TESTIMONIES | 2018 Archive
mental health + Opiate abuse treatment funding
Lane County’s community health centers will receive federal funding to expand mental health & substance abuse services. “These resources allow for a critical expansion to [the opiate treatment] model and an important step towards fighting opiate addiction and dependency,” said the Director of Lane County Health (KVAL 9/19). We’ve prayed for God to intervene for those with mental illness and opiate addiction.
“Please don’t let
One Church - One Day people stop praying…“
- government leader,
God’s Miraculous Protection of First Responders
Early on Wednesday, October 17th, firefighters were called to a Springfield house fire, while a gunman waited to ambush them. By all accounts, the incident should have been a significant tragedy that headlined national news, but no one was seriously injured. Community leaders are giving glory to God for the miraculous protection:
The gunman set his home on fire around 4 AM, and waited with multiple guns in a neighboring driveway for the unsuspecting firefighters.
While the first responders took cover and called for backup, bullets flew, covering the fire engine’s windshield and garage doors.
In all, 14 shots were fired from the semiautomatic 12-gauge shotgun, and three evacuated homes burned to the ground, while another suffered damage.
Before 8 AM a leader in the fire department called the One Church – One Day Team to share what had happened and give all glory to God for the way He answered our prayers by sparing first responders:
“I talked to the captain, and he thinks it is nothing short of a miracle. Each of the firefighters were struck by buckshot, but none were critical. Bullets either stuck in their turnout gear, bounced off their helmets, or just left a bruise because it went through the windshield. Blessings and thanks for the protection all around.”
A Jesus-following fireman, who drove the truck that morning, accidentally left the driver’s side door open. It was the door that took his bullet.
A few hours later, another government leader contacted us,
“… This could have been a significant tragedy. Please don’t let One Church – One Day people stop praying for first responder safety.”
The following day, dozens of pastors signed a ‘thank you’ card and delivered it the fire station, expressing our thanks for their service and their protection, and assuring them we are praying for them and their families daily.
Together, we are in awe of God’s mercy to protect our first responders. We are thankful for the God-honoring and prayer-coveting leaders who oversee our city. We are humbled by the way God is answering our prayers. We are sobered by the potency of God’s unified people, standing as watchmen over our city in continuous prayer. We recognize the weightiness of our call to pray. We resolve afresh to heed Jesus’ words to “pray and not give up,” along with our government leaders' request to not stop praying through One Church – One Day.
Thank you for praying. All Glory to God.
Mental health care funding multiplied 5x
We recently reported that Lane County was one of two counties in the nation to receive a grant to coordinate mental health services with the justice system.
UPDATE: Lane County received another grant, the SAMHSA Grant, which will effectively multiply the original grant five times. It amounts to $400,000 every year for five years to improve the coordination of services. Government leaders are ecstatic because they are well-resourced to better support & lead the chronically homeless and mentally-ill toward positive life changes when they enter the law and court system.
Boost to Downtown Safety
The City of Eugene unanimously committed $8.6 million to improve public safety over the next 18 months. They will pursue other sources to sustain the plans long-term.
“The proposals signal a massive commitment… to beef up a criminal justice and social support system that city leaders say haven’t kept up with the population growth. The proposals strike a balance between law enforcement... and preventative programs that help steer both youth away from crime & the city’s most chronic offenders toward stable lives” (RG 9/27).
The funding will add:
- 10 patrol officers to form a rapid response team,
- 4 or more 911 dispatchers,
- 5 jail beds,
- support youth mental health services & a program helping youth before they are chronically homeless.
- continue the Community Outreach Response Team & community court (programs that link the most chronic offenders and the low-level violators, with services),
- a year-round Dusk to Dawn program (which provides homeless people with a safe place to sleep, and a day resource center, where they could shower, do laundry & stow belongings, at a location to be determined).
We’ve pray for God’s shalom to permeate downtown Eugene, and these steps help bring peace to individuals, as well as our city square.
sheriff fully staffed
The sheriff department & other first responder agencies are thrilled that all of their open positions are filled. New sources of funding allow them to begin ‘over hiring’ in preparation for the near-retirement of key positions. This comes after we prayed for months that more quality recruits would be hired in all agencies. The Eugene and Springfield police departments have also hired more recruits than ever!
a new believer + God’s love
A woman in her early twenties, who responded to the Gospel at the CityFest women’s outreach, had this to say about the love of God:
“A love that will never leave you and a God who will love you no matter what… that’s one powerful love, man! That alone will get me to go to church!”
