Yesterday we had our first full day of ministry and service. Here is what went down:
Group #1 (the Jeff’s) left for a ministry called My Father’s House where they lead a bible club for the children at the shelter. As you can imagine, this type of ministry in this situation can be difficult, but our students did great! They lead games, music, crafts and story time. They did a great job learning to adapt to the situations that came up. They got the opportunity to love children that can use some love.
Group #2 (Dave & Terri) spent the morning at a ministry called Open House, which is another family shelter in Vancouver WA. They spent the morning doing lots of tasks that needed to be done. They moved furniture, helped clean out a residence, worked in the thrift store donation room sorting games, clothes, shoes etc… It was a good morning of solid service, the type of work that always needs to be done, and the type of work that lets the shelter focus on their primary tasks, helping families. They also had the chance to work side-by-side with other volunteers and residents of the shelter, which is always a good thing.
In the afternoon, both groups ate lunch and then went on a cultural walk around Portland. We were able to see the different cultures around Portland. One group found a really cool place called Right to Dream Too, which was a camp/community/rest stop (sometimes these things defy normal definitions) for the houseless (a term they use to describe themselves rather than homeless). It provides shelter for 12 hours at a time, food, sleeping bags, secure front desk, computer access. They also sell t-shirts, stickers and whatnot. It is also a club type place that has members who have different levels of privilege. It has been in existence for almost 2 years, and is really about providing a safe place for the houseless who want to better their lives. It sits on what was an abandoned lot right off Burnside in downtown.
In the afternoon, both groups headed to the Real Life exhibit put together by Medical Teams Int’l. This is always a powerful experience as we experience some of what is happens in real life around the world. The exhibit is 14 interactive rooms documenting disaster, crises and troubles around the world, from the Tsunami in Indonesia and Japan, to the earth quake in Haiti, to the LRA, Joseph Kony and the wars in Uganda and central Africa. We got to learn, experience and gain some understanding. The exhibits all show how people have responded to make a difference in these situations around the world. Real Life also gives practical ways that anyone can help and engage if they desire to do so.
Our evening was spent eating dinner, playing frisbee, kubb Apples to Apples and the Mr. T game we scored at the thrift store. We also hung out, debriefed, processed our day and talked about community as described in the Bible.
Today is another full day of ministry. There will be lots to do in various places around Portland. Stay tuned for an update tomorrow.
Our theme for the day is love. Biblical love will be the focus of morning devotions, and our emphasis throughout the day.
As always, if you want to leave a comment, please do so, and we will pass them on to everyone.