God Loves Portland

So… Last week I didn’t get to write because friday night was spent packing up for portland and then we headed out at 8:15 Sat. morning. Sunday afternoon we had a couple hours off but we didn’t have wifi! I was so disappointed because sitting down and writing helps me put my thoughts in order and then my mind is organized and ready for the next batch of information. HA:)

So… We started for Portland, Oregon at 8:15 Sat morning. It is a 9 hr drive but we had a 6 van caravan with 70  something people and we stopped every 2 hours so it took more like 12 hours! We stayed in a church and slept on the floor with sleeping bags which was an interesting experience with Kenzie, the first night she slept beside me and twice I had to literally get up and get her because the floor had no bounds and she ended up like 6 feet from where she should have been, so the next night we were wise and put her between us, only to have her push her self up over her pillow so I still had to run after her! Yay:) So the next night we were even wiser and made sure our pillows were up against the wall. That worked out perfectly:) We only had 1 guys shower and 1 ladies shower for these 70 people so they did a shower sign up thing and each person only got 10 minutes! On Thursday (our last day there) we had a drain dilemma and had water coming up the sinks from all the water usage in a building that was never meant to have so many people showering etc. for such a long time. But they got it fixed and everything worked out. Sunday morning we went to church or more like stayed at church:) It was awesome, they had a choir and some of our people actually got to sing in the choir. Sunday evening we were working with some people that do a Sunday night meal for the homeless under a bridge. Some of us served food and the rest just mingled and chatted with the homeless people that came out. That was interesting, some are lonely and very open to share their life story while others look at u suspiciously, give a short answer to your question or greeting and walk off before u have a chance to say more. Monday-Thursday morning we had worship and lectures till 12. Monday afternoon we went to a kitchen were they serve daily meals to the homeless. Some people were polite and said please, thanks etc. but I was amazed at the attitude of some of them. We are giving them a free meal, but they act like they deserve it. One guy came a little late and we were out of hot food, but still had pastries, he walked out the door without getting anything muttering something about this being the worst kitchen he ever saw! I think we often throw the homeless into only one category but in reality they are all individual people with different backgrounds, stories and even different goals. One homeless guy became a christian and started helping out at a soup kitchen. After being there for awhile he was offered a paid position, but he turned it down! He told them to give the job to a lady that has children to feed. Another lady has been on the streets for 2 months but is working on getting out, she said about 3 more months then she should be able to rent something. It was amazing to me, some are there by circumstance with very little choice, some are working to get out and others choose to be there. Monday evening we evangelized in a mall. People simply walked through the mall praying for people they saw or even striking up conversations. Tuesday afternoon we went to a womens shelter. We helped prepare a meal, then got to play with the kids. This place has a 3 step program which woman can go through to get them off the streets and to help them overcome addictions. Tuesday evening and Wednesday afternoon we evangelized on the streets. Wednesday it rained the whole time and it wasn’t just raining a little bit:) Some of us headed inside to the mall or coffee shops while others braved the rain and stayed on the streets. Thursday night we went to Night Strike. It’s something they do every Thursday night from 7 to 10:30. It’s under a bridge and they go all out! They serve the homeless in so many ways… They served a meal, and then there was a foot washing station, nail polishing station, popcorn station, sign making station, cloths station, haircutting station and they even had a dentist and medical clinic in RVs. So some people got a job for the evening and others just mingled and lent a listening ear to the homeless. Friday morning we packed up and headed back to the base  around 7:00. Once again we took our time and didn’t actually get here till about 9:30 last night. We stopped at a place to see a GORGEOUS waterfall. It was a short trek part way up the mountain, then we got to stand on a bridge above one fall and were looking up at another. Yea it was beautiful!

Today we decided since we were with people almost every minute this week we were going to spend some family time in Kalispell. (Our closest big town which is about 30 minutes from here) So we slept in till 9:00 and then gathered our weeks worth of laundry, (did I mention that we couldn’t do laundry while we were away?:) and we went to town and found a place to do laundry. Then we ate breakfast and stopped at Mcdonalds for frappes. And then we came back and were ready to see people again! Tonight we had a Harvest Party here at the base which was fun. They has some competitions, a popcorn stand and candy corn and hot apple cider everywhere.

Lectures this week were on personalities and how they will help us work together as a team on outreach. God made everyone unique with different strong points and different weak points therefore if we love and accept one another just as God made us we can work together and accomplish amazing things through God to farther his kingdom!

Oh, and I should add I think the final number was five people that came to know Christ this week!:):):)

And that concludes week 5! Be blessed:)

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