It was an incredible week in Portland with our mission team of Sandi Whatley, Janet Phillips, Ray Quisenberry, and Rachel Powell. There are stories upon stories from each member of the team, but the one thing that stood out the most was that the Lord is active in Portland, and there is a great need for the gospel.
Portland is a very friendly place, and people are extremely open to any and every thing. With that being said, a lot of times the gospel of Jesus is just one more thing that will add to all the other beliefs. There were many gospel conversations in homes of the Bhutanese refugees, and out in the streets of North Portland (lovingly nicknamed, NoPo), some of which led to salvation and extreme interest, others of which may have been just a beginning touch, but we do know that the Lord will bless each opportunity, and are grateful of the many opportunities he allowed the team to share.
As we leave Portland, we leave behind Raju, Justin, their families, and others that are engaging Portland with the gospel on a daily basis. They not only need our continued prayers, financial support, but also more teams to continue to help them further the gospel in their areas. Please take some time to read through the daily updates below, and consider going on one of the upcoming trips to Portland. Find more information here.
Day 6 Update
Goodbyes/See you laters are difficult and today was a day full of them. This morning started with visiting a Hindu temple and praying over it. After this, Raju really didn't have anything planned for us because we had already visited all of the houses he had planned so we said our goodbyes to Raju and the team from the University of Idaho here and went our separate ways.
Ray suggested that we visit the Washington Park, so after grabbing a good meal we went to the park. I am so glad that we went because it was very pretty and a good time to sit and think about what the Lord has done this week.
In the afternoon, we met up with the Martin's and went back out to the streets and parks to pass out more flyers. After about an hour and a half it started to rain on us (which was actually a good thing because it was originally scheduled to rain all day and it waited until 5 o'clock). So, we packed up and went to a local restaurant that's owned by some of the Martin's friends. We were able to have dinner with the Martin clan and then afterwards said our goodbyes with them.
We made our way back to the hotel as we plan to leave at 4:30 AM to head to the airport and leave at 7 AM. We are scheduled to travel through Chicago and land in Nashville around 5 PM. Please pray that all of this goes smoothly and we are able to make it home tomorrow without any issues. Please also pray for Ray as he is staying behind a few days to visit with family here.
Day 5 Update by team meamber Sandi Whatley
This day as we visited with Bhutanese in the morning we (Clearview four and Univ. of Idaho students) enjoyed our Father's provision in sunshine starting the cool morning. We didn't know the great things in store as we visited four different Bhutanese homes/families.
1. Family worshipped an unknown god and had an eight year old daughter who was hearing, sight, mentally and physically impaired. The family was open to our prayers. We were very glad to pray for all. It was a spiritually "heavy" time but such an opportunity to see and experience Christ's love and ministry for the college students.
2. Another family without any Christ followers and worshipped the same false unknown god but as in the first family, hospitable. There was a grandmother keeping two children(5 & 3 y/o - school was out that day) who were intently watching tv but listened and stopped watching as we used the evangecube to share of God's love.
3. This family was different as there were all believing children but the father, mother and 90 yr. old grandmother were not. Today angels rejoice in heaven for the new believing grandmother! !! What joy we had also to hear "I want this JESUS". This small note doesn't do justice to the scene at all. Three interpreters, four of us,10 UI students, daughter and g.daughter in a very small home most talking while having chai tea and four talking loudly to the hard of hearing grandmother. But the parting kudos was hearing the g.mom say "I love you" and then her daughter singing the old Sieger song- 100 miles- in English.( The college students were stumped on that one)
4. The family has been in U.S. but only 7 mos. We were able to present the gospel to the teenage son, Rick, with good interaction of students sharing their testimonies and praying with Rick who understood English better being in school.
The afternoon time in NoPo (north Portland) giving out invitations in two parks went well. Both Rachel and Sandi had serious conversations with two 18yr olds and two college students who were interested in the new church plant nearby. Pray that they attend the meetings in April. Ray and Janet gave out many invitations in another park with some encouragement from Christ followers who promised to tell others of the gatherings on April Thursdays.
The ministry(nightstrike) to the homeless under the Burnside bridge from 6-9 gave us some new ideas for ministry. Rachel and Ray carried the load for us there.
The drive time for all these ministry opportunities is considerable in this large and culturally diverse city. Raju's prayer is a van so he doesn't have to make so many trips on Sunday for all the areas where people live ( most without vehicles).
Tomorrow is the last day so we certainly will ask for your prayers with thanksgiving as we go to temples and a mosque for prayer walking in the morning and helping the new church plant with invites and gospel conversations in the afternoon.
Our great and good Father has much love for the lost of this city and we are honored to be partners together with His work and your prayers.
