Well, I suppose it's time to address what most of you know already. My life is changing in a huge gigantisaur way! Brian and I have officially become church planters. That still seems weird even to type. Our amazing home church has decided to close its Portland campus so that everyone can be one big ball of momentous energy in Vancouver. It's the perfect move for Truelife. Brian and I, however, are deeply in love with Portland and after much much MUCH deliberation have decided to plant a church in the SE in Spring of 2011! (Perhaps I will share the whole story with you sometime, but it's a long long story)
If you've known me for longer than two years you know SE has been the one area of Ptown I said I would NEVER live in. My perceptions of it were filled with scary "lingerie show" houses, prostitutes, and garbage...a lot of garbage. Thankfully Jesus has done an amazing work in me and I can see two things much more clearly now. #1 The darkness I just described is exactly where we SHOULD be as Christians #2 There is a lot more to SE Portland than a short strip of SE 82nd (aka car lot row).
So...(fanfare here)...here are my favorite things about SE Portland (so far).
Lane Middle School - I may not necessarily want Elli to ever go there, but Lane has my heart. I have been working there as a mentor-program facilitator for 4 years now. This school has literally been invaded with Jesus followers over the last 4 years all the way up to the principal and you can tell. At first I HATED it. The kids were rude, crude and very hard to manage. BUT, my heart was softened and I'd like to think there's was too. Now I thrive in the diverse and energetic culture of Lane and it's faculty.
Papacino's - Brian and I both like this coffee shop quite a bit, even thought the coffee isn't awesome. It's in the heart of the Woodstock area (one of our target areas) and is surrounded by giant windows so you can view the people both inside and out from one of their 10 or more cozy wingback chairs.
Laughing Planet - This restaurant is super yummy! Just yesterday I ate an amazing BBQ chicken quesedilla that I'm already craving a repeat of. All of their ingredients are whole, organic, local and hormone-free. Brian and I aren't exactly in the enviro camp, which a lot of it's proceeds go to, but I really like their bent towards healthy food and supporting local schools and farms.
Diversity- SE has a little bit of everything. Rich, poor, white, black, asian, hispanic. Super duper liberal, plain 'ol middle class, hippies, hipsters, gangs, artists, chefs, gardners, condo-dwellers and soccer moms all reside their. God is mulitfaceted and His creation displays it. I love that. I am so excited to see how so many different kinds of people can come together and serve the exact same God, just like in heaven. Beautiful.