At the present moment, I find that I have grown a lot. I am not nearly as depressed or anxious as I was a year ago, and I'm certainly much better than a few years ago. I no longer have thoughts desiring my death, or a focus on the events that closed my work among the houseless. I had to go through a severe grieving process, as I spoke about in a previous post, and I'm better. I'll never be 100 percent, I think, but I feel normal, whatever that is.
I am now one foot in Eugene, Oregon, pastoring a small church there, and one foot in Portland, trying to close out my work there, while leaving a legacy. Eugene Mennonite Church is where I'm pastoring and you can see what we are doing there on our website, www.eugenemennonite.com (not .org-- that one is old!). We are hoping to grow the church in the next couple years.
In Portland, I am working to establish Village of Hope. We don't have a website yet, but we hope to soon. A year ago, we established a village on public land in Portland, which the city took away immediately. I spent three months working on that project exclusively, which drained me completely. I find myself giving to that project again, to get it started in a different place.
In the meantime, I am being sued for helping homeless folks and threatened to be billed by the City of Portland. All this is emotionally exhausting, but it has not halted my progress to positive mental health.
Now I find myself on the edge of moving to Eugene and wondering what I will do next. I am a part time pastor, with time to do other work. I want to work with the houseless in Eugene, but I want to make sure that I am doing something necessary, not just helping where people don't need help. I am learning to be slow and patient, like I was before I started.
Honestly, I feel a lot like I did twenty five years ago-- ready for new projects, listening, wondering what opportunities will present themselves or that I should create. I am also a lot more tired than 25 years ago, a bit more cautious. I want to spend more time with my family to see my children progress into adulthood and independence. I am looking forward to what we have in store.