Couch Street park is a really nice park in Portland, near the Pearl District. The boys and I went there and played. We met some folks that told us something about Portland and faith. One was Lucan's mom. She was from Croatia and has been here 8 years. Very nice lady and son but she shared with me that Croatia has been through some tremendous changes and is doing well now. I guess I never realized how lucky we are to live in a country that has peace, free parks, and children can play in safety.
Then there was Sarah. She teaches at Temple Beth Israel preschool. When one of my sons started crying (he was hurt on the slide) she came over and thought it was one of her kids. I commented how well behaved the children were and how nice they were to us (they all told me their names and asked mine). She asked what I did for a living and I told her I am a minister and teach at a religious college. "That must be great that religion consumes your whole life," she said. "For me, it is just a small part of my life." I think that this is interesting--I have always heard that people aren't positive toward ministers. Yet, continually we find that people are open to talking to us about their faith.
I found out that the synagogues have Sabbath (Saturday) off and have services Friday night. They also have Sunday school classes. I guess it was interesting to meet Sarah and Luke's mom. I found out that there are people who have faith, are thankful, and respect what we are doing. I gave both of them cards. Sarah was interested to know about what we will do for people. I am continually amazed that people are open to talking about God--especially when it involves churches helping people.