Well, things are going to look different this year.
Let’s get started with the big step. God told me to step down from being in charge of Anawim. I could give you a lot of reasons why it’s a good idea why I should. But the main issue is that God said that it’s time and I think He’s right. I’m sure he appreciates my vote of support.
This is hard on both me and Anawim. I’ve been leading Anawim for the past 20 years, and it is hard for us to separate. But one of the main reasons why I need to step down is to allow other people to step up. There are many, many more people involved in helping the homeless in East County than there were 20 years ago. And if I get out of the way, they’ll be able to do the work that I’ve been overwhelmed by.
So what does this mean?
It means that there is a new Anawim board with new leadership. The current presidents of the board are:
Amanda Reece-Murphy, who heads the organization Rose City Backpacks of Hope and who has been working with the homeless in SE Portland for many years.
Lisa Lake, who heads the organization Advocacy5, and who has been involved in organizing groups supporting the homeless for a number of years.
I trust these two, and the rest of the board, with one of my children– Anawim Christian Community. They will use this organization to support the homeless community in East County, to love them, to listen to them and to give them opportunities to serve Jesus.
Before, I wrote that we were closed. Well, we opened up for this week when snow and freezing rain put a sheet of ice over East County for a couple weeks. Another church organization, No One Left Behind. in partnership with Anawim, opened up the church to give folks shelter out of the cold, both day and night. Thank you for the organization of Ron Scheler and his team to make that happen.
Beginning this week, Anawim will be opening on Saturdays again to provide showers, clothes, mail and food for folks in our area. As the property becomes more secure and as we develop better relationships with our neighbors, we will expand our operations again, eventually to the same level we did before. The closing has been hard on everyone, and we are ready to begin to serve people again.
You aren’t done with me yet. After a month break or so, I will return to Anawim’s board, in an advisory position. Diane is still involved as treasurer. I will need to move on to find other work elsewhere, but I don’t think I’ll have trouble finding it.
In the meantime, I ask that if you have supported Anawim with prayer or donations, please don’t fail to do so now. With all the changes, Anawim still needs your support. I pray that God would stir you to do this.
If anyone would like to contact these people directly, please do so by email:
May God bless you and keep you and give you peace. -Steve