Archive for June, 2011

June 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


"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. 

"To know, love and serve street dependent youth."
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June 24, 2011

So Blessed!

I just finished a day that was just wonderful. Here are some views in brief. Keep in mind that all this is just today!

Family blessings
  • Heard through FaceBook from elder daughter, who's safe in Honduras having a great time.
  • Younger daughter is having a teenage party tonight and it sounds very happy and fun.
  • Wife and I are having a very relaxed summer together, eating lunch together almost every day. Today was a nice pork-salad sandwich.

Ministry Blessings
  • Taught my intern class this morning. The interns learned more about street youth and how to deescalate unnecessary conflict.
  • Met with my pastor this morning and we celebrated an intern the church is providing to the ministry and a grant that was approved and will be announced July 1 to help support the program.
  • Received a donated set of dominoes in the mail from someone I don't even recognize after posting this on FaceBook a couple of weeks ago.
  • Received 30 sandwiches and snacks from a volunteer today, all ready to go. This volunteer chooses to spend his time helping. He has a terminal disease. He shared this with the street youth at an event with tears streaming down his cheeks.
  • Received lots of books to give to bored street youth after requesting them just this week.
  • Was met by NINE volunteer helpers today on outreach. We served more than 30 people tonight together.
  • Was able to teach the volunteers about the ministry and the street youth tonight at the end of outreach.
  • Used a new ice chest with wheels that showed up just as our previous one gave up the ghost. It was listed on our needs list for several months but it showed up just when the other once broke hopelessly.
  • Got two groups to sign up today for a Wash Day service project in June.

Client Blessings
  • Was told by a pregnant client that our "Get unBored" booklet with schedule of ministry events was very helpful to her
  • Met a client who's been stable, sober Christian and connected with church community now for 24 months this June. He shared his story with the volunteers. I never tire of hearing how God throws people line. They just need to grab hold!
  • Deescalated a major conflict a client wanted to have with me. Was able to hear him, move the conversation to a better place, and he ended up praying for the ministry after being heard.
  • Counseled a client who is trying to kick heroin. He's hurting. He's dreaming. I asked, "How can I help?" He said, "Motivate me. Kick me in the butt. Pray with me." He led the prayer for the first time. He agreed to make some hard decision. Then he sat down on the curb and cried. I believe he will make the changes… him and Jesus.
  • Talked with a client who wants to get clean again and go into tattoo business. He was even concerned with whether this would be a God-honoring profession. He wanted to discuss the Leviticus passage on tattoos.
  • Talked with a client who continues to use music as a therapy. He plays a guitar donated by supporters every day.
  • Talked with a client who is kicking heroin. He asked for books by two specific authors. Both were in the bags of books I received today and distributed.
  • Talked with a client who is clean from heroin for a few weeks but has been lost in idleness. Found him today begging on the side of the road trying to get enough money to start buying his medicine, getting a but ticket to go home, and start making something of himself again. He looks so much happier now that he's up and moving again.
  • Ran into a client who's stable, sober, God-fearing and surrounding himself with Christian community. The first and last are under attack by some decisions he's making as well as from the outside. Was able to give him a tent and backpack to help him stay in a safe place. Was able to remind his of the important of seeking out Christian community as a source of strength.

— Terry

"To know, love and serve street dependent youth."
Who We Serve   What We Do   Get Involved  Support Us   News  Publications  Ministry Needs   Speaking   Service Projects   Sign-up

Become a fan on Facebook!
Mobile? No problem:
I'm a notary for benefit of clients and supporters. Ph: (512) 553-3796
Volunteer or donate (tax deductible) online
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