Following the outreach, her work hours increased, giving her little time for fellowship, let alone to attend church. Yet more than three months since the outreach, God has been faithful to nurture her faith.
community Leaders Encourage prayer
Last Sunday First Baptist invited seven community leaders to share their greatest aspirations and concerns to their congregation. The purpose was to be informed as to how to pray for our community and our leaders.
Four of the leaders have served on One Church - One Day strategic teams! Each stood before the church and their colleagues, recognizing answers to prayer and expressing their gratitude for God's praying people!
We are blessed to have God-honoring, prayer-dependent high-level community leaders. Here are a few quotes:
"I want to encourage you to continue in One Church - One Day. Chris Skinner may not know this, but for 12+ months, 100s of you prayed. What I can tell you is we got the absolute perfect person for this time. Thank you very much for praying." - Jon Ruiz, Eugene City Manager
"Your prayers obviously worked. We are happy to be here." - Chris Skinner, New Eugene Police Chief
"The prayers of this community have changed the trajectory of many of the things going on. With humble confidence I come with specific prayer requests, knowing these are going to be answered, and that these are things I cannot handle by changing a policy. I need a force greater than myself and my team to make these critical changes happen." - Joe Zaludek, Eugene/Springfield Fire Chief
On top of this, another leader read directly from the prayer guide, when sharing how to pray!
You can watch to video here to see what they shared in detail!
prayer multiplies at LCC
It’s been a year since a small group of faculty & students began praying at Lane Community College, after we prayed for believers to find each other on campus. Since then, the group doubled and gathers to pray twice a week. Their new found boldness and relationships led them to publicly invite other believers to their prayer gatherings during the LCC staff in-service day.
good news, new life in christ
Each summer at Camp Harlow, typically 260 - 290 children commit their lives to Jesus, but this year was different. By the end of July, with still a month to go, 380 children & youth had responded to the Good News! Our prayers for the proclamation of the Gospel and for many to meet Jesus are being answered.
Since a Springfield church began praying for their Alpha Course through One Church – One Day, the course’s participation has nearly doubled! During their last class, 41 people participated, and 29 of them were exploring faith or new believers.
A church in the heart of Downtown Eugene was thrilled to receive an invitation to their neighborhood association’s summer block party. They took it as a sign of growing relationships & rapport with their neighbors!
“Business is blooming” in Downtown Springfield, according to the Register Guard (7/15). In the last year, more than 10 new businesses have opened or moved to the 300 block of Main Street. The revitalization has created a family-friendly atmosphere, attracting more professionals as well. Business owners call it a clean, youthful and up-and-coming area, that “doesn’t have some of the problems that we’ve had in the past.” On top of this, some of the businesses are Christian-owned. It’s an answer to prayer for the Springfield economy!
Two banks with headquarters in Lane County - Summit and Oregon Pacific - reported strong profits during the first six months of 2018. They attributed the growth to a booming local economy (RG 7/24).
We prayed for God to bless the 5th Street Market Development. In July, the City Council unanimously approved three actions to move the project forward. This is also a testimony of increased government/business cooperation & collaboration (RG 7/24).
god changed lives through cityfest
There are too many stories to tell and too many reasons to give thanks when we think about all God did through CityFest. Use the button below to read stories of lives changed through CityFest. You can read the full report and see the statistics here.
Mental Health CARE + Justice
connecting community Health systems
Lane County is one of only two counties in the nation awarded funding from the Centene Foundation. This will enable an outside organization to work with the county to connect & enhance community-based health systems: jails, justice systems & health care. Lane County will receive training, research & technical support to identify the best models suited for our community. Local mental health professionals will serve as a focus group.
Additionally, the State of Oregon has hired a consultant to gather data around behavioral health justice. The findings will influence future funding for behavioral health in our local justice system. We’ve prayed for God to add more mental health services to our community.
inspired art at Cityfest
Christian artists created the work below at CityFest. It symbolizes the Gospel message and our unity in Christ. Guests at CityFest had their hands traced to be part of the painting!
· After an evangelism training, a woman cried out to God for opportunities to share the Gospel again. The next Sunday, a teenage boy came to her at the church information booth, saying "I want to be converted!" She explained the Gospel, led Him to receive salvation & connected him with his friend in the youth group!
