Alicia, who lives in one of the Apartment mission sites, shares with us the internal wrestling match of loving the undesirables. She points to that reality in all our hearts: its easier to love those who are like us than those who make us feel awkward. Neverthless Jesus calls us to a higher love.
If there is one thing I won’t be lacking this Thanksgiving season, it’s the joy God has given to me in serving Him through the work we do at Barberry Village.
I sit on a hay bale and look over at my fiancé, Matt, with two kids piled on each side of him, a wide grin on all three faces.
love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind [and]…love your neighbor as yourself. these words are almost cliché amongst christian circles these days, but i didn’t have a clue what they truly meant until i moved into barberry roughly a month ago.
Read the rest of Ryan's thoughts
In February of this year our Bible study group went to the Barberry Apartments to serve lunch and fellowship with the residents there. We met a young man that had recently immigrated and had only been here for three weeks. This meeting has brought forth an incredible relationship with him and his extended family of fourteen who are all refugees, as we were instantly drawn to them and them to us.
Over the past several months we have had some great times together. We have been able to assist them in everyday tasks such as shopping, transportation, learning English, translating at dentist appointments, getting clothing vouchers at Salvation Army, and taking some of them to church. Recently we took them up to Mt Hood to see snow for the first time. It was an amazing experience for them and us. We have also had them over for dinner, taken them to concerts and played dominos. It has been such a blessing to have them in our lives as we learn about their culture and language as we teach them about ours. On one occasion we were able to go to Google maps and see the refugee camp where they lived and actually see their old neighborhood and listen to them talk about their neighbors and friends they left behind.
Most of the family are not Christians and they were afraid that we would be offended because of that, but we assured them that that is not what our friendship is based on and that we love them for who they are. We continue to pray for their salvation and for God's love to be revealed through our actions and love for them.
To share with others just a few snapshots from life at Barberry:
A knock at the door. Four little girls with exotic looking flowers. “For you—a gift.”
Meet new brothers and sisters in surprising places. Be blessed by His providence in just the right moment.
Go to the Lord in prayer, totally unsure of what to do, begging for His will and His wisdom.
Meet a girl who is recovering from an addiction to Heroin. Answer her questions about God. Pray like you’ve never prayed before that she makes it through the night. Trust Him to love her and care for her the way you know you never could.
Go to get your mail. Come back half an hour later, sweaty from playing soccer.
Thank God with a full heart for the...
some prayer walks recently. Pray for a family that is trapped in
"eckankar." Also for a young man that picks and chooses what he
believes. We recently heard of some families are selling foodstamps in
order to pay their rent. Pray that these families could learn english
and find employment. We also are studying a mens bible study through
Meal Dates Available:
August 13th, 27th
Sept 10th, 24th
Nov 12th, 26th
Dec 10th, 24th
Weekly Prayer Walk - This thursday night, text Dan if you want in
Community Meal - This saturday at noon (May 28th).
ESL Class - Jim and Paulie are teaching english to residents here
Discipleship - Bob Maddox might be dropping by to help jump start some
discipleship among the team and residents.
Child Evangelism Fellowship VBS - Ron Imig, June 27th - July 1.
CCCC VBS - Clear creek community church vacation bible school is
coming up mon-wed Aug.1-3.
Gresham Bible Church VBS - Jen is going to talk to them about doing a
VBS later in August.
I began my journey of Christian faith five years ago in the month of April. I, like so many, saw Jesus pass my way, and felt compelled to follow Him. I felt I had been given a second chance at life, and that I would never be the same. It was true; each year has been drastically different than the year before. As I look back, I see that the Lord has been calling me further and further down His path, deeper into relationship with Him, and into an understanding of what that looks like for me.
I always dreamed of the life of a missionary, even before I was a Christian. I envisioned myself being the hand that fed the poor and was filled with joy at the prospect of bringing hope to those who had little or nothing at all. When I received the word of Christ, I knew His intention for me included the sharing of His hope, the only hope for the world. So, I went to Africa in hopes that His path for me was leading in that direction. I was there for three weeks, testing the ground, praying, and waiting for confirmation that this was where the Lord was leading. But, when I returned home,
Our third and final story in the 3 part series
Jennifer Johnson's story is a powerful story of surrender to God. She exemplifies for us all what it might look like to live sold out for Jesus. She is part of the Apartment Complex Initiative which takes the values and vision of compassion clinics to a whole new level. It is a level of Christlikeness that follows the call to "go and be WITH" the people who are lost and hurting.
A couple weeks ago we had our first large scale volunteer appreciation event. It was a big step for Compassion Connect in communicating to hundreds of volunteers that they are valued and appreciated. It was also important to celebrate the work of God in the midst of the Portland metro area.
We were honored to have so many people from different volunteering avenues come out to join together and celebrate.
It seems as though in our current "service-centric" Christianity...
Happy New Year from Stonereek! I hope you all had a great holiday season celebrating with family and friends.
I’m excited about how 2010 wrapped up here at Stonecreek and how God is beginning to mold 2011. On December 18th we had a great time at our first potluck held here since I moved in last May. We had about 20-25 residents and six church volunteers there. Our partner church provided the main course and dessert and we asked the neighbors to bring side dishes as well as participate in a cookie exchange. One of our church volunteers brought his guitar which really helped set the tone. The neighbors loved listening to him play. One of my neighbors lost his best friend in a police involved shooting just a few days before the potluck. He and several family members came that night and I was so moved at the loving response the church gave to him. Towards the end of the evening he pulled me aside and asked me if after the first of the year I would be willing to read the Bible with him for an hour a week. We met for the first time this past week which was great just to learn a bit more about his life and journey with “church”.
Upcoming Events & Opportunities
ACI Benefit Concert Friday,
January 28th @ 7:00 p.m.
The Chapel, Troutdale, OR
You will hear from other teams, support ACI and hear some great bands.
Craft Night Friday, Feb. 4th @ 7:00 p.m.
in the Rec. Room
We are continuing our monthly craft night. It’s the first Friday of every month. We are hoping to have a movie night here in the Rec. Room in mid-February. More details to come.
- I’m looking for a male volunteer to join me weekly to read the Bible with my neighbor. It’s an opportunity to develop a relationship with a man who I believe is truly seeking God in his life. We will be starting in the book of John. If you or anyone you know might be interested to meet one afternoon a week for about an hour please let me know!