The Joys of My Job Amidst the Bleak Statistics

February 7, 2013 — Leave a comment

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  • With a population of about 2 million people, Portland is the 23rd most populous metropolitan statistical area in the US, 3rd largest on the West coast.
  • Portland has more strip clubs, per capita, than any other city in this country. Portland does indeed lead Las Vegas in number of strip clubs, 33 to 27.
  • Portland has more micro breweries inside their city limits than any other city in the world.
  • Multnomah County (dntn Portland) is – geographically – the smallest county in the country with the largest population.
  • Portland is in the top 3 unchurched cities in the states (depending on the site, it says it’s #1)
  • There are approximately 100,000 college students in the Portland Metro area. There are only 4 full-time staff with our ministry on campus trying to reach those 100,000 students with the good news of Christ.

(For more fun facts about Portland you can go here and here.)

Portland is full of things that make it unique and amazing. It’s also full of some of the most depressing statistics out there. Really, more strip clubs than Vegas?! Can’t wait to explain that to my kids. The most unchurched? Yep. We feel that statistic every time we walk on campus here in the city. It’s rare to meet a student anymore who has church background, especially a healthy one with a correct view of God. Just last semester one of our staff met a guy who genuinely believed and followed the Church of Dudeism. I thought it was a joke, but it’s totally real. I looked it up and you can too. Here’s a brief description straight from the website,

Come join the slowest-growing religion in the world – Dudeism. An ancient philosophy that preaches non-preachiness, practices as little as possible, and above all, uh…lost my train of thought there. Anyway, if you’d like to find peace on earth and goodwill, man, we’ll help you get started. Right after a little nap.

As funny as it sounds it actually breaks my heart. Where is the purpose in that? And we meet students all the time that have no idea why they are here or what the purpose to life is and you can see the hopelessness in their eyes. The need is so great that sometimes it’s downright overwhelming.

Even though there is so much darkness around us at times, in the past few months, the last couple especially, we have begun to see God do some really amazing things in the lives of students around the city. Here are a few quotes from students that we work with through our ministry,

Thank you for investing in the lives of students. For the first time I’m really willing to surrender my life to God and do what he wants me to do. You have the best job ever!

Hey Matt! Just wanted to thank you so much for the conference. God has used it to turn my life around completely. It was awesome!

I know it probably sounds cliche but the conference really did change my life. Just 2 days after coming home, I gave my life to Christ, and I am so happy I can’t even explain it…. I would love to be able to to begin meeting with anyone if that is a possibility.

We met this evening to plan out next week and I couldn’t be more excited. I feel like THIS is why God has me at PCC, whether I know what my major is or not. I’m excited to see Him do His thing on campus and especially that He’s letting me be a part of it!

I love what we do. We get to see God change lives. I’ve been meeting with some women this semester at the University of Portland, one of those students just gave her life to Christ. It has been so encouraging, a total joy and blessing to be a part of their lives and spiritual journey in a small way. It’s been a great reminder to me of how God continues to pursue people, change their whole reason for living and bring hope in a world that desperately needs it.

We couldn’t do what we do, bring hope and the message of a loving God to college students without so many incredible supporters of our ministry. If you’re one of those, THANK YOU. What you do by supporting us matters. I wish that I could take each of you to campus with me to see the lives that are being changed.

 

 

 

Jody

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