· Two elderly couples put their faith in Jesus! One couple was baptized at 87 & 91 years old!
· A youth group started a club at Willamette High School. One day, the students felt they should do an altar call for salvation. They shared the Gospel and 12 students responded! Another student followed the leader home to ask him how he could be saved too!
FAMILies restored: Every Child
After 12 churches joined together to host “Foster Family Fun Night” for foster families, a boy left saying, “This was the best day of my life!”
A GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTURE
At Community-Wide Worship, God gave us an example of what “could be” in future years as God’s people step into the foster care crisis. A woman fostered a meth addict’s children twelve years ago. Now the children thrive as adults. God also intervened in the biological mom’s life; He brought her to saving faith in Jesus!
Here’s what happened at Community-Wide Worship: The former foster mom and the clean, sober & restored biological mom ran into each other! They stood side-by-side, worshiping God in the presence of His people. Can you see it? Stories like this happening all over our town as God’s people care for vulnerable children, support at-risk families & believe for restored families.
FEWER PRESCRIPTION OPIOIDS
According to Lane County Public Health, doctors are prescribing opioids less, as we have prayed!
tiny homes + Church property
Eugene City Code now allows churches to build up to two tiny homes on their property for affordable housing! Oregon legislation around tiny homes is changing, but Eugene City Council approved the additional ordinance for churches this May:
The City Council made their decision unanimously because of the overwhelming voice & advocacy of local churches. We prayed for God to use His people to help create more affordable housing units, and the new
ordinance is a step in the right direction!
LIGHT IN THE ARTS
We’ve prayed for God’s light to be upon local artist & their art. The Santa Clara community received a grant to paint murals in their neighborhood. The name of the grant? BEAM. The theme of all the murals? Light.
Mental Health Resources in schools
The Education Team created the prayer request for more accessible mental health resources in schools. The next day, a middle school counselor connected with Lane County Behavioral Health. They agreed to provide a counselor to see students one full day a week through the end of the school year - at no cost to the school!
Also, Ophelia’s Place, a prevention-based organization for girls, will partner with multiple schools in Springfield to provide regular classes next year.
A safe community
A Junction City church prays for the safety of their town. Recently, Junction City was named the safest small city in Oregon!
work, mission + promotion
Multiple believers were given new management roles in their workplaces, and they embraced their promotions as opportunities for the Gospel to change lives.
A new manager had the opportunity to lead a number of people to Jesus. He even followed the prompting of the Holy Spirit to offer a new position to someone he later learned was contemplating suicide.
Another woman was promoted to a difficult position at a bank. She soon learned why God promoted her: the man who was hired to fill her former position. After he was hired, he learned he would have lost his last job, had he not taken the new position.
He later learned his jaw was infected. The woman (his manager) asked if she could pray for him over the phone. He replied, “Yes, I need something,” as the infection was close to his brain. After she prayed, he said, “Jesus, yes I believe. I need peace. I need to be right with God and go back to church!”
Before his scheduled surgery, the doctor checked his jaw. The infection was contained in a tiny pocket and not spreading - something he’d never seen before!
It was a miracle, and the man’s response was to go back to church. The pastor prayed for his complete healing, and when the doctors checked again, the infection was completely gone! In fact, it looked as if he received a brand new bone!
On top of this, everyone at the bank knows about his healing and his return to church! There’s bound to be more to come. . .
We pray for God to heal & restore families. Here’s one example: Two families at the center of a church split reconnected over a game of basketball. There was laughter, fun & the promise of future connection!
First responder witness
A woman followed the Holy Spirit’s leading to encourage police officers in downtown Eugene. She thanked them and told them churches pray for their safety & protection every day of the month, which took them by surprise!
She planted a seed, and perhaps some of these officers will attend July’s CityFest Outreach for First Responders. God could do anything with the united prayers of His people, bold obedience & proclamation of the Gospel!
Fire departments join forces
Two Eugene-area fire departments are joining forces! The merger is a solution for waning volunteers that will not cost taxpayers more money! The merger improves staffing & response time, providing for around-the-clock paid emergency staff in the Santa Clara/River Road area. We’ve prayed for wisdom for first responder leadership teams, for interagency cooperation & the overall well-being of our community.
job growth strong
We pray for new businesses to be invited & established in our community. Recently, SentinelOne, a high-tech firm from California moved to our community, promising around 100 family-wage jobs by the end of 2019.
