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An update from the McCrackens, helping advance the Kingdom in Portland and beyond...

School Shooting in Portland

I am beginning to write this on the day of the recent shooting at Reynolds High School in the neighborhood of Rockwood.  The school is 6 miles from our home (NOT the one that William goes to).  We are deeply saddened by this tragedy that killed a 14-year-old-boy named Emilio Hoffman, left a teacher wounded, many teens traumatized, and ended in the death of the shooter. 

I am reminded of an article a friend of our recently posted (http://peregrineministries.org/index.php/the-one-common-characteristic/), and I am also reminded of the vital and urgent need of strategic and holistic investment in Rockwood.

If you would like a guideline for praying for Rockwood, turn Isaiah 60 into a prayer, replacing the words "Israel" with "Rockwood".

We Have Decided on a Church!

After 9 months of church-shopping (and finding many churches we really liked) we have finally decided to land at "As Is Church".  There are many things we like about this church but just to mention a few:  the power of God's grace is at work, transforming lives on a regular basis; the leadership has powerfully experienced God's grace and they powerfully and humbly share it with others, it is in our area which makes it easy to invite neighbors and people in the community we are trying to reach out to (one neighbor is already going with us and loves it); there are MANY people attending the church who are not "churchy people", are not yet believers or are very new believers, the pastor has a vision for diversity, and it is only 2 years old but is running about 300/week (good size and growing). 

We have already joined the Marriage Mentoring class, and are praying about other ways to serve.

You can learn more about this Jesus-focused church at:  http://asischurch.com

Prayer Requests:

* On July 16th we are planning an outreach in Rockwood that will include Christian soccer players from around the world.  To learn more about who we are partnering with, see Ambassadors Football at: http://ambassadorsfootball.org/  We will be doing a one-evening soccer clinic that will teach kids about the sport and about the Savior.  We expect adults to show up as well.  PLEASE pray as the Spirit leads but especially for a PLACE to hold it.

*  We have just started a relationship with some Christian refugees from Eritrea.  We met them through Ellie's school because they have a son in Ellie's class. Unfortunately they will be moving to another state in the near future.  However, they are planning to introduce us to others in the community with whom we can form relationships that may lead to more opportunities to serve immigrants and refugees here.

*  PLEASE pray for Kent and Myrna Morley...they have been leading the refugee ministry in Athens, Greece but have been in the U.S. for many months now due to complicated and mysterious (and VERY SERIOUS) health issues that Myrna is facing.  Please pray for her HEALING!  Please pray for the substitute leader (Christy) and for the team.  Please pray for them to hear God's voice and to know His Presence with them.  You can learn more at:  http://myrna-morley.blogspot.com/

Rockwood Listens

Thanks to all who prayed for the May 1st event "Rockwood Listens".  It was a great success in many ways!  A meal was shared.  Residents who have previously not "felt heard" really believed they were listened to that night. Community Partners in places of decision-making not only listened well but also made decisions and set action-goals right then and there.  Mutual RESPECT was built.  Relationships were begun or continued.  A great diversity of people were present and active (representatives from the faith community, law enforcement, government, education, residents of various races, ethnicities and socio-economic levels, old and young, singles and families, etc....there was even a GREEK man who was serving as a SPANISH translator who I was able to interact with for a while in Greek!).  HOPE was awakened and/or strengthened!  

I (Scott) have been asked to help lead the next round of community discussions that will focus on residents setting community goals for them to work on together.  I am very excited about the opportunity this will give me to serve the residents of Rockwood, develop relationships with refugees and immigrants (and others), to listen up close, and hopefully to learn.

If you are interested to learn more about "Rockwood Speaks" and "Rockwood Listens", go to:  http://www.rockwoodcdc.org/services/rockwood-speaks/

Family Update

Kendra and Steve:  Still thriving in Scotland, coming to visit us in October!

Cody:  finished well his first year in the nursing program at George Fox University, working at Twin Rocks camp all summer

Kyle:  completed Associates Degree in Criminal Justice with good grades, and planning to go for a year of Greek Bible College in Athens, Greece

Will:  finished 10th grade (his first year of schooling in America) with flying colors and getting his driver's license this summer (he turns 16 in August)!

Ellie:  Ellie has been SO BLESSED by wonderful doctors, therapists, teachers, equipment, and opportunities here in Portland (check out her new wheelchair donated by Shriners Hospital: http://elliebomccracken.blogspot.com/ )

Vicki:  loving being near her family again after so many years, and loving all the home improvement projects (inside and outside) where she gets to use her creative gifts and energies

Scott:  Serving, listening, and learning in Rockwood

Mentoring Relationship

In our last update we asked you to pray for "H", our 8-year-old mentee as he had appendicitis and was about to have it removed.  He did indeed have the operation after about 5 days of suffering, but recovered quickly.  Thanks for praying.  We really love this little guy and appreciate your prayers.  We can't say much but I can tell you that I took him to a local amusement park on Sunday to celebrate his 9th birthday.  He was so excited (having never been before) he exclaimed on the first ride, "This is SO FUN!  I have DREAMED of coming here!"  He is such a sweet kid, and this week I learned that he has memorized Romans 5:8 and Romans 10:13 (he is picked up on some Sundays by a bus from a church in another part of the city).

There are MANY REASONS to have a relationship with an "at-risk" child.  Here are a few reasons and results:  http://www.mentoring.org/about_mentor/value_of_mentoring

We do it for those reasons AND two others:  1) It can BE a path of prevention from involvement in trafficking; 2) Jesus said, "If you do it to the least of these...you have done it unto Me."

Thanks for praying for our relationship with "H".  We are prayerfully considering taking up another mentoring relationship through an organization that has a mentoring program for teenagers who are refugees.  Pray for wisdom for us.

AWARE update

One of the partners we have been privileged to work with is the AWARE organization, based just over the bridge in Vancouver, WA.  You can read more about them at:  http://awareprogram.net/ 
We have been busy this school year giving the DECEPTIONS presentation (Exposing the Lures of Child Sex Trafficking and Internet Dangers) to ALL the middle schools (7th and 8th graders) in the Vancouver school district.  That is over 10,000+ students!  I just found out that I was fortunate enough to have personally presented to over 3,000 of them.  We were very encouraged by the feedback we received from students, teachers, and administrators.

AWARE is in the process of MERGING with "Northwest Family Services", based in Portland.  NWFS has been working in the greater Portland area for 30 years and will likely help open doors to the public schools here for the DECEPTIONS presentation.  You can read more about NWFS at:  www.nwfs.org

Update on Finances


We are so grateful to God for being our Source, and so grateful to many of His people that He uses to financially partner with us in the work of the Kingdom! 

The GOOD NEWS is that we have had a few really generous one-time gifts since the beginning of the year, AND a few have increased their giving, AND we have also had a few REDUCTIONS  in some of our EXPENSES (especially health insurance) that are helping us so much. 

The bad news is that this week we heard from two supporters that they will need to discontinue/reduce their monthly support, the result of which we lost another $275/month.

The good news is that one of those supporters is a generous church that is continuing with the bulk of their generosity!

We sincerely are NOT asking for anyone who is already giving to give more!  Please pray for us to use wisdom and to exercise faith, and for God to raise up OTHERS to join the team!  MANY many thanks to all who are already investing financially, and we are so grateful for everyone's prayers.

Financial Investments


Tax-deductible investments may be made to "International Teams" (with an enclosed note expressing your intended designation), and sent to: 

International Teams
411 W. River Rd.
Elgin, IL  60123-1570
USA

For online giving, go to: 
https://wwws.iteams.org/us/give/