Last year we began a tradition called the Agape Blitz. We sent Agape people and their friends into the community to serve as Jesus said, "Freely you have been given so give freely..." 20 people from our supporting church in Tulsa joined us (Park Plaza Church of Christ) and we ended up with 40 people serving in 3 areas of Portland.
This year we served at Dignity Village, Anawim Homeless Ministries, Yolanda House (Abuse Shelter), Lincoln High School, and Catholic Charities furniture warehouse. Since most of our college students were not here yet we decided to have 2 days (Aug. 23 and Sept. 6). Our goal was 150 Agape folks, Tulsa folks, and friends.
After Aug. 23 we had over 195 people. Tulsa sent 28 people and Portland supplied the rest.
Anawim Ministries (photo above) = 19 of us went to help clean and prepare for painting this home where the ministers open their doors to homeless families. 12 others joined in the work.
Yolanda House = 7 of us went to help prepare the shelter for school by providing backpacks for the kids.
Lincoln High School = 10 of us joined the many students to paint, week, clean, and repair the school for the Fall. Parents and staff shared with us that Lincoln wants us there on Sundays.
Catholic Charities = 10 of us helped the director rearrange the warehouse and visit garage sales to find furniture for single women leaving the street and finding a new place to live.
Dignity Village = 70 of us joined 20 Reed College students, the Fire Marshall and 10 from his church, and 38 residents to turn 17 of the tent homes into permanent structures. A construction crew and a couple Agape folks organized the mass chaos. Milwaukie Lumber provided the lumber at cost and delivered it for us. The Fire Marshall found out about our work, called me, and said--"This is great, can I have our men's group at church help and donate to this cause?"
We had 108 at worship Sunday. What a celebration! God has proven to be powerful. Love and serving are the way of Jesus.
I was tempted to say, "Thank you God, we're done--you've surpassed our feeble goal."
However, we committed to Sept. 6 and will have Brad Barbarick's Concordia University men's BBall team, Cascade, and Portland State students working at Anawim and Dignity Village. I am excited to see what God will do with this.