“Lane County Job Growth Strong, Jobless Rate Still Low,” headlined the Register Guard in May. While we’ve reported this before, we continue to rejoice at how God is creating jobs & strengthening our economy.
new public works director
Dan Hurley was hired as the New Public Works Director! We prayed for the process & selection, as the position leads the county’s largest department!
We pray for community leadership positions during transition: that God would lead & appoint the right person to the role. Here are a few stories that give us reason to believe God is responding to our prayers!
One high-level education leader came to tears after learning churches prayed daily during her hiring process. In response she said, “There’s no logical reason for me to be here, but since I was hired, I’ve felt called here.”
Leadership at LCC is also actively looking to bridge the gap between the campus & the faith community! This comes after we prayed for a greater joining together of believers at LCC. The same week One Hope learned of the “bridge” LCC wants to create, we discovered an existing UO campus ministry launched a new extension of their ministry at LCC!
New Eugene Police Chief
Chris Skinner was appointed as the next Eugene Police Chief. We prayed for God to appoint this position for nearly a year!
He was the overwhelming choice of police department employees, government leaders and the public. The consensus was nearly unanimous!
Much of what set Skinner apart from other candidates were things we pray for on the One Church – One Day community prayer guide: “Skinner appeared to be the best choice for maintaining public trust & confidence in the department. . . He will lead our police department with fairness & compassion in a way that builds trust within EPD & with the community,” said Jon Ruiz.
The March 20th Register Guard article also cited Skinner’s “commitment to recruitment, training and retention of a highly trained workforce,” & understanding of complex issues, including homelessness & racial justice,” as reasons he was selected. We pray for all of these topics on the prayer guide.
volunteers honored for faith
Springfield’s Education Board hosted their 2018 Volunteer of the Year Recognition in April. At least five pastors and church volunteers were recognized. More than accolades, God received glory: In front of all the principals, they were recognized not just for their service, but for their faith! They said, ”What we love so much is their faith. Their faith is impacting our schools and their faith is impacting our staff.” It’s what we pray for on the prayer guide: fruitful church/school partnerships!
cindy's faith + Obedience
We are praying for God to equip and empower His people to share their faith and the Gospel. Last week, a woman who attends the CityFest Prayer Gatherings, brought a list of six names to the meeting. She said, "These are the names of people who gave their lives to Jesus since the last prayer time (two weeks ago)! Can we pray for them?"
She’s been sharing the Gospel, and led 6 people to the Lord in the last two weeks! As people respond to the message, she connects them with churches in their area.
All that to say, the CityFest Prayer Team prayed for those names, and for this woman’s faith and obedience to be multiplied in people all across our valley!
UNA ESPERANZA: HISPANIC PASTORS + CHURCHES
A group of Hispanic pastors formed a core team to launch “Una Esperanza,” which means “One Hope” in Spanish! This is a direct answer to prayer for Hispanic churches. Much of this movement was spurred on by prayer at the Pastors Prayer Summit & the Hispanic Re:New for CityFest.
Here’s what happened at the Hispanic Re:New Rally: Pastors from 11 churches gathered with people from their congregations! The dancers danced & the people sang as the multi-church worship team lead the crowd. After the speaker encouraged them toward true koinania (fellowship), they wrote down names of people in their lives they are asking God to bring to salvation. Pastors then agreed together in prayer for the names.
One pastor said it well, “It is for One Lord; it is not about anything else. This is a historic moment.” His words are true, as this is a big answer to prayer. In the past, unity among Hispanic churches has been harder to cultivate. We’re excited to see all God will do among & through a unified Hispanic Church in our region!
Salvation at Community-Wide Worship | May 2017
What Happens when we Lift up One Voice
Last year, a woman in her late-twenties brought her UO-professor friend to Community-Wide Worship. She’d been sharing Jesus with her for some time. Hundreds worshiped, and during the event her friend put her faith in Jesus! She said, “As everyone sang ‘the name of Jesus’ over and over, I understood what He did for us!”
Hallelujah! It’s a picture of what is happening in our community as we proclaim Jesus’ name in unity. See you at Community-Wide Worship on May 20th!
arts, healing + Children
God is using the arts to love our community and bring healing to kids. Here are two examples:
DHS Art Classes | A group of Jesus-following artists provided art classes for 16 children in foster care over Spring Break, upon the request of DHS staff. At times the children received one-on-one instruction because so many artists participated! The classes were a delight to the children, staff and artists.
