In some ways, day 4 was a lot like day 3. In some ways it was very different. Yesterday was a day where we focused on service. I know that might sound like, “of course you did, that is what you are doing there in Portland,” but we tried to focus why we serve, and the ways in which we serve individually and together.
For the Jeff’s group, the idea of service was reinforced throughout the day. Their bible club went well, but for some reason, there was a big drop off in the number of kids attending. There were more us than kids. This challenged the idea that serving more would be better, and that numbers equal a success. This can have a subtle effect on your mindset. The students were able to see the importance of service the people God had brought to us to serve. After the bible club, the Jeff’s group went down to Pioneer Square to share lunch with some houseless folks there. This was of course a good and stretching experience for us. After lunch, the group headed over to another ministry where they held a free for donation car wash. There weren’t always tons of cars to wash, and again the notion of service was emphasized. This concept proved important. It is easy to place a higher value on different types of service, and the value is on the organizations and people we are serving. We were just doing what they wanted done. The students did enjoy washing what cars they did wash, and were able to raise some money for the ministry.
Dave and Terri’s group headed out in the morning to Open House ministries again. We sorted clothes in their donation room, attended their chapel/church service and then headed over to their thrift store to help sort and organize there. The church service was a highlight. It was fun to be part of a group of people, who although were facing very different circumstances, were a lot like us. It was fun to worship, pray and learn along side them. After Open House, we headed to Oregon City to a ministry called The Father’s Heart street ministry. We helped them sort clothes, make lunches, clean up their facility and whatever else they wanted done. We got the chance to hear the testimony of the founder and director as she shared with us how she learned to be obedient to God and what happened as a result. Her testimony was powerful for our students to see how 15 years ago God used a 50 year old woman to start a new and now thriving ministry to people living on the streets.
Last night was our evening off, and we were able to go to the food carts, where everyone was able to choose their own dinner from one of the 15 or so food carts/trailers that were at 43rd and Belmont. Mac and cheese, burgers, cheese nachos, chicken & waffles, Elvis sandwichs, shaved ice, fried egg sandwichs and lefse wraps were all enjoyed. We then went to VooDoo doughnuts where we got to see a good representation of the weirdness/quirkiness of Portland. After dinner and doughnuts, we headed back to Cascade College where we hung out for the remainder of the evening. The night ended with a water balloon fight & Harry putting his booty through a window in the dorms.
All in all, a typical/untypical day here in Portland.
Today is our last day of service. It is going to be a big one. We will be serving all day and into the night as we head to Night Strike tonight. It should be another great day of ministry together.