There have been many who have asked what the heck we are doing as we travel. The answers vary depending on what city we are in but I wanted to give just one testimony from Portland.
In a previous post I briefly mentioned a man by the name of John. He has been waiting for a heart transplant. Months ago he was required to move close to the Portland area based on the need for close proximity if a heart were to become available for transplant. As a result he bought a little travel trailer and was forced to temporarily leave his wife and country home behind as he began to patiently wait for a new heart. Six months later we met him in Portland still waiting for a new heart. His wife does come often to see and stay with him, along with his little dog but there is a lot of open time in between their visits that has created significant loneliness for John.
Let me give a few details to set the stage. They might sound a little random at first but bare with me.
When Grace and I arrived in Portland, I was ready to tackle whatever the Lord asked of us. My desire was to possibly plant a little house church at the rv park. But I didn’t quite expect to tackle one thing He laid before me. Across the street was a Starbucks coffee and I knew quickly (per the Lord) that I was to spend each morning in that one location, studying the Word and listening to Him.
If you know me, then you know that I like to skip around when it comes to getting coffee. And I certainly don’t make coffee shops an everyday experience based on my budget. But I did find a way to temper the cost of spending each day at Starbucks and consistently arrived each morning at 6am.
Also, at our rv park there was a community room set up for functions or just every day hanging out. The first Sunday in Portland, we as a family went over and worshipped in that room. Towards the end of our worship time a man (John) came in and began to walk on the treadmill. Then as my next week went on, I realized that the same man came into Starbucks every morning like I did.
Long story short, we met and began to talk and hang out each morning. Our family was able to love on John in different ways throughout our time there. And even though he did not know Jesus, he still would let us pray often over him in Jesus’ name.
The moment I am wanting to highlight came right at the end of my time in Portland. As many of you know, right before we left Portland we made a very last minute, quick visit to North Carolina. Grace and the kids flew to New Mexico with grandma and grandpa while I flew back to Portland to make the long drive to pick them up on our way to Texas.
On the plane ride back to Portland I knew that I was to give John my Bible when I returned. In the midst of being prompted by the Lord, I thought to myself, “Why are you just now thinking of that?! You should have done that earlier.” But the timing of my gift became powerful.
Not long after arriving back in Portland, John stopped by our rv to give me his contact information. Shortly into our conversation John began to weep and I held him as he cried. He tried to give a tough exterior at first but quickly “melted.” I knew that it was time to give him the Bible and pray with him one last time. I don’t have words to describe that moment but it leaves me crying each time I think about it and even while I now type. John stood there grasping my Bible tightly with tears streaming down his face and saying with conviction that he would read it. May the message of God’s restoration of all things through the Messiah Jesus continue to echo in him and enlighten his eyes. May the Lord give him a new heart physically and spiritually.
We as a family walked away from our time in Portland with many different moments of ministry that presented themselves in our everyday life. John was one of those.
Currently we are in North Carolina and have a middle-aged unmarried couple living next to us. I don’t want to say to much at this point but they definitely don’t know Jesus and we would appreciate prayer for them. We started hanging with them from day one and are loving them as the Lord leads.
March 21, 2012
Jesus, have mercy on John! Thanks for sharing, Richee.