A New Building | The Elrod Foundation, a new youth arts counseling center, secured a building & received their IRS 501c3 letter to be qualified as a nonprofit. A number of donors stepped up, and teen support groups and art therapy classes are being launched. We prayed specifically for this in March and April.
Every Child in Florence
The testimony of God using His people to care for vulnerable children and raising up more foster parents continues: There is a DHS branch in Florence, Lane County. However, there are only six foster families available to take children in Florence. This means most foster children are not only removed from their family, but their school & town, when they are placed with a Eugene area family.
In response to the desperate need, last November, God provided a leader for the Every Child effort in Florence! Recently the Every Child extension held their first orientation and training for the public. They also rallied volunteers for their first DHS makeover, painting & refreshing the Florence visitation room & staff kitchen. God is raising up foster families & support in every corner of the county!
New development, new jobs
In only a few square miles, many millions of dollars of infrastructure and hundreds of jobs are being added to our community via the Knight Science Campus, the Hayward Field Renovation, and the City of Eugene’s newly-purchased Riverfront property.
god's people + Accessible, Affordable Housing
This request on the prayer guide stirred a married couple:
Pray for more affordable housing units for our community, for God to use His people to be part of the solution, and for God to remove barriers for everyone in need of housing.
They contacted their pastor about their soon-to-be-vacant rental home. After learning more about the needs of others within their own church family, they decided to offer the house at well below market value in order to provide a safe affordable home for a local family.
more housing stories
During a street ministry outreach of another church, a group met a young mother who was homeless and at risk of losing her child. A man on the team asked her, “Do you believe God can do it in 30 days?” She said yes, and the man prayed for housing in the next 30 days. Within a month she moved into an apartment + was able to retain custody of her baby.
Another church walked alongside a man who lived in his car with his daughter for years. Through the process he found an apartment, loves his Christian employer + his daughter invited friends over for a sleepover for the first time!
These are some examples of how God is using His people to be part of the solution to the affordable housing crisis, even as a larger group of church leaders collaborate more on broader solutions. More stories to come!
god on the move at UO
what happened at "Come + See"
College student & young adults packed the EMU Ballroom in February – 680 people! Francis Chan + Andrew Palau shared the Gospel in the heart of the University of Oregon + 35 students responded to the message! We’re rejoicing with heaven over their new life in Christ. Beyond “the numbers,” here are reasons to give thanks:
The morning of the outreach, a young woman stood up in front of her lecture class, inviting 500 students to Come and See, while her friends cheered her on. An answer to prayer for boldness.
A girl, recently returning to faith herself, brought her roommates to the event, and they all made commitments to Christ too!
Two different young women recommitted their lives to Jesus, one whom her friends had prayed for years, and an another began to tremble as the Gospel was shared!
Multiple international students responded to the Gospel.
NCU and UO students were excited about prayer walking on campus weeks before the outreach.
Hundreds of Christian students had the opportunity to see how many believers are on campus.
One young man said, “it was so good just to hear the simple Gospel again,” and we’re trusting students left focused and activated to share their faith with their friends and classmates beyond the event.
We believe this is only the beginning, and the first fruits of our prayers for hundreds of college students to come to saving faith in Jesus and for God to move in mighty ways on all of our local college campuses.
The arts + dhs COLLIDE
We’ve prayed for artists to use their gifts for the glory of God, along with specific prayer for the Pacific Rim Art Guild (a group of Christian artists) to have vision and new places of influence. We also consistently pray for Every Child and the foster care system:
A unique partnership is developing. It all started with an Every Child DHS makeover. Six churches painted + refreshed DHS waiting rooms at the West 11th office, and the PAC Rim donated two art pieces for one of the rooms. Families and staff enjoyed the pieces so much, that they asked the artists for more paintings on loan. The Jesus-followers then created new paintings to fill the walls of the office, and the employees love them!
Further collaboration is happening too: DHS asked the PAC Rim artists to provide painting classes for children in foster care over Spring Break. It’s in the works!
community leaders testify to answered prayer
First Responder leadership continue to be “super pleased” with the results of their hiring, for which we are praying. Positions are being filled, and many with believers! They encourage us to continue to pray, as positions are still open due to retirement. We’ll keep praying for “charactered” men and women to be hired in every department, as God is actively answering our request.
The fire department sent multiple teams to the California wildfires this fall. None of the teams reported any injuries, which is highly unusual. Department leaders consider this an answer to our prayers!
