IN HONOR AND MEMORY
The following have contributed to Nightwatch in memory or honor of family and friends:
CHAPLAIN’S NOTES: “Stranger At The Door”
The stranger who sojourns with you shall be to you as the citizen among you…
As I drove to St. Stephens to set up for Operation Nightwatch Easter worship, four teenagers at the corner of SW 13th and Main wished me “Happy Easter.” When I arrived, another “stranger” greeted me at the door. I hadn’t seen him in at least three years. Nothing clicked until he told me his name. But he certainly remembered me, even my name. He was looking forward to worship again, and we had a blessed faith chat out on the sidewalk.
No “strangers” greeted me or called my by name out here in Gresham where I live. No one I did not already know well wished me Happy Easter. Strangers downtown did. Turns out, I was the stranger, not they. If we said Operation Nightwatch gets some of its inspiration from the Book of Leviticus, folks might raise an eyebrow or two. Leviticus?
Yes, that book. Jesus knew his Scripture well. He surely had Leviticus and Amos in mind when he spoke about “the least of these” at Matthew 25:40. What a blessing to recognize people, to greet them by name. Likewise, what a blessing to be recognized and greeted—by name! What a blessing to move from stranger to citizen in God’s eyes, and in each other’s—strangers no more. Happy Easter, citizens!
BACKPACK BEDS MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Since the beginning of this year, Nightwatch has distributed over 150 Backpack Beds to homeless folks throughout the Portland metropolitan area. And in doing so, we’ve been noticed—not only by the media (KBOO did a story) but by folks on the streets themselves. Those who have seen others with Backpack Beds see their utility in protecting them from the elements as they sleep outside, and have clamoring to us to get one themselves.
The Backpack Bed is a unique combination bedroll/personal shelter, and Operation Nightwatch is its only distributor on the West Coast of North America. Though they are not inexpensive (about $100 apiece), because they replace blankets that often have to be given out again-and-again as they wear out, they end up being more economical and practical in the long run.
Our ability to distribute so many Backpack Beds is due to a number of generous folks who gave to our several targeted fundraising campaigns, including a successful crowdfunding campaign that raised more than $1000 over our goal of $5000.
ANNUAL FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN IS COMING
With the Nightwatch fiscal year beginning in June, our annual fundraising campaign will soon be here. Watch for it.
We are most grateful to those who in the course of the campaign elect to become Lamplighters—donors to Nightwatch who commit themselves to contributing to Nightwatch on a regular basis, e.g. monthly, quarterly, etc. The amount of those regular donations doesn’t matter; they could be as little as $5 at a time. One becomes a Lamplighter simply by making their donations steady and dependable. The steady income provided by our Lamplighers always proves to be a Godsend during the times of year when contributions are typically lean.
Look for more information about the campaign in May.