Tuesday, Part One: A City of Tension

I wrote this earlier today around lunch and thought I’d post it for the day, but the first half of today was so different from the second I thought it would be better to do it in two separate parts.

Currently, I’m drinking some really healthy kale smoothie in some indoor food court in the middle of downtown Portland. Something I’m noticing: it’s delicious! But I’m also seeing how much tension there is between the “rich” and the “poor” sides of Portland. This morning, our team got to hang out with Sam and Quinton, two guys who are working with a church plant called Church of the City. They’re super cool guys, really genuine and fun, and are giving us an idea of how the city works and how they have to interact with it from a church planting perspective. We walked through “Old Town” Portland, the poorest neighborhood in Portland, then basically crossed a street and entered the Pearl, the richest neighborhood in Portland. Sam was explaining how the line for the homeless shelters in Old Town will be half a mile long at night, but if you cross the street, the median income is upwards of six figures. The way the Church has to work with so many different groups of people in such a small area is challenging, but it also points to how much trust in the Lord is required to work in ministry in this area.

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