Schwarzes – Parkinson’s, Portlandia, and Plans for Ministry

November 15, 2016

The Big Move!

I heard a rumor the other day. Someone said that PFL has gone out of business. Is that true? By no means! But we take responsibility for the confusion. Due to illness and our recent move to Portland, we have fallen behind in communicating. Our apologies. This is an attempt to update you on what’s happening.

In mid-September, we made the move to Gresham, Oregon, a little suburb about 8 miles east of Portland. It’s a quiet neighborhood with many people in our age category. But wouldn’t you know it! That very same week we were hit by a nasty virus that took 6 weeks from which to recover. We’re better now. Just tired.


Of course, just because you don’t feel well, doesn’t mean life stops. We had to get our cars registered in Oregon, our utilities started, and all those other needful things like finding the post office and where to shop. We’re actually well-situated with all sorts of stores and shops and medical facilities surrounding us.

Why Portland?

There were 3 major reasons we moved to “Portlandia.” 1) Our health is declining, especially Gary’s Parkinson’s Disease, an affliction that keeps on giving. It started with tremors and shaking, then muscle cramps and lack of balance, making it difficult to walk. We’re fighting that, however, using our walkers to walk 15 minutes several days a week. Finally, there’s a fatigue that makes it hard to get anything done. I’ll write more about it later but let’s get to the good stuff.


Sale of Our Shelton Home

Thanks to the tireless efforts of friends like you, we were finally able to put our house on the market in mid-September. Some cleaned, some helped with repairs, others packed, and others made trips to Gresham with Marty Jenkins’ trailer filled with 42 years of marriage. What a job! Thanks for your help! Now we have a good offer, so we’re hurrying to get workers in, so that all the necessary repairs are finished by the time it is scheduled to close in mid-December.



Reason #2:

 It’s been 12 years since we’ve lived in the same town as our girls and their families. Now with two grandkids, we feel a God-given calling to help bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.


Reason #3:

 We wanted a big mission field where people haven’t been reached with the love of Christ. You’d think with all the Bible colleges and mission agencies located in Portland, it would be a “Christian Mecca.” But such is not the case. We find that there are many “spiritual” people in the area, but most of them do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Plans to Reach Out

The first natural step is to get to know our neighbors and share the Gospel with them. So far we’ve met Jean, Mary, Alma, and Walt, the neighbors immediately surrounding us. One way we’ve considered extending our borders and getting to meet more of them is by hosting a “Night of Music” in our home. In fact, while praying about it, we happened to meet our internet tech who is also a believer. He invited us to join an evangelistic outreach he’s started. He (David) and a Romanian brother (Nate) ride the MAX (Portland’s light rail every Monday afternoon, and talk to each other about the Bible and things of Christ. Many Portlanders are interested in “spiritual things” but do not like to be “preached at.” So David and Nate pick a topic and talk about it (loud enough for others to eavesdrop). Then if someone shows interest, they turn to him or her and ask, “What do you think?”

April 9, 2009- Portland, OR- MAX train testing on the Mall

April 9, 2009- Portland, OR- MAX train testing on the Mall

The results of this strategy has been several people trusting Jesus Christ as their Savior. The problem is, David says, not many churches are ready to nurture new believers. They say what they need to start are home Bible studies for these new Christians. When he heard about our background in ministry, he invited us to join them and create Bible studies either in our home or theirs. Pray about this possibility because we don’t want to be impulsive and make promises we can’t keep. Sitting for long periods of time causes my body to cramp up. But perhaps God will grant me grace to do it one night a week. So pray with us. We want God to lead us in everything.

Our Gresham Home


Our Arrows

Children are a heritage from the Lord,
    offspring a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. Psalm 127:3-5


House Church Movement

Heidi and Ben Sadler were the first in our family to move to Portland. They were called as music ministers by a large church. But after four years, they saw the bigger need and stepped out in faith to become missionaries to Portland. Among other things, they lead a house church, do prayer counseling, provide leadership for their house church network, and continue their music ministry, drawing many unbelievers to their concerts. So it may be we can partner with them. Their house church meets on Sunday afternoon.

That leaves Sunday morning free, which is when Rebecca and Aaron Schnabel’s church meets. It is a small church with a big vision of reaching the Portland area through community groups that meet in homes. That’s a vision we can certainly buy into.


What may be providential is that the churches our children serve are filled with Millennials (20-30 somethings) and Gen-Xers (30-40 somethings) who need a few older couples in their 50s and 60s to provide stability and maturity to their groups. That is the age category into which Cheryl and I fall.


Finally, let me remind you that one of our convictions at Principles for Life Ministries is that God has called us to send missionaries into all the world to make followers of Jesus. (Matt. 28:19-20) With that in mind, our biggest commitment each month is the $1,100 we send in support to our missionaries in places like Papua New Guinea, Nicaragua, Israel, Romania, and the Philippines.


 Unfortunately, since moving to Portland, donations have decreased. Consequently, if you have been blessed with the resources to help us finance these outreaches, please consider doing so. To keep you abreast of their work, we will be including regular reports in our monthly newsletter and on our website.

We love you! We miss you!

Cheryl & Gary


One response to “Schwarzes – Parkinson’s, Portlandia, and Plans for Ministry

  1. Blessings to you both from the Father of lights! I have delivered two cars to Greshem, Oregon recently. Had no idea that is where you moved. Keep us posted. Linda and I love you both.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.