Day 4 Update
QUICK UPDATE:Thank you for your prayers, they are being answered and the Lord provided a pretty fantastic day! We had some excellent visits in the Bhutanese homes and were able to share the gospel with about 8-10 Hindus, as well as, encourage some of the believers. Our night at Community of Hope (a shelter for women and children) did not go as we planned, only one of the four families there was able to join us but it was definitely great getting to know them and hear their stories.
Please pray for health. I think everyone is getting a bit worn out and sore throats, headaches, etc are starting to settle in. We still have 2 full days on Thursday and Friday. So please pray for energy. THANKS!!!
Day 3 Update
Spiritual warfare is real and alive. The evil one definitely tried to confuse and interrupt as much as possible today. With some conversations that took place and some differences in interpretation, he caused some issues to arise. However, through much prayer and conversations with the parties involved we have recognized this war with the evil one and proclaimed that we know the Lord is doing a mighty work here. We had three visits in homes, that we pray, the Word that was proclaimed will resonate with those that heard the good news and over the coming days they will be able to respond to His message.
In the afternoon, we split into 3 groups and divided out some of the streets to prayer walk and hand out the postcards with granola bars. Most everyone was very accepting of the free gift and appeared interested in the gatherings that would be happening at Bridge City Church in April. One particular guy that Sandi and Janet spoke with was from Memphis. He went to church when he was little but moved out here when he was either 8 or 10 and within the last year his girlfriend and father have both passed away. He was encouraged by what the ladies spoke to him about and thankful for the information on the church and said he was definitely interested in checking it out. Also, the ladies mentioned that they came across a few believers who expressed their joy knowing of others believers in the area. We were all very encouraged through this time of prayer walking and excited about the coming days.
1) There is a college team here partnering with us in sharing the gospel.
2) Christians we came in contact with have been encouraged.
3) Unity among our team.
1) Pray against spiritual warfare. 2 Thess. 3:1-5
2) Continue to walk in truth and love.
3) Service at Community of Hope tomorrow evening.
Day 2 Update
Today was encouraging and educating. We started our day by attending the Portland Bhutanese International Church and thankfully, I called Raju yesterday asking what today would look like because he requested for me to speak for 20 minutes during the service and if you know me well, you know that's not my cup of tea, so I worked it out for the whole team to share different things during the 20 minutes and it worked really well! We all enjoyed getting to worship, pray and hear the message in the Nepali language, as well as, English. Also, I wish everyone of you could hear his whole story of living in the refugee camps and coming here, it's a pretty incredible story as he and his family came to know Christ in the refugee camp. After church, we went to lunch with Raju, his family and the other pastor and his wife and it as great to get to talk with them more and plan the week some.
We left lunch and went to meet with the Bridge City Church Plant team for a time of orientation, dinner and prepartation of stapling info cards to granola bars to hand out in the coming days. It was definitely a sweet time of fellowship and made us all excited about the week. Please be in prayer for those we will be visiting in homes in the morning with Raju and those we will meet in the parks in the afternoon with Justin.
Day 1 Update
The first day could not have gone any better! For starters, our flights were very smooth and uneventful, and we got all bags. THEN (the best part) we were all very hungry so we went to a well known local restaurant and were one of 3 tables there, it was 9PM. At first we had the manager, Mike, who was super friendly and eventually gave us a free German pancake (which is something they are known for, and it was really good). Then our waitress, Ann, came with a huge smile on her face and laughing and we hit it off with her immediately. She saw Ray's flight ticket and asked where we were from and why we were there so Sandi said we were there on the Lord's business and asked Ann if she knew the Lord. Ann's response was INCREDIBLE. She said, "you know, I don't know because I don't know much about that, but lately I have been thinking about it a lot," so Sandi said she would love to talk to her about it more. During the whole dinner there was lots of smiles and laughter with her and at the end Sandi was able to go into more detail with Ann and gave her Janet's New Testament bible. Ann told us the reason she has been thinking about it all lately was because she recently lost her dad, then her sister and now her mother was sick. On top of that, she has two adopted girls who are 16 & 17 and they recently tried to adopt their biological sisters who are 3 & 5 but they would not let them. The teenage girls know about the younger girls but don't understand why they can't be with them and you could tell that Ann was very hurt by this as well. We all expressed our love and Christ's love for her and encouraged her. She says she looks forward to reading the bible that was given. Please pray for Ann and her family, as well as, the two younger girls as they are in the process of getting adopted. Also, pray for Mike, I have a feeling we will end up back at That restaurant sometime this week and maybe the Lord will open up opportunity for us to talk with him as well!
*Names have been changed to protect.