We are currently living in Portland, OR. Coming from Montana roots, this change has been exciting, challenging, and overall an adventure. We moved here August 2014 and God blessed us with an amazing apartment, church, and friends. We are overwhelmed with His constant provision for all our needs. The most challenging part of living in Portland has been how far away we are from family. Merrilee’s brothers have children and Braxton (1 1/2) isn’t able to be around his cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandparents as much as we would like. We also don’t have a yard and so he is currently afraid of grass, which (as a farm kid) I do experience some guilt about.
Our staff team, comprised of 11 members, is on 10 different campuses to varying degrees. We strongly feel that God has called us to reach the roughly 100,000 college students on 20 campuses throughout the city, and we are trying to be faithful to that calling. Our “main” campuses are Portland State University, University of Portland, and Washington State University – Vancouver. We are also on several community colleges, Clark College (Vancouver), Pacific, and Warner Pacific.
Since we are on so many different campuses, sometimes it can feel like we aren’t seeing momentum building. More traditional campus staff are able to gather their students together so much easier and even invite students into their homes. Our students live anywhere from 20 minutes to 1 1/2 hours away! “Just dropping by” rarely happens. We have been doing a “City Wide Cru” event once a quarter (3 times a year) where we gather as many students as we can to a more traditional “weekly meeting” event. We were so encouraged that this has grown to 77 students! We feel God moving in this city and are praying that we experience a spiritual breakthrough.