Portland 2015 is officially a wrap. We still have clean up, eating, packing and travel to do, but the bulk of our trip is now over. I won’t go into all the details of our service on Thursday. You can read Wednesday’s account and get a real flavor for for we did on Thursday during the day. The biggest difference between yesterday and today was our participation in Night Strike. Night Strike is a really cool event that happens every Thursday under the Burnside Bridge. When a homeless person comes to Night Strike, they get a delicious home cooked meal (really go out of their way to make the food good). Participants can also get clothes, socks, haircuts, manicures, pedicures, spiritual guidance, books and friendship. Night Strike’s motto is “loving people because people matter.”
They truly exemplify that motto.
Night Strike gets a lot of volunteers from churches all over the Portland Area. A lot. We have done Night Strike a few times in the past, and this was the first year where we weren’t under the bridge. Our groups were all on “walkabouts” or prayer walks. The walkabouts walked around and provided food and drinks for the homeless who were able to make it under the bridge. Prayer walkers walked around the neighborhood praying for needs and people they met along the way.
Everyone did a great job, and it was one of the highlights of the week. Our students and leaders were able to spend time praying with people on the streets and providing basic services. You can see the confidence and boldness growing in our kids as they served this week, and Night Strike was the culmination of that. One group met a man who didn’t know about Night Strike, so they invited him to go, and then they walked him down to the event and hung out with him for a while. Great stuff.
This week has been a great week of laughter, fun, friendship and lots of service. We were stretched, pushed and encouraged to go beyond our normal comfort zone is, and in return we saw lots of growth in our group.
Serving others can be rewarding, challenging, fun, difficult, frustrating, rewarding and so much more…as it turns out, it is also something God asks His followers to be about.
We are hoping to leave Portland close to 9:30 am. This should put us back home around 1:00.