"P Squad" began the day going to a local coffee shop, followed by the famous Blue Star Donuts. After that, we stopped by some shops. Today was our third and last day of the kids’ camp we were helping with alongside Bridge City Church. This was a wonderful way to connect with not only the kids of Portland, but their families as well.
We all loved getting to know the kids, but most importantly, teaching them about Jesus. Having to say goodbye to all of them was very tough, but it also encouraging knowing we left them with God's love on display.
After finishing up the kids’ camp, we went to explore downtown while hitting up Powell's Books along the way. Later on, we partnered with Night Strike to help the homeless in possibly every way imaginable from food and clothing to foot washing underneath a massive bridge. All in all, it was a wonderful day in Portland. We ask that you pray for our team and the connections we made throughout the week.
Written By: Will Clark
Today, we woke up and went to St. John's Food Share. The guys organized food and the girls sorted through the moldy food to find the good food that was left. We learned that all the food was donated, and I thought that was really cool. It felt good to serve others!
Later on, we went to our kids’ camp and we taught on Nicodemus. Nicodemus asked Jesus questions. We taught the kids that asking questions is very good when learning about the Word. Overall, I think the kids really got an idea about how generous Jesus was. It was good day.
Written By: Megan Kaperak
On Tuesday morning, we started the day with another run to one of the hundreds of excellent coffee shops in Portland. We needed it for today! We kicked off another half-week of Backyard Kids Club for Bridge City Church, continuing to create relationships with families through this summer-long mission.
Honestly, I wasn’t really excited about today's activity. I love working with BKCs, and I've helped run and host them in the past. But kids and I don't ever really click. I usually bore them and they move on to something more exciting than what I have to offer. My entire team works easily with kids, and it makes me pretty jealous to watch them be so amiable with them. But today was different.
Today, God showed me the joy of working with kids. Not even five minutes after the Bible lesson, a little boy was following me around like I was his brother. I hadn't even said anything to him. He just walked up and grabbed my hand on the way to recreation. I had no clue what to do, but I got to watch as God turned over my past experiences and broke down my comfort zones to show me a new way to enjoy serving the Portland community and Him through this boy. Next thing I knew, I was playing two games with this kid on my shoulders while he laughed like a monkey. Three others were tugging on my shirt to tell me about something they couldn't wait to share. Some kids talked about the game, or what they had for lunch, but some told me what they thought about the Bible story. I never thought I'd enjoy working with kids, but clearly, God wanted to use me and show me otherwise, and He used a boy named Logan to do so. I can't wait to start BKC tomorrow!
Written By: Connor Stephens
Crazy Crow Lady. This is how a passerby described Diane to us as we stood across the street watching 75 crows eating from her front yard. To be quite honest, I probably would have thought the same thing had we not had the opportunity to hear this lady’s story before we watched her set out the wet cat food and bread.
45 minutes earlier, we prayed for our time of prayer walking, that we would be able to see where God was at work and that we’d be able to share the love He has for us to someone else. As we walked down SE Skidmore Street on our walk to Wilshire Park, we saw dozens of crows on the power lines and in the trees along the road. This prompted me to point out the oddity to the first local we saw named Diane. As it turns out, she’s actually been feeding these crows for 15 years. Every day. At exactly 9:30 am. What started out as a conversation about the Alfred Hitchcock scene soon turned into a woman telling us the story of her late husband’s battle with ALS and her struggle with grieving the loss of him.
Diane loved her husband, Orville, and she has struggled with loneliness since his passing over two years ago. The few months of his life, she administered care to him as he was confined to a power chair and eventually bed-ridden. Diane told stories about her husband, how they’d traveled to all 50 states and each Canadian Province and how they started feeding squirrels and birds. It was clear that even after two years after his passing, Diane still loved so dearly her husband of 42 years. Now her own heath is deteriorating as she struggles with rheumatoid arthritis among other ailments.
We had the opportunity to pray for Diane today as she continues to grieve her husband’s passing. As we debriefed in the park about how God allowed us to cross paths with her, it was amazing to hear our students talk about how it would have been so easy to pass by Diane on the other side of the street and laugh about the crazy crow lady for the rest of the trip. Instead, we heard the story of a grieving widow who was seeking something bigger and continued feeding the crows just as she and her husband had done together for many years.
It’s amazing how God orchestrates these moments. We prayed that we’d be able to spread the love of God to someone in need and it came in a way that none of us could have expected. Continue to pray for Diane as she seeks for meaning in life as a widow. The amount of joy she had in sharing about her husband was quite inspiring. We were blessed by the love and devotion Diane had to Orville and how she continues to remember him.