Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Week of June 8, part 2

I feel myself being dragged back into a life of violence.  Violence is actually the bread-and-butter of a peacemaker, for if there is no conflict, what has the peacemaker to do?

There was tension in the air as I drove onto the campus on Friday.  Raechel and Aaron are all nervous about Josh who says they stole his clothes.  Raechel allowed me to be there when she opened her bags, and there were men's clothes, which Aubry later thought was hers.  But there was so much tension between R and A and J and Josh was acting so hostile, that I told him to get off the property.

I left and came back and then HooDang got into it.  I guess he confronted Diver, and brought out a machete, and threatened, but did nothing.  He came on the property, confronted John Denver but I told him to back off.  So he laid into me.  "You know that they are selling drugs here, right?  And you do nothing."  He rages and I stand there, just answering him, so he turns away.  Then I laugh at something someone else said, and he turns back and attacks me, punching me in the jaw.  I just took it, didn't do more than flinch and stood there.  He picked up his machete and left.

Everyone was asking me if I was okay and I said I was.  I was okay.  My throat was a bit sore, but I was fine.  But no one had seen me hit like that before (I had been, but that was a more private affair).  Everyone got on HooDang after that. He won't live down hitting the preacher, unprovoked.

David the cook was angry and scared.  But he was spreading gossip about Travis. He could have talked to Travis himself, but he was too scared-- or he was spreading rumors because Travis yelled at him last week.  I don't know which.  But after confronting me (and me confronting him for spreading rumors that might damage the ministry), he left and said he wouldn't come back.

Last night I met with a group of neighbors and gave them a summary of homelessness in Gresham.  Then three people decided to attack me and my work personally and tell me what I'm doing wrong.  Of course.  They are afraid and don't like the noise and they fear retaliation, and it is mostly made up in their minds.  I invited them to the next BBQ to meet some of the folks.

You gotta step into it to get any growth.  But I'm pretty tired.

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