Mission Portland

This last weekend we took our middle school students to minister in the inner city of Portland. We spend three days with Bridgetown Ministries, a ministry that our church has recently partnered with, a ministry committed to loving the people of Portland with the love of Jesus.

It was a life changing weekend. On Friday night we participated in Nightstrike, a ministry to the homeless. We gathered beneath the Burnside Bridge in downtown Portland and fed hundreds of people a good meal, that we prepared beforehand, we washed and cut hair, we washed feet, we distributed clothing, and we just sat and loved on the many people that were there. It was truly an incarnational ministry; Jesus showed up and Jesus loved on the people.

The highlight of the evening was seeing "Sarge" a man that has been on and off the streets for over 20 years get baptized. A week earlier my friend Brian had the privilege of praying with Sarge as he took Jesus by the hand for the very first time. For three and a half years Sarge has been coming to Nightstrike, on Friday night July 7, he surrendered his life to Jesus, and last Friday night Brian had the priviledge of baptizing him right there in the Skidmore fountain. As I walked away Friday night, all I could think was that was the best "church service" I have ever been to. Truly it was! It was the kind of worship that I believe God is most interested in.

On Saturday we took part in BTown Kids, a ministry that goes to various low income areas to minister to children. What a great time! The Bridgetown staff led a fantastic program of singing, games, and message. We helped with playing with children, registration, distributing food, clothing and diapers, face painting, and making many, many, snow cones. A great number of children and parents alike heard and saw the gospel of Jesus.

I live in the world of suburbia, and it is so easy to forget that there is a whole other culture of people just 20 minutes away from me. A community of people who are just like me in so many ways. A community of people that are often marginalized by society because of their economic standing. A community of people that are often avoided because of what we see on the nightly news. How tragic. God has been teaching me to look beyond my world, to see the world that He sees. This past weekend was a big step in that process.

See all the pictures of our outreach here.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's nice to see a christian actually helping people. The leadership of the US Christian world seem so caught up in aggressively attacking gays or promoting wars on forign soils to bring on the rapture, one sometimes forgets that Christianity is suppose to be about loving one neighbor.

Brian Eberly said...

I'm breaks my heart that that is the view that so many have the church today. Sadly much of it is true. It definitely is not the way of Jesus.

muzik316 said...

i agree

Aaron Geist said...

Keep living it man!

Brian Eberly said...

Here's a great quote from Rob Bell's book Velvet Elvis.....

The church does not exist for itself; it exists to serve the world. It is not ultimately about the church; it’s about all the people God wants to bless through the church. When the church loses sight of this, it loses its heart. This is especially true today in the world we live in where so many people are hostile to the church, many for good reason. We reclaim the church as a blessing machine not only because that is what Jesus intended from the beginning but also because serving people is the only way their perceptions of church are ever going to change. This is why it is so toxic for the gospel when Christians picket and boycott and complain about how bad the world is. This behavior doesn’t help. It makes it worse. It isn’t the kind of voice Jesus wants his followers to have in this world. Why blame the dark for being dark? It is far more helpful to ask why the light isn’t as bright as it could be.

Aaron Geist said...

Wow, what a quote!

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