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Portland.

It’s been forever since I’ve written here. Namely because I’ve been pouring myself out each morning in my time spent in Scripture and journaling- I have had nothing left to share with anyone else. The Lord has been working on me in some amazing ways the past few months. Breaking me of my selfish ambition and filling me with the desires of His heart. It’s been a process of pruning and refining, and while I’m still in need of quite a bit more of that, I feel like some fruit is already starting to grow here. A season of quiet is needed sometimes when big things are happening inside of our spirits.

A family in our church is moving to Portland, Oregon, in July to plant a church. It’s a story that I’ve grown increasingly more invested in over time. It started with a natural interest as I worked with them to create a church logo and some print material. I loved hearing the heart behind the mission: they desire to share the gospel in Portland because it is the most religiously unaffiliated city in the United States, with 42% self-professing to be not religious. Listening to them talk about their trips into the city and how amazing the people of Portland are. The kindness, the passion, the interest they share so willingly, even with people that seem different. How refreshing that openness looks today when so many are so closed off. The more I heard, the more I needed to hear.

I guess I’ve always thought of missionaries as being so different from me, so to see the Lott family, a couple my own age with four young children making such a huge move was really fascinating. I felt something when I heard them share, and the more I learned, the more I wanted to be a part of it. When I first mentioned it to Trevor, he agreed that we needed to do something. We’ve committed to giving and praying, but how can we really be a part of this at a deeper level?

I’m not a crier. I’m just not one of those girls that wears their emotions at surface level, and it takes a lot to bring me to tears. So when I sat in church, tears pouring down my face, as our pastor talked about what it means to be sent as a disciple, I knew my spirit was connecting to something much deeper than a missional sermon series. Evangelism scares the pants off of me. I think we all get an image of street preachers hollering and condemning passersby, but that is absolutely not how I want to share the hope and the freedom found in Jesus. It’s about living life as a disciple. Being different. Being kind. Loving people well. Trying to live like Christ in order to show people His love before ever mentioning His name.

“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:35

That’s the kind of disciple that I want to be, and that’s exactly what the Lotts are doing in Portland. I’m learning that all of us are called to go. That going may look different for each one of us, but going isn’t just for a career missionary. It’s for moms and dads. Students. Grandparents. Kids. If you love Jesus, part of that relationship is to tell other people about it. Use your gifts and your talents to serve in a way that’s unique to you- it’s not about doing things like everyone else or emulating someone. God equips each one of us in a specific way, and we are to use those gifts for His glory.

Friday, we are flying out to Portland. Me, terrified of airplanes and being not in control, is willingly boarding a plane for a 5.5 hour flight—that in itself is a testament that God is in this! Trevor and I are praying about how we can be actively involved. We love a city we’ve never even seen—how does that work? We figured we need to do some seeing. As we walk the streets and pray together, we hope God will reveal His plan for us and just how we can be a part of this amazing wave of goodness for a city that He loves, too.

Follow the story of East Bridge Church and the Lott family as they prepare to move here (AND… please pray that I don’t have a nervous breakdown when I leave my still-nursing one year-old for the first time and get into a tin can with wings… because the likelihood is high).

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4 Comments

  • Reply Jenny

    Wow! Love these words so much. So glad you shared. Absolutely will be praying for you both this weekend.

    February 28, 2017 at 2:42 pm
    • Reply Jessica

      Thanks so much, Jenny!

      February 28, 2017 at 3:29 pm
  • Reply Jamie

    As a Christian wife and mother of 3 (ages 7,5, & 2), your words are such an encouragement to me! Just what I needed to hear:) Evangelism scares the dickens out of me too, even though I desire to do it. I will pray for the Lott family and their church, and your family too!

    March 8, 2017 at 7:44 am
    • Reply Jessica

      Thank you for that, Jamie! We had such a great trip, I’ll blog about it soon!

      March 8, 2017 at 11:52 am

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