News and Updates

Portland July 2017 Mission Updates

Day Five

Today was our final full day in this beautiful city of Portland, and our awesome team of 4 got a chance to explore some outside of the city!

At dawn we headed west towards the gorgeous Oregon coast where it is probably impossible to take a bad picture. I felt like I was in the movie Narnia during most of our time exploring the scenic coast. 

After eating in Astoria just up the coast, we angled upwards into Washington towards Mt. St. Helens. Unfortunately it was a cloudy afternoon and we did not get to see as much of the erupted volcano as we had hoped, but we did see it from Portland throughout the week as there are three huge mountains surrounding the city.

When we got back to Portland, we found ourselves at yet another coffee shop to rest before snapping a few last P-Squad shots on the local St. Johns Bridge overlooking the city. 

The team then made our way to The Martins’ home for Bridge City’s weekly community group Justin (the pastor at BCC) hosts. We blended in and really became one with the Bridge City community and their people. Justin led an in-depth look in to the passage Mark Satterfield gave earlier in the week.

It was sad to say our goodbyes to our Bridge City friends and the sweet Martin family, but thankful for time well spent with all of them throughout the week. I am especially thankful to have had my 4th opportunity to serve alongside BCC and am always encouraged to see how their church plant in North Portland continues to improve.

Portland is often ranked the least-spiritual city in the U.S. in many studies, so please pray for Justin, Andrew, and the Bridge City community as they seek to further God’s Kingdom in the city of Portland, Oregon!

Written by Will Clark

Day Four

Today was a great day of ministry in Portland with Bridge City Church. 

This morning I was able to meet with some of the men from Bridge City Church at a coffee shop and we studied the passage, Colossians 3:12-14. Paul is writing to the church at Colossae and sharing with them that they are chosen, holy, loved dearly, and forgiven. It is a great reminder of how God sees his children. Our time together was very good and I am thankful for Justin, Bridge City Pastor, giving me the opportunity to invest in these men. 

Later on in the morning we had the privilege to serve at The Blanchet House of Hospitality in downtown Portland. This ministry serves lunch to homeless men and women every day during the week. We served 325+ lunches.  

This afternoon, our team, led a backyard kid’s club type event for a Burmese church in south east Portland. This church, Zomi Bethel, is a partner church with Bridge City Church and they are reaching many Burmese families moving into the city. There were around 20 kids who participated and heard the gospel. Praise the Lord! 

I really enjoyed watching our team today, and this week, use their gifts to serve the Lord. It reminds of the passage in 1 Corinthians 12:27 that says, “we are the body, and individual members of it.” 

We wrapped up today playing basketball with guys in the community and spending time and loving on Justin and Chandra’s kids. This sweet family is serving faithfully and doing a great work in Portland. 

Lastly, I would say we have really learned a lot about the culture here in the pacific northwest. The popular saying “keep Portland weird” makes sense now. We’ve had great food and coffee, which is a BIG part of the city, but more importantly we’ve been able to serve the underprivileged, share the gospel, and engage with multiple people who are anti-religion and hostile towards God. 

Personally, I needed this week… It has re-calibrated my thoughts on the critical mission of sharing Jesus with people. And, this week has reminded me how many people are far from God…. So many people who need our prayers and need to be rescued by Jesus. 

Written by Pastor Mark 

Day Three

Today was another beautiful day beginning with Mark meeting with Justin, the Bridge City church pastor,  for an early breakfast and coffee.  Elise, Will, and I sampled  another one of Portland's 800 coffee houses, and then we all  headed out to prayer walk around the church which is in the St. Johns area of Portland. Mark and Elise had a great conversation with a woman named Barbara who essentially told them that she did not want to talk about God and said she wasn't sure if there was a God. They continued to talk with her letting her know that God loved her by showing love and compassion for her through their discussion. 

After a wonderful lunch at Frank's Noodle House, we headed back to Community of Hope  which houses several families that need a safe place to stay. We split into 2 groups to work on different projects that needed to be done. One group worked on the playground and garden area spreading mulch and the other cleaned and stained a set of stairs and landing. Community of Hope was very thankful of our service these past couple of days.

Then we headed to southeast Portland to help with Zomi Bethel Church who are good friends with Bridge City. We helped teach an English class to these sweet Burmese people that show up every week for the class. Pray that their English would continue to improve and that Zomi and Bridge City would keep doing wonderful things in the city of Portland!

Written by Cathy Clark

Day Two

Today was a great day of ministry in Portland. Let me tell you why: 

We started the day off at the Martin’s house with a devotion led by Justin, the pastor at Bridge City Church. They split us off into two teams to go out and do some prayer walking. Cathy Clark and I were together in a group and talked to a few people. We had two good conversations, one with a lady named Jessica and the other with a lady named Piper. Neither one went to a church but hopefully we planted some seeds.

After lunch, we went to Columbia Park and helped with a kid’s camp. There was a small group of kids that showed up and we had a great time with them. We used the main theme that the rest of our BKC’s use in Tennessee, Galactic Starveyors. A few relationships were formed between Bridge City and some young, park-going parents thanks to this camp that we hope will flourish in the future! After finishing up the camp, our team made our way to relax at one of the hundreds of coffee shops that dot the Portland landscape.

Justin’s wife, Chandra, is the volunteer coordinator at Community of Hope which is a temporary home for families who are in need of a safe place. There are mainly single moms and their kids living in this building from anywhere to 4-6 months. Tonight, we were able to eat dinner among these super nice people. Following that, Mark and Will played basketball with all the boys while Cathy and I painted nails with the girls inside. 

Pray for the families we came in contact with today during the kids camp and for all the awesome volunteers that pour their hearts into serving the sweet families at Community of Hope! 

Written by Elise Butcher

Day One

Our team got things rolling right off the bat this morning. When we landed in Chicago for a layover, my mom (Cathy Clark), shared with the rest of the team that she had already had a good gospel conversation with Alaa, a man sitting next to her on the flight. Alaa is originally from Egypt but currently lives in Nashville. My mom invited him to come to our church and we are hopeful that we will see him real soon!

After arriving in Portland and grabbing a bite to eat, our team made our way to help setup for Bridge City Church’s weekly evening service. Our very own Mark Satterfield gave an awesome sermon out of Ephesians. It was really good seeing and talking too all the friends I have made on previous trips. 

After the service we went to dinner with the Martin family to catch up and talk over the week’s agenda. Things are looking great for this awesome opportunity we have to serve in Portland.

Pray that our team will meet the needs of Bridge City this week through the kid’s camp and other volunteer opportunities we will be having!

Written by Will Clark