It’s crazy to think we’ve only been in Portland for eight days. We spent the first week doing a crazy amount of preparation for our first team, who came from San Antonio, TX. They’re a great group of people, eager to jump in and help as much as possible. Mary, one of the team leaders, loves dancing and singing with the kids, teaching them new songs, and getting the ‘tough guys’ to join in as well. Callen, one of the guys, comes up with hilarious songs each day to teach the kids Bible verses. Everyone is offering a little piece of something bigger and greater than themselves, giving the kids here a memorable experience. As summer staff, Christine, Michelle, and I couldn’t have asked for a better group, and I have no problem telling them that to their faces. On Monday, we went to the homeless ministry on Preble Street and we volunteered our time to cook breakfast for hundreds of homeless patrons. We made great friends, initiated relationships, and made a stinkin’ good breakfast, if I do say so myself. The work projects we’ve started this week include: General maintenance in the Root Cellar (the non-profit we are working with), working with the Portland Housing Authority (painting low-income housing for the poor as a beautification project), and eventually we’ll be working with the elderly, helping them around their homes when they can no longer help themselves.
The staff at the Root Cellar has been great; the amount of food they’ve been trying to force-feed us has left us feeling extremely blessed. We were shown around the kitchen by Peggy, assisted in work project planning by Becky, and told the best ways to work with the kids by Clark. Cori Lyons, a former EM Staff Member, came to help us prep last week, and her experience was invaluable. Without all of these people around us, well… let’s just say we’re glad we’ve had them along for this crazy ride so far.
Looking forward the rest of the week and the crazy songs that Callen, Oscar, Jeff, and I can come up with, we pray that God lets us be as effective as we can be.
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