Jun 29, 2011

Greater Things Are Yet To Come

We are delighted to welcome Meagan, our second summer intern, to the outreach team at SYM! Meagan had a great first week and shared the following experiences. Meagan's internship is sponsored through Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary (APTS), where meagan is attending. Meagan wants to be a parish pastor in an urban setting one day. Our internship program aied to help equip future leaders of poverty-informed urban ministires is a perfect fit! We have opening for two additional interns in the Fall and two in the Spring. Check out our web to learn more about the program and about how to apply for Fall 2011!

-- Terry

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"Two street youth (left and right) give a "thumbs up" for our two summer interns--
Meagan (center left) and Hannah (center right)!

Hi! I’m Meagan. I’ve lived in Austin for about four years and have attended Austin Presbyterian theological seminary for two. This week, I have been frequently introduced as Terry’s new intern for the summer. 
 
I would describe my first week working with Street Youth Ministry as rejuvenating. I can already tell that this is exactly where I belong. This is all thanks to God and not myself. After all, it is the last place I expected to be.
 
My first and last day of my first week working with Street Youth Ministry perfectly bookend this feeling. On my first day, Monday, I attended Talk Time, our weekly time of prayer. Although things were a bit frantic at the beginning of the hour, because I didn’t know how to get into the building to set things up, once Terry and Hannah arrived with the youth, they gracefully moved into action to set up food, turn on our background music, so that we could begin to eat and talk, as we prayed in a chorus of voices. My experience of Talk Time certainly did not match my expectation. It exceeded it. With the music on shuffle, one song stood out to me, as it perfectly aligned with our spoken prayer in that particular moment: “God of This City” by Chris Tomlin. I understand that a similar experience occurred the week before. It was unexpected and beautiful.
 
On Friday, shortly after I arrived to Friday Outreach late, our weekly Mini-Mission Trip with volunteers, I was introduced to a youth, who was previously street-dependent, but managed to get off the street and is maintaining a stable and faithful life, living into the ability to be whoever he wants to be, whoever God is calling him to be. He is a powerful testament to the things God can do, is doing, and will continue to do in this city.
 
Unknowingly, the song that so beautifully harmonized with our Talk Time on Monday, continued to shape my week and my initial experience working with Street Youth Ministry. Our God is a God of the unexpected. In hindsight, this is something the youth continued to teach me this week, through several different interactions. My first week began just as my placement with Street Youth Ministry: chaotic and unexpected. It ended on a hopeful note, witnessing the fruit of what God can do, even in the least likely places. This particular youth’s story is powerful and encouraging. But this week, and working with the youth has shown me that, as Christ Tomlin says, “greater things have yet to come, greater things are still to be done in this city.” So far, I’ve seen some of the hurts, and the needs that the youth are experiencing. I’ve also seen glimmers of hope and pockets of light in the community. While I hesitate to put my expectations for working with Street Youth Ministry in a box, I can say with certainty that for me, this is a theme song for the summer.
 
As an almost-third year seminary student, I’m so grateful for the opportunity to step out of the classroom and into the world. I already feel that God has done more in this past week, in my heart and with my faith that speaks to my vocation, than I have experienced in the past few months. As I reflect on that statement, the truth is that this space and location of ministry in which I find myself, has better opened me to the work God has been doing and continues to do in my life. I know that God has not been working less in my life in the past few months, but rather working with this ministry already in this first week has enabled me to experience to the work God has been doing in my life for a long time coming.
 
It has planted and watered a seed of gratefulness with in me. I’m blessed to be working with Street Youth Ministry. I’m excited to see what God will continue to do in the lives of the youth and all of those connected to this ministry. For I know, that greater things have yet to come in this small facet of the kingdom of God on The Drag. 

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