Sunday, March 8, 2015

Moving to Imago Dei's Eastside Campus

We had another gathering tonight for Imago Dei Community's Eastside Campus, which is launching slowly but surely. Pastor Eric Knox is leading us to the Hazelwood Neighborhood in East Portland. We are currently meeting monthly in a lecture hall in David Douglas High School.

God definitely made it clear to Jen and I that we are supposed to move back to East Portland after moving away to go to Ontario, Oregon and then to where we are now in SW Portland in order to find a solid teaching job for me. Now, since I have a secure job teaching at a private school in SW, we have the freedom to move anywhere we want (in other words, SW Portland is too expensive and we need to move somewhere cheaper and with more room for when our new baby is born, and besides, we miss the comforting Friday night sirens in East Portland too much). Lol

In all honesty, we really have a heart for East Portland and all the crap going on over there between it and Gresham. Before Nolan and Delaney existed, we were really enjoying starting the Glenfair Community Garden, which we helped our friends from Glenfair Church build from scratch. It was such an awesome way to get to know our neighbors and build community. We hope to do more of that in the future when we move back, including getting more involved with East Portland Neighborhood Office (EPNO) and whatever neighborhood association corresponds to wherever we end up living.

The leadership team for Imago Dei Eastside has a great heart for really wanting to help those who are already living their lives in East Portland without trying to change them into something they aren't. We want to build relationships and help them discover their assets and use those to their advantage in order to allow them to be successful with their immediate needs, and through that they will receive Jesus' love through us. We are partnering with SecondStories.org to learn more about how to build relationships and being WITH them rather than just doing things for them.

As for Sunday services, it is really up in the air right now. We need people to step up and volunteer in order to get a weekly service going. I will be leading the production of audio/video, slides, etc. while Jen will be working with the nursery and preschool kiddos. It is very strange to be in a small church type setting again, even smaller than when we were at Origins in Ontario. We definitely know this is where we want to be, since we want God to stretch us and use us to glorify His name in one of the most diverse, low-income, and neglected areas in the Portland area. God is already doing awesome things. We are just joining in!

Oh yeah... and we also still need to actually move there. Our lease ends in a few months, so, if anyone hears of any inexpensive 3-bedroom  houses or apartments for rent, we're hoping to find a place before our baby pops out in July! Hopefully by the end of June we'll be settling into a new place! Crazy changes ahead!! We are looking forward to where God is leading us. We are up for anything, good or bad... as long as we are loving God and loving others, we know we are on the right path!