Have you heard the slogan from the Oregon Conference — “Members in Ministry”? We would like to share the story of a member who for more than 30 years has been involved in ministry. Carl Parker’s passion is to connect with people for the cause of Christ and he has been doing this through People to People Ministries (PPM), which started in the late 1970s.
Parker, one of the founders of the ministry, had just completed his studies at Oregon State University in Corvallis and wanted to make a difference in the urban Portland community. People to People Ministries began hiring college students to tutor children who needed a little extra help after school. Six-week summer programs were well-attended by inner-city children, and parents encouraged the ministry to start a school. By a series of providences, the Community Learning Center was built and served elementary students for 15 years.
PPM has since transitioned into a different phase of ministry that encompasses three areas: humanitarian, health and gospel outreach.
The humanitarian segment sponsors the Weekend Backpack Lunch Program, which provides food for disadvantaged students on weekends, food boxes for needy families and supplemental supplies for the Community Transitional School, a nonprofit school that serves homeless children. (Read more on this school in the November issue of the Oregon Conference eCommuniqué at OregonConference.org). Jesus said, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink …” (Matt. 25:35–40).
The health component (the Urban Health Project) focuses on encouraging good health practices. This outreach sponsors health seminars and cooking demonstrations. Presently it is involved in promoting subscriptions to Vibrant Life Magazine and helps host a monthly Healthy Supper Club at Stone Tower Church in Portland.
The gospel outreach segment of PPM mails Bible study request cards and literature and offers online Bible studies. The organization has also partnered with Portland-area churches (Lents, Mount Tabor, Stone Tower and University Park) to reach people in their respective communities.
People to People Ministries works through a wide range of projects to educate people about living healthier lives and to help those in need — using the opportunity, in whatever form it presents itself, to share Jesus.
You are welcome to visit www.peopletopeopleministries.com to find out more about their work, upcoming events or subscriptions to Vibrant Life Magazine.