We started by approaching Portland’s mayor, Sam Adams, the first openly gay mayor of a major American city, with a simple question: How can we, as the Body of Christ, best serve the city?
To be sure, my dad, Luis Palau, was the first worldwide evangelist Adams had ever hosted. In that first meeting, Adams was impressively open to us, not showing a hint of defensiveness. He sensed our sincerity and commitment ”” and was also sincerely concerned with the needs of the city.
Assured there were no strings attached ”” and feeling he had nothing to lose ”” he started the conversation by naming his biggest concerns: hunger, homelessness, healthcare, the environment, and public schools. So began a partnership, CityServe, between the city and a band of churches.