It's been awhile since our last post, and as you can imagine a lot has happened - and changed.
The past two seasons have proved to show how many people there are in the Rockwood community who care about it and are doing great works on behalf of their love for this area. We have had the opportunity to attend a Rockwood Neighborhood Association meeting in November and meet many people who have roots here and are engaging in making a positive difference.
The meeting was held at Rockwood's new Salvation Army Youth Center, home of this winter's Good Shepherd Christmas party, which many families from Barberry attended. It is so great to partner with passionate believers to serve God's kingdom! The event was filled with much joy and laughter. It was especially encouraging seeing youth (and we're talking young kids in elementary and middle school) participate in leading activities!
In the Summer of 2009 the city of Portland came alive through the love of churches. Not that it was dead before, but it has never been alive in this kind of collaborative "love your neighbor as yourself" kind of way. It has caught the attention of USA Today, Readers Digest, and now CBN.
The above video was done by Paul Strand. He did a great job. One of the questions he asked me that didn't make it in the final cut is an important one.
"Is this cutting edge Christianity?"
The shell speaks don't you dare
But underneath the intimidation
Is a beautiful creation.
Underneath the hurt and struggle
There is a small bubble
Of hope that's been plagued with rejection
Even filled with infection
Is there someone who can heal?
Who can peel
The layer of destruction
And fill it with God's love and grace?
When we are in are most trying times, it almost always seems as if God comes through. This should come as no surprise, but for some reason it usually does, at least to me. When"we are week, He is strong."
The last few months have been trying, as others have shared, we are discovering that being here for the long haul takes more commitment then we "expected." We always talk about having no expectations of what will happen, but they slip in some how. It seems the more I try to make something as simple as playing disc golf with a neighbor happen the more I fail. If the key point of being here is to develop relationships then why is it so hard I have often asked myself.....Well this last week God allowed for some awesome relationship building. After months of trying to get together with one of our neighbors it happened. The guy actually took the initiative and planned it out for us almost! And we were able to play Disc golf and talk about Christ(thanks to one of the dudes here with the gift of evangelism). We are looking forward to doing this again this coming week. Praise God!