Sunday, September 21, 2014

Retiring From Traveling Life

We got this note from a young woman we served off and on for a year or two. She is "retiring" now from the traveling life. Her story is typical and we are delighted to share it. A few things were changed because she's a private person, but agreed to share her story to inspire others to act, to do the same, or to find their own path:
Thank you for the help with the letter of referral! I got an address. And I got myself all set up with a job, housing, and supportive people around me. And now all I have to do do is maintain it. 
I LIVE SOMEWHERE!!!!!!!!!!!! 

I was on and off the streets for six years. The last two have been *solid on*, but a new day is starting. I've also come back to Christianity, and I am feeling stronger now than ever. I went from being raised Christian, to seeing its fallacies and leaving the church, to coming back around and piddling in it, to now being fully devoted--every single day. Every day, every day, every day!
When I left the church, I started to despise Christians after all I'd been through with them. I mostly hated the infighting between denominations, but I also hated their beliefs too. But you know what??? When you're down and out on the streets, with nobody helping--nobody but the Christians (and the Krishnas too), ... it makes a difference. And it got my attention. So I'm back.
BLESSINGS!! And thank you for your LOVE and KINDNESS and PATIENCE and UNDERSTANDING. God works through you and the church!




Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Note From a Client Starting ACC This Semester

We got this via Facebook the other day. Thank you's and stories of success just don't get old!

"When I was homeless on the drag, I tried and tried to [get] someone to help me get my TX ID. After approx 5 yrs with no ID, YOU stepped in, introduced me to a lawyer, and I had my ID in less than 2 weeks. You truly are doing good work. I start classes @ACC next week, and I attribute it to YOU, and YOUR belief in every one of your clients/friends!

Keep up the good work!"

Note: We purchase college textbooks for our clients who go to college. They have to do a lot of the legwork and apply for college on their own and apply to our textbook program at http://www.streetyouthministry.org/what-we-do/college-textbooks.


But it's a program that works. It has emphasized the importance of textbooks and of academic success to our clients. Most of our clients actually don't need us to purchase the books after a few semesters. And we give every client the opportunity to pay it forward eventually after they have stabilized a bit, helping other people get free books just like they did. We raise funds for textbooks once a year at back-to-school time.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Revising Psalm 22 To Be From The Street


One of my tasks is to present the Gospel so that clients can understand it's relevance to their lives. And one of the tools I use is rewording the Bible to street language and street situations. 

The other day, I gave our Bible study group the task of rewriting Psalm 22. It's a "go to" Psalm for me in ministry. It teaches us how to pray in utter despair and yet still love God.


Here is one client's complete rewrite of Psalm 22, verse by verse:
My God, my God, why have You left me? My cry is distant from all hope.
O my God, I Scream by day, Do you not hear me? And by night my voice is no softer.

Yet You are holy, O' You who's home is the songs of my homeland.
In You our fathers held their faith; Their Faith was rewarded.
To You they called and were answered. In You they appointed their Hopes & Fears and were not led to shame.
But I am not our fathers, A misfit I am hated by all aware of my presence.
All who see me turn blind their eye as they turn up their nose;
They point and stare, They shake their head in judgment, saying,
"Why don't you get a job?" Or they say, "I have nothing for you! You Drunk! You Addict!"

Yet You are the one who put me in this world; You watched as I was raised by these Beasts you call Men. Under your watch I was cast from my house; Even then you were my God.
Meet me here. I see my end; I am alone. There is none at my side.

I am Surrounded By dirty cops; K-9 Unit ensures I have no escape.
They open wide their mouth at me, As a ravening and a barking wolf.
I am beaten like a sack, And all my bones are out of joint;
My veins are like fire; They Burn and are blackened.
I'm burnt out, I have lost my voice; And You leave me to rot.

For dogs have surrounded me; A church of hypocrites has circled me; They call me sinner.
I can count all my flaws. They point out every fault they can imagine;
They call dibs on my gear, And they flip coins for what I have in my pockets.

But You, O Lord, do not be distant; O' You my friend, quick to help.
Save me from myself, Save me from the Dollar Almighty.
Save me from the hunger that bids me good morning; By my end I am saved from my means.
I will tell my Homies about you; I will praise You in Public.
You who love the Lord, sing to Him; All you in the church, do right by him,
be amazed all of you in your universities.
For He is not ashamed of me; Nor has He ignored me; But when I scream He hears me.
God is my only reason for joy; I shall promise to those who love him.
The poor will eat and be satisfied; Those who search for Him will praise the Lord.
Let your heart live forever!

All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord,
And the governings will sing to him.
For the kingdom is the Lord'­s. And He governs the world.
All the wealth of the earth will eat and worship,
All the filthy will bow before Him, Even he who can't save himself.

The small will be Soldiers; the Lord will be told of the Next generation.
They will come and Declare "He is Justified!" To our children, "It is Finished!".