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Wrap Up Report
This week was incredible! God has proven himself once again to be so faithful to us and to the members and staff of Bridge City Church as they continue to spread the truth of the Gospel to the city of Portland.
The beginning of the week started off slowly, with 5 hours,10 miles, and 750 houses canvassed for the food drive. While many people did not give or even seem interested, God was still faithful and allowed us to collect 644 pounds of food for donation! As the number on the scale continued to climb on collection day, the excitement within our group soared. I am still in awe of the reward God provided and so thankful that we got to spread his name to the people in North Portland.
We also got to help and encourage the community of believers in Portland through a few small acts. For Bethel Baptist Church, we did yard work for a few hours. We also got to spend some time with some brothers and sisters from Myanmar, the Zomi people! Many of them do not speak English, which makes living in the US difficult. All we did was spend time in conversation. We never could have helped all these people or encouraged them all to stay strong in their faith without God leading this team all the way to Portland, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to have gone again.
While we may not have seen the spiritual impacts of our work immediately, I know we have begun to spread seeds for Bridge City to continue to sow. This was my third trip to Portland, and over the years, we have watched Bridge City Church grow in numbers and in faith, and it is so awesome to see God at work on the opposite side of the country. I hope dearly to return to see all of the amazing work God is doing through the people at Bridge City.
Written by Connor Stephens
Day Five Update
Today was our last day in Portland and we knew we needed to make it a good one. We had the daytime free so we decided to take a hike to Multnomah falls, about 40 minutes east of Portland. After a 2 mile hike filled with light rain, dense fog, and gorgeous views we headed to lunch at Pine State Biscuits where we enjoyed some fantastic biscuit sandwiches. After lunch we headed back to the house to debrief the trip and pray for the work that we've done and the work that's to be done in Portland. After praying we said our goodbyes for now to Andrew Wash.
After that we packed and showered before heading to dinner. After a quick dinner we went to help the Zomi people at ESL. Rachel, Connor, Scott, and Will helped teach the class while Nathan, Brad, Andrew, and I helped watch the kids. After finding out the kids were soccer fans but didn't have a soccer ball, Nathan slipped out and came back with some soccer balls to surprise the kids. We spent the rest of our night there playing soccer with the kids. It was amazing to see how much happiness something as little as a soccer ball could bring these awesome kids.
Written by Gibbs Bedenbaugh
Day Four Update
On Wednesday the Clearview Group got up at about 8:00 am. Showers were taken and Voodoo Donuts from the previous day were eaten. Then the Clearview Group split into two teams of four to more efficiently pick up Sunshine Division donations. After two and a half hours and the assistance of two little red wagons we gathered all the food that had been left for us. Once we all arrived at the Sunshine Division headquarters we guessed how much food we had collected with guesses ranging from 1 pound to 551 pounds. 551 was the closest but was still off of the actual sum of 644 pounds of food.
To celebrate the Clearview Group we went to a local park and played two games of ultimate frisbee with Andrew alternating teams between games the first was a blowout at 7-2 and the second was 7-5. After the games the Clearview Group went back to the house for quick shower and were off to dinner. The Group went to a local pasta place that had a relatively long wait but was filling nonetheless. Afterward the Group went to an ice cream parlor named the Salt And Straw. Finally the Group went back to the house for assorted games, activities, and sleep.
Written by Scott Heise
Day Three Update
Today was the second full day of our trip, and it's been a wonderful experience so far. We really helped the community today as well as a local church; being able to serve the people of Portland has been a great opportunity. This morning we went to the Sunshine Division food pantry and helped to sort through tubs of donated food and organize them into bins. At first it was hard to find where everything was supposed to go, but we soon adapted to their organizational system and made quick work of the large stack of donated food they had for us to sort though.
Later in the day, we went to a local church to help clean up its exterior through yard work. Whether it was planting flowers, trimming hedges, or mowing and picking up the clippings, we diligently worked at improving the church's appearance. After all our hard work, we decided to treat ourselves by going downtown and visiting many stores and enjoying some awesome food. Overall this trip has been really enjoyable so far, and I can't wait to see what God has in store for the rest of the week!
Written by Andrew Brackins
Day Two Update
This morning we walked around to get a feel for what the Portland area is like including visits to St. John's bridge and Washington just across the river. Later in the day we met with our friend Andrew Wash, a Bridge City Church staff member, for some coffee and lunch. From there we broke up into 3 teams to pass out flyers and invite people in the area to participate in donating food to a local food bank that Bridge City Church is partnering with. We used this time to connect with people and have gospel conversations. We came into contact with about 750 households in North Portland.
Going into the trip we knew that the gospel was not very widely accepted in Portland. At times during the day certain people were very turned off by the fact we were with the church and some did not allow us to talk to them. But we were encouraged by the many people who were excited to help those in their community even if they were not followers of Jesus. It is clear that people in Portland value being in community and we believe that God can do a great work in this city. We pray that today's conversations have planted seeds in the hearts of those we met and that through the food drive Bridge City Church will have the opportunity to minister to more people in these neighborhoods of Portland.
Written by: Brad Walker
Day One Update
Our team woke up bright and early at 4am this morning as we headed to Portland for the week. We arrived around midday for lunch, then we were off to meet with Justin Martin and Andrew Wash (Bridge City Church staff members). There was some time for our returning members, and new ones, to catch up with both Justin and Andrew.
Our team then helped out Bridge City by helping setup for their weekly Sunday night service. We got to hear a great message from Justin, and some pretty hipster worship music from Andrew. After grubbing at some cool foods trucks, we made our way to the Martin's home for a Portland presentation and a go-over of what the week has to come. We have a great team here on the grounds of Portland and are very excited for what P-Squad has in store for this week!
Written by: Will Clark