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Stories from Staff

River’s Memorial

Life on the streets is difficult. People die. Usually, few others notice.

On April 2nd, Linda (known on the street as “River”) passed away from an overdose. A few days later, the staff at our Burnside Shelter offered a public memorial service for her.

From Tony, a staff member of Portland Rescue Mission:

It’s not often that we get to see God’s work in the middle of total chaos, but then again it’s those times when we truly witness His plan unfold. Today was that kind of day.

Today we invited our guests into our chapel for a memorial service for Linda (River) Landacre. She had died of an overdose just a few days ago. She was very loved in our community.

What I really expected was 4-5 people and few short stories. Instead, God brought us over 40 and a hour of open hearts. After opening with a few thoughts, we encouraged our guests to share their stories about River. We were amazed what happened next.

Person after person came to the front sharing from their lives, hugging and crying. At one time 7 men were together, holding one another, lifting to God their prayers, opening their hearts. I was speechless as I watched and prayed.

Even in the midst of unrest, sometimes cussing, and total craziness, we witnessed the peace that only God releases. It was time of healing, grieving and a chance to fill the room with “good news” about Jesus. It was a good day, a day I will not soon forget. It was a day God’s love touched the hurting, dying, “least of these”.