Welcome to Medford, Oregon! As a visitor, you might be enjoying the great outdoors at CraterLake or Roxy Ann Peak. You might also be visiting local farmers’ markets and creameries. However, despite the beauty and charm of this city, Medford is an area deeply in need of the light of the Gospel. It was this need that led Bellevue to partner with a local church to invest in the redemption of the people of Medford. About midway through July, a group of 14 Bellevue members led by Jeff and Julie Foreman left Tennessee to travel to Living Hope Church. The team participated in service projects at Living Hope and in the Medford community; they also hosted a children’s soccer camp. Through these activities, they learned what it means to be the hands and feet of Christ.
For Julie, simply getting to Medford was no small matter; she even considered it as an act of God. With airline cancelations looming and short layovers, Julie was worried that the team would never make it out of the Phoenix airport. However, God already was providing for this trip. Their flights went smoothly, and they were able to catch their connection to Oregon. Julie shared, “We saw God working even that early on in our trip.”
Once the team made it to Medford, they dove into the community. Following the worship service on Sunday morning at Living Hope, they fellowshipped with the church members and quickly got to work.
Julie described several different service opportunities undertaken by the Bellevue team. The first was construction and painting in Living Hope’s sanctuary. Earlier this year, Living Hope endured a fire that destroyed their place of worship. Bellevue assisted their partner church in restoring it to full use—just in time for Living Hope’s VacationBible School.
The team also contributed to Living Hope’s community soccer camp. They enjoyed spending time with neighborhood kids and teaching them biblical truth. Julie stated, “Obviously, soccer isn’t spiritual, but we used it to draw people in.” The team was surprised by how little the children knew about the Bible. The team discovered that outside of the Bible Belt, stories from the Bible are not common knowledge. Julie was hopeful that the biblical stories and songs shared by the team would, prayerfully, be remembered by the children for the rest of their lives.
The last project the team assisted with was serving the schools of Medford through campus workdays. This involved restriping parking lots on school property. Yes, even painting a parking lot can have an eternal impact! When school maintenance workers discovered that a team traveled from Tennessee to serve them, they were deeply moved. One maintenance worker gave Jeff a giant bear hug to express his gratitude for the team’s help. No matter what work they were doing, the team had the opportunity to share Christ’s love and the Gospel during each interaction.
Julie is grateful for partnerships with churches like Living Hope. She is excited about the church’s future in the city, and she is excited about what the team achieved, so LivingHope can become known as “a church that loves the community and the people.” To summarize the trip, Julie shared, “We opened the door for Living Hope to be able to share the Gospel and be a light to these people.”
As a church family, let’s thank God for the work He is doing in Medford and pray that the work this team completed has a lasting, eternal value.
Learn more about Bellevue’s missions projects at bellevue.org/missions-projects.