Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Some News

*A local Hispanic church, Vida Nueva, spoke with our Hispanic visitors on the street. After some deliberation, they decided to rent an apartment, set up some rules, have a couple church members live in the apartment and then invite as many of them are interested to live in the housing and the volunteers would find them paid work. This is the kind of community and church involvement we have been praying for! Another church is considering "adopting" a few of our members along the same lines!

*Zarephath Kitchen, a local soup kitchen, has new stipulations disallowing anyone to speak about God, Jesus or to pray with people in the soup kitchen. Because of this, two of the local churches have decided not to participate in the kitchen. They are looking for new facilities to meet in.

*The city of Gresham emergency services and the local fire marshal has agreed to give permission to a couple churches to open on snowing nights, even though it doesn't meet their criteria for opening. The criteria calls for a permitted opening if, when wet, the temperature is 25 degrees or lower, or dry if the temperature is 22 degrees or lower. Even though it is 30 degrees and wet (thus, snowing), the city agrees that it is permissible for the churches to open. This is a huge victory, as earlier in the season the city didn't give permission even though there was freezing rain and wind!

*Right now in Anawim's facility in Gresham (aka Sanctuary), people are getting warm and eating hot dogs; a class on Mennonite leadership is taking place; leaders are setting up overnight shelters to keep people safe in the freezing cold the next couple nights; and I am talking with another ministry leader who may be using our Red Barn to store food and supplies to pack backpacks for needy school kids. God's work is being done here in Gresham!

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