Thanks to the high-speed internet infrastructure, more tech companies are moving to downtown Eugene and prospering here! Government and business leaders insist this is a result of prayers for our economy.
a doctor's prayer at work
A member of a church in Springfield discovered this answer to prayer at the hospital:
“I experienced firsthand how our prayers impact our communities: I was at a local hospital as my neighbor was dying. As life support was about to be removed, the ER doctor gently asked her daughter if she was religious. She said "No, but I believe." He then asked if he could pray. He prayed, "Dear Jesus, help us usher this sweet lady into Your Presence." I know it was a comfort to her daughter, as well as to me, as she soon passed on to heaven.”
”I remember we prayed with One Church-One Day last year that healthcare professionals would have boldness for the Lord [and pray with patients] . . . Our prayers do matter!”
Foster in the News
KVAL featured six stories of foster families during February’s Foster Family Awareness and Appreciation Month. They highlighted what fostering is like & invited community members to be involved! As we’ve prayed for Media to highlight stories to help “neighbors love neighbors,” and for more foster families, this series is certainly spreading awareness & empowering people to care for vulnerable kids.
A Unified + Outward Church
Churches are being stirred to pray and do outreach more: A church in West Eugene is getting excited as they see answers to prayer. They are seeing the power of prayer afresh, and they’re responding by praying and believing more! People at another church are going outside of the four walls of their building, joining in outreaches and prayer walks – and they are excited about it! The number of life groups & people praying through One Church – One Day is growing too!
The senior pastor of a church in downtown Eugene recently retired. The transition of leadership within the church happened without a stutter, in fact they are being propelled with great momentum further in their mission and vision. The buzz of conversation around the last Sunday’s message fills mid-week gatherings, and people are excited about the future of their church family. The team attributes the smooth transition to prayers for unity and for their leaders, and being led by the Spirit in their transition. Praise the Lord!
Two foster parents attended a DHS assessment meeting with their foster boy’s biological father. He shared about the progress he made in different areas of his life in order to regain custody. Then he shared about the parenting classes he took at CAFA. His face lit up! He talked about loving his classes and being excited to use what he learned with his son. We prayed for all parenting classes to equip parents to love and lead their children on the prayer guide!
By the end of the meeting, it was determined that the family would be reunited on the boy’s birthday! Praise the Lord for the way our prayers for the whole community are influencing individuals lives & bringing reconciliation.
a "Weird" Halloween
An officer with the Lane County sheriff department called it “the weirdest Halloween” in Creswell. The city drew the largest crowd in its history, but there was no vandalism & zero calls to the authorities! That’s never happened, and he attributed to prayer. We prayed for God’s protection and light over our area during Halloween week.
sports + salvation
We prayed for Fellowship of Christian Athlete’s ministry (FCA) to have favor and influence with younger athletes. A girl from a Buddhist background joined the Junction City track team & started attending FCA club meetings. She kept coming back because the club was “such an encouraging environment.” Recently, she gave her life to Jesus!
A new Oregon football recruit was baptized this fall. At the next Duck football game, he had two interceptions! We prayed for the ministries reaching out to college athletes, & specifically for God to guide the local collegiate athletic recruiting process for His Kingdom’s sake.
thanksgiving in the news
Together, God’s people distributed 1400 Thanksgiving Meal Boxes to 1400 families! 55 churches/ organizations worked together to love our neighbors. There were many stories from the outreach, and the media covered the overall story. KEZI reported on our together-effort multiple times, clearly sharing how many churches worked together. We've prayed for media outlets to cover "good news stories" & for the media coverage of CityFest/CityServe to be positive. We see the coverage as an answer to prayer! May Jesus be glorified in the good works He authors.
In November, the Eugene Police Department received an national evaluation, and the overall report was positive. The report cited “considerable progress” on police-community relations since the last report – we’ve prayed for community support for first responders!
Multiple churches prayed for new volunteer leadership. One church saw new leaders for youth and college ministry step forward, along with new life group leaders & kids’ workers! Another church prayed for volunteers for their children’s ministry... five people came forward to serve!
A church prayed for the launch of their church plant in Ashland. It began with 200 people & $50,000! They are already seeing fruit, in the typically “unchurched” area.
A man started attending a little church in the country. He needed a place to live to keep custody of his son. The church supported him through the process of finding a job, then a better job and a place to live! He was embraced by community, found work and housing, and got to stay with his son! We prayed for families to have housing and stay together, and God used a local congregation to be part of the answer for this family.
