Pastor Rachel Stramel has ministered to people for almost twenty years. After growing up in Carson City, Nevada, Rachel graduated from the University of Portland, where she met her husband, Brian. After moving to Alaska for a few years, they returned to Portland, Oregon and continue to call it home. She is originally from the East Coast and continually longs for Philadelphia hoagies. She is finishing her Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree at George Fox Evangelical Seminary and is passionate about worship, teenagers, music, and sitting with those who are grieving. Rachel’s husband, Brian, is a veteran of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and continues to serve in the Army National Guard. Her three children – Grace, and twins, Sammy and Bekah – make her smile. With free time, she says she would learn to play the guitar, but for now she enjoys reading and writing and the outdoors. In 2012, Rachel lost her beloved brother, Jared, in a climbing accident on Mount Hood. In her brightest days, she remembers his wonderful sense of humor. Other days, she misses him like her loss was just yesterday. In the darkest moments of her life, she wore a hole in her couch, writing about her brother and staring absently into space, wishing for him to come back. She now seeks to integrate how she has changed with who she was then, realizing this tragedy has changed her life forever but has also brought her a deeper compassion for people. Rachel believes we are all broken and in desperate need of hope.
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