So much has been happening in ministry lately that it has been hard to keep up. Along with Anne and I being out of town for two weeks in October, I have been behind on alot of things. Here, in bullet form, are a few quick updates:
Linfield College - One of our staff team members, Crystal, has been desiring to start African-American ministry groups on the campuses in Portland. Linfield, as she found out, has 28 A-A students in attendance. When she called the campus's Multicultural Office, they were a little hesitant about what she was asking about. When they met her and saw that she is A-A herself, they got excited! The office is now helping Crystal get a Bible study started for A-As at Linfield.
University of Portland - UP is a Catholic university that allows CCC access to perform the role of Protestant student activities, since nearly half of their student body is Protestant by background. Due to the nature of the agreement, CCC is not able to be very overt in how they go about publicizing and recruiting students for involvment. Three years ago some students from CCC organized a "Dodgeball For Jesus" tournament for the whole school. It has become one of the largest events on campus each year. This year saw almost 200 players on 30 teams, and dozens more spectators. While not overtly outreach-oriented, this event promotes good relations with the school, as well as exposes the whole campus to the CCC group, where Gospel relationships are formed.
Portland State - A few weeks ago I mentioned that we were approached by the women's basketball coach who wanted to know if we could start a Bible study on the women's team. 12 women from the team have been faithfully attending and are hungry for Christ and spiritual growth. Recently, Shasta, the CCC woman who has been leading the study, has been approached by the women's soccer coach as well to start something similar. Shasta has also caught wind of interest among the men's football team.
Also at Portland State - Sarah, a CCC staff who has been seeking opportunities for ministry among the international students in Portland, has discovered a once-per-week coffee house put on by the university that draws about 100 students from all over the world. Sarah has been given permission from the school to hand out some evangelistic materials and launch a Bible study among those interested.
Clark College - Abe and Jen, two CCC staff working to reach Asian-American students, visited Clark College and found a fairly large and very spiritually open population of Asian students. They are following up contacts there to try and put together a ministry to Asian-Americans at Clark.
Lewis and Clark College - One of our prayers for years at LC has been that God would surface men to lead ministry on that campus. In any given year, there will be one or less involved at all in any of the Christian groups. Josiah, a CCC staff, this year is leading a Bible study of three men who are all growing in their faith. Josiah has high hopes that these men will form a core of male leadership that our group at LC has never had.
New Orleans - Hurricane Katrina continues to grip the hearts of students in Portland. Another group plans to go for a week in December, and word has it that more will go again during Spring Break. I am amazed that their attention has remained so focused, more than a year after the storm hit.
East Asia - We will have a group of students and staff traveling to East Asia in December to do contact work and evangelism for ten days or so. In years past as many as 25 students have gone on this trip.
God is at work in Portland!