The economy continues to grow, here are a some signs:
Five local tech projects received a combined $83,000 from the Mozilla Foundation to increase high-speed internet and tech collaboration.
More tech apprenticeships will come to our community through Apprenti and local partners as early as March. The apprenticeships train people with skills needed to work in competitive tech firms.
A cereal and granola bar company plans to open a large plant in Junction City, employing about 75 people.
The Eugene airport announced on December 11th, more than 1 million passengers traveled through the airport in 2017. A robust economy created demand for more flights. In turn, “increased airport travel, especially by business travelers & tourists, benefited our [local] economies” more (RG 12/17).
We also prayed for land to open up to create more capacity for industrial growth, along with collaborative business/government relationships on local and state levels. The state “approved the first major expansion of Eugene’s urban growth boundary in 35 years” (RG 11/1/17). It opens land near the airport for urban development. The development is expected to create up to 3,000 new jobs, two parks & a school. The decision is called a milestone!
health care mentoring
More Christian doctors and dentists are mentoring undergrad medical students. For example, a Christian OB doctor connected with an interested UO senior at a gathering for medical professionals and students. Now the doctor is mentoring the student!
honoring the arts
We consistently pray for financial provision for musicians and artists. Multiple Jesus-following musicians noticed God’s provision in an unusual place. A number of new
elderly homes hired consistent musicians this summer. One called it the “retirement home world tour.” He was delighted because the market was for his genre. God opened a new avenue to play music & receive income.
The arts strategic team has noticed much change in the art community: main art groups shifting, old galleries closing, and new collaborations springing up. They recognize God is doing a new thing in the arts, even as world class murals are being created in our community for the 2021 Track and Field World Championships (we’re praying for the murals too). Artists feel affirmed by the way our community is valuing the arts, even setting a standard of excellence through the murals.
The Pacific Rim Art Guild, a local collaboration of Christian artists, is experiencing transition as well. They recently moved from their gallery space and are looking for a new space, as we pray. In the meantime, God has given them creative, mobile ways to use their art for outreach!
god's people in education
More schools are asking for church partnerships, and churches are stepping forward! Here are a few examples:
Many churches hosted harvest parties, praying they’d be full of Jesus’ light and be a bridge to the schools around them. Multiple churches shared great reports from their parties. One older congregation hosted a Harvest party and 50 neighborhood kids attended. Following the party, they received a letter from the father of a girl who attended the party. He was overjoyed by his daughter’s experience: She won the raffle, having never won anything before!
Another church has faithfully opened their building to host an after-school kids program for a nearby school. Their ministry has expanded to provide community to parents through church dinners and movie nights. This church, along with others, are meeting the need for “community” for school families.
This summer we prayed for peace and wisdom to guide administrators as they planned and scheduled for the ’17 - ‘18 year. Here’s an example of the prayer’s answer at a Bethel elementary school. A few weeks into the school year, an assistant principal called for an after-school, all-staff meeting. To their surprise, she’d planned a party to celebrate the smoothest and most peaceful school year launch in the five years she’d worked there! One of the teachers who attended the celebration, affirmed how peaceful it was. There was better hiring & fewer schedule conflicts which contributed to less confusion. The teacher was overjoyed by the difference specific prayer and peace made at her school in just one year!
one church - one day + Community Leaders
While God is answering prayer in every sector, we remember the answer to prayer that One Church – One Day is in itself. Pastors are grateful strategic teams are providing focused prayers, making it possible for churches to pray together 24/7. They say One Church – One Day is “contributing to an overall movement of the Church to be outward focused.”
On top of this, community leaders are encouraged by our prayers. One city official shared he sleeps better at night, knowing people are praying. When seven prominent city leaders were invited to a church this fall, the pastor encouraged them that the Church cares & prays about what they care for, and we pray for them daily. He said, “You should have seen the look on their faces!” Another health official walked into a church service when a health care request was shared. It brought him to tears to hear the church praying for his sphere.
From ambulances “miraculously” being funded to economic growth for the well-being of families; from thriving parenting classes and city leaders being supported in prayer. . . we are seeing God bring Shalom to our community. It’s for Jesus’ glory and the transformation of lives. We are praying as Jesus taught, for our appointed leaders, & seeking the peace and prosperity of our land. . . together! Selah.