirstChurch & Foundations member, and co-chair of Fall Festival
You may have noticed some new faces running around Fall Festival this year, and it wasn’t a FirstKid in costume. On October 16th, FirstChurch welcomed guests from a refugee group, For the Nations Refugee Outreach, for the 2nd year. For the Nations operates upon the pillars of gospel, education, and acculturation to serve refugees in the Dallas area, and we were excited to welcome new faces to FirstChurch for Fall Festival.
Kristen Gary, how did you find out about For the Nations?
I know Kaitlyn Mullens, Director of Operations and Founder of For the Nations, from a gymnastics waiting room where we sat waiting for our girls every week. She shared her story with me, and I was amazed by her faith and vision. She and her husband truly saw a need, felt the calling, and answered without question. For the Nations is as incredible as are the families it serves.
How did this connection to Fall Festival occur?
I invited Kaitlyn to speak to Foundations Sunday school class last year. One of the things we heard from her was the need for refugee kids to learn about American customs. Toya Harris and Katie Corder suggested we invite a group of kids from For the Nations to Fall Festival last year after her presentation, hoping it would be a great acculturation event for the refugee families. 24 refugee families came. They had a great time. We realized they didn’t have costumes, so this year we collected donated costumes early, and had more than enough costumes donated for all of the children. We were thrilled to double the number of families we welcomed this year compared to last year.
You never know when you’re going to make a meaningful connection with someone, and we are grateful for FirstChurch members who hear another person’s story and strive to show and share God’s love. FirstKids and Children’s Council are proud to continue this partnership with For the Nations, and will evaluate other ways we may be able to help our neighbors acclimate to the American culture and connect with each other.