This last Friday was the second time I have gone downtown to serve at "Nightstrike". This is just one aspect of a homeless/needy ministry called Bridgetown (Apparently, that is one of the many nicknames for Portland. Hey, I have only lived here for 11 years now). The leaders stress an emphasis on shedding expectation before you go downtown. While I tried to do this to allow the Spirit to guide me in whatever way I could be used, in retrospect, I had even bigger growing experience then my first time serving - which is something I never would have believed possible.
My first time serving I had a conversation with a group of 5-6 individuals, each in different positions in their relationships with God, who were curious why I was out their donating my time with Leon serving them free hot coffee and cocoa (A beautiful thing eh?). I briefly explained about Christs love that is overflowing in my life. One commented on how he respected that, but he knew God could never love him (Who would have thought it could have gotten any better?). From there I shared the Gospel.
Now, my second time down, after I finished washing a couple peoples feet, I spotted one of the individuals in my previous dialog who was more inclined to express a belief in Christ. His name is Kevin, and I was a bit shocked to see him again. The circumstances were completely random, from my blinded earthly perspective, but I felt compelled to follow after him and strike up a conversation. And I did just that, I struck up a conversation that proceeded to last the next 45 minutes. His willingness to follow the spirit and not get caught up with events that seems to thwart our own plans was so convicting. About halfway through, Leon met up with us, and the conversation concluded with me and Leon praying with him. I ask that you pray for Kevin as well. Pray that he can get back on his feet and that the Spirit would continue to open his eyes to the one true God. And also pray that through his solid foundation in Christ, he could be a light to the many other homeless people he interacts with on a daily basis.
Bridgetown is possibly the most exciting and powerful ministry (serving both the needy, and the volunteers) that I have ever been a part of. I plan to keep taking people back every Friday night that I can (including this next Friday the 15th!), feel free to let me know if you are interested. This last time a group from the Latino club came with us and I got the opportunity to bust out my Espanol skills and talk to a guy who didn't speak any English. I am told that my accent is really good for only having taken one term of Spanish. That's the kind of confidence that I definitely do not need while trying to study for my Spanish final, which is tomorrow morning.
Godspeed to all taking finals this week!
Enjoying the celebration of our Saviors birth (and all the food, festivities, and music that it entails),