March 2015 Update from the McCrackens
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This is our brother Tasson who, though he has been walking with Jesus for some months, had not yet been baptized.  He spontaneously got up after Todd's baptism, saying he was ready now (even though he did not have a change of clothing)!  Tasson is a wise and humble follower of Jesus.
This is our brother Todd getting baptized!  It has been a joy to see him throw himself into serving others.  He is a great example to the rest of us.

Full Circle

Redemption of a building, a man, and a ministry...

In our last update we briefly mentioned how God brought together 3 couples (us, the Ketches, and the Bradleys) to become a part of redeeming a building (formerly The Black Cat Cantina, now The Sunrise Center) in Rockwood, for the purposes of seeing a community redeemed and transformed.  WHAT I FAILED TO MENTION was probably the MOST EXCITING thing of all:  Our pastor Scott Bradley is now preaching the Gospel in the very bar room where he used to get "wasted" before he knew Jesus!  It has been exciting for the last month to see the church fill up both services, 13 baptisms the second Sunday, with record attendance this last Sunday, and plans to start a 3rd service on Sunday evenings next month!

The new facility has not been without its challenges, but God is blessing and we expect that blessing to extend to the whole neighborhood of Rockwood.  Indeed, several weeks before we took occupancy several faithful church members were out in the parking lot every week sharing the love of Jesus with hungry and homeless and needy neighbors through The Love Shack ministry (mobile food and clothing distribution).

In addition to being a part of the prayer ministry, and Vicki serving in kids' Sunday School, Scott has also joined the preaching rotation. Also, in another week he will be helping to lead a discipleship group of men in the church.  PLEASE keep us in your prayers regarding these areas of ministry.  We are honored and excited to be a part of this authentic, loving, passionate church that loves Jesus and loves people!



From talking together to walking together...from communication to collaboration...

On March 17th, we will have a 4-hour event for 50 leaders of the Christian community in Rockwood. It will be our 3rd such event in a year, and we will take a closer look at the role of COLLABORATIVE ACTION in the transformation process of Rockwood, and challenge ourselves with this simple question:      Are we ready to move from "talking together" to "worshipping and working together", from praying together to action together 

The exciting part of this is that we have already asked a diverse group of leaders in Rockwood to be part of a steering committee that will direct the process of moving more independently from the Rockwood Community Development Corporation (which "birthed" it) AND will put traction to the ideas and revelations the Spirit reveals during this meeting.


(By the way, Jenny Robinson has done a great job in the last year as the liaison between the Rockwood CDC and the faith community, but she will be leaving us at the end of the month to get married and move to Switzerland, so Scott will be filling that role for now, as well as sitting on the new Shalom steering committee for the first year--PLEASE PRAY FOR HIM).



From Portland and beyond...

For the last several months Scott has had the opportunity to preach via Skype to Pakistanis (many of whom are church/ministry leaders) scattered around Europe, India, and America.  These precious believers "meet" together EVERY NIGHT for singing, Bible teaching, and prayer.  Scott only preaches one night a month but it has been a big blessing for him to join with these faithful and encouraging brothers and sisters around the globe.  It is one more way our vision extends beyond Portland to the nations.



Vicki and other women are reaching mothers in Rockwood...

They regularly meet with a group of moms from Rockwood (mostly, but not exclusively Hispanic women). Childcare is provided while all the mothers engage in conversation, eat and drink refreshments, and participate in a number of activities together that include crafts, devotions, and practical information or experience (i.e.,a dental clinic, tips for flu season, what services are available from the county, etc.).  This past week Vicki shared an evangelistic presentation about Easter using different colored easter eggs, and then all the moms received the colored eggs and were encouraged to share this presentation with their children.  Next month will be a celebration of Easter that will include an Easter Egg Hunt for the children. 







*  Catelyn Jackson will be joining us from Texas next Tuesday through June 6th.  This is our FIRST intern, so please pray for all of us.


*  Ellie got a new wheelchair and insurance paid for all of it!  (pics later)


*  We are in the early stages of planning a "Family Enrichment" series, which would share marriage, parenting, and money management skills to the parents (and arts and crafts for their children) with refugees who live in an apartment complex called "Barberry Village" right next to where our church meets.  Please pray that God will use this to share His love with them in practical ways.


*  In addition to the homework club that William has been helping with, he is now involved on a regular basis with a group of believers that hits the streets every other Friday night to pass out coffee and hot chocolate and strike up conversations.  He has also joined the Anti-Human Trafficking Club at his school.  Thanks for praying for his continued growth as God takes him out of his comfort zones and uses him to serve others.  

*  Next month, Kendra should be giving us our first grandchild.  Thanks for praying for a safe and healthy delivery.  

* Cody (in America) and Kyle (in Greece) are both doing well in school, and walking with Jesus.  

Scott & Vicki McCracken
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