Archive for February, 2012

February 27, 2012

Hanging with the Wrong Crowd


I am experiencing God’s grace daily with street-dependent youth.

 

We’ve been studying parables, both in our open Bible study on Tuesday at 2pm and at our “Going Deeper” study on Wednesday nights at 6:30. We’ve found ourselves in Luke 15 several times. There, Jesus is hanging out with sinners and tax collectors–people who have sold out to the new culture and are considered a threat to the well-being of traditional Jewish society. The religious right are grumbling and accusing Jesus of eating and hanging out with the wrong people. Jesus uses all of Luke 15 to answer in three parables of “the lost.”

 

To cut to the chase, Jesus answer them with an emphatic “Yes… I’m doing that, but it’s far worse than you think. I will leave the comfort of those I love and go after every one of these sinners until they are restored. It’s worse than that, I value them like gold and will turn my Kingdom upside down to find and restore them. Even though they reject and waste the gifts I give them and even devise ridiculous plans to elevate or redeem themselves, I will humble myself to teach and restore them, killing the fatted calf upon their return to celebrate!”

 

Extended grace to the street-dependent young people is Jesus’ idea, and I’m privileged to be a part of that daily. And I’m privileged to be partnered with YOU! I invite you to enjoy the journey and savor the moments. Grace has such an appealing aroma. Grace has such a sweet taste. Grace is such a comforting liquor. There is nothing like it!

 

Learn about the ways you can partner with me on this journey.  volunteer.StreetYouthMinsitry

 

“To know, love and serve street dependent youth.”
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I’m a notary for benefit of clients and supporters. Ph: (512) 553-3796
Volunteer or donate (tax deductible) online
Arrange a meeting with me: tungle.me/terrycole

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February 21, 2012

Why Do I Give Financially to SYM? (From a donor 2/9/2012)


Originally I chose to donate to support your family, however after seeing how great the need is, and the work being done, [from your newsletters and blogs], I choose to contribute to support a ministry which I don’t feel called to participate directly.

May God continue to bless your work and of those who serve with you.

 

 

February 17, 2012

Street-dependencies


Are they homeless, house-less or street dependent?

Our clients don’t like the word homeless as a rule. They are willing to be called “house-less,” but I don’t like that name. We have agreed over the years on street-dependent. But you can be street-dependent in a lot of ways. You can need the street for:

  • a home.
  • protection and relative safety.
  • a livelihood (begging, charity, stealing or street-related work).
  • a treatment facility (a place to self medicate with street drugs, alcohol and illegal substances).
  • a surrogate family to replace the one you never had or the one you don’t want or aren’t wanted by now.
  • for friends and social contact.

In order to become street-independent, you must give up each of these. Perhaps the hardest is friends and social contact. People get apartments. They get sober. They get jobs. They get well. But they still hang out. And it’s because they have friends and connections. Replacing those is hardest of all.

I often counsel as part of recovery that you have to find new friends. “I don’t hate the friends you have and nor should you. But they only know how to relate to you in street-dependencies. Whether they mean to or not, they will encourage you to be street-dependent.”

And one young man who has an apartment, is sober and now even goes to UT, said this: “People won’t forgive what I don’t. They don’t’ accept me. So I still hang out here. It’s a big risk to me, but I need friends.”

Father, help us to forgive one another. Help us to accept the lost sheep back into the fold. We’ve all wandered at one time or another. Amen. 

“To know, love and serve street dependent youth.”
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Become a fan on Facebook!
Mobile? No problem: m.StreetYouthMinistry.org.
I’m a notary for benefit of clients and supporters. Ph: (512) 553-3796
Volunteer or donate (tax deductible) online
Arrange a meeting with me: tungle.me/terrycole

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February 14, 2012

A Good Prayer Time


They prayed God would act in more peoples lives.

We had a group of 8 people at a prayer time, some of whom were very challenged to do something “religious.” We prayed together in our prayer concert. Here are some things they shared:

  •  God is supposed to be love, but all I see is cruelty and indifference.
  •  I’m thankful for new shoes from one of your volunteers.
  •  I admit: I planned to get wasted today. It’s all I know to do right now.
  •  I want God to act in my life: giving me the abundant life He promised and manifesting His  good people.
  •  I want God to act in the lives of others: keeping my boyfriend from overdosing (i.e. bodily functions stop for a time but typically can be revived) for at least 2 months. We amended that request to ask that he never overdose again, but she doubted that was possible.
  •  I want God to act in the lives of people on the UT Drag so they smile more. Maybe that’s all they need!

Do you sometimes wonder about God’s love in your life?  Leave us a comment.

 

“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: m.StreetYouthMinistry.org.
I’m a notary for benefit of clients and supporters. Ph: (512) 553-3796
Volunteer or donate (tax deductible) online
Arrange a meeting with me: tungle.me/terrycole

Follow SYM: Facebook LinkedIn Blog RSS Twitter Plaxo Etsy Etsy Blogger Google Buzz Tungle.me YouTube Google Plus

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

February 10, 2012

A Dream and Challenge


Why won’t someone help me now?”

At least twice a month, I have a young client, usually somewhere between 23 and 28, come up to me and say, cry or scream: “I’ve had it. I’m at the end of my rope. Can you get me into rehab? I want to go TODAY!” After 3 years of doing this, I have never seen someone get into rehab the same day. I promise to make some phone calls and ask to meet them the next day. The phone calls typically means leaving messages. It means eventually learning after many phone calls that a rehab “bed” won’t be open for several weeks. I meet with the client and explain to them. And their response is usually, “I can’t wait that long. I might as well just go overdose and die. Or maybe I should go to another city. Why won’t someone help me now?” 

 

It’s a reasonable question. There are logical answers, but this client population doesn’t have the patience and even sometimes the planning skills to work with a three week window. 

 

It is my dream to find a way to have a bed available at within 24 hours of a client seeking help. No they don’t have insurance. Yes they need detoxification and medical check-up. No they probably don’t have ID. And yes, they have all sorts of potential co-existing issues. If not a bed, then a temporary safe house where they can stay until the recovery bed becomes available. These are missed opportunities to enable someone to turn their life around. It’s missed opportunities to allow a person to find true meaning and significance in recovery. It’s a dream I know. And I can think of all the practical obstacles to achieving the dream. I pray it becomes a reality in Austin somehow nevertheless.

Do you have any ideas?  Do you think it is a dream we can make come true in the future?  Leave us a comment.

 

“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: m.StreetYouthMinistry.org.
I’m a notary for benefit of clients and supporters. Ph: (512) 553-3796
Volunteer or donate (tax deductible) online
Arrange a meeting with me: tungle.me/terrycole

Follow SYM: Facebook LinkedIn Blog RSS Twitter Plaxo Etsy Etsy Blogger Google Buzz Tungle.me YouTube Google Plus

 

February 6, 2012

Helping Build Compassion


Sometimes at presentations about our ministry I am asked hard questions.

At a recent speaking engagement to elementary students, one child said, “Why do they smoke cigarettes when they could use that money to buy what they need?” Now, I believe this question reflects something they’ve heard from a parent or adult. However, I decided to engage the child. I agreed cigarettes are very bad for you. I agreed the street youth could put their money to better use. Then I steered them in a different direction.

First, I asked if they like to drink cokes. Hands went up all over the room. Then I asked if they think cokes are good for them. A wealth of information flowed about the ill effects of too many soft drinks: teeth, gums, bones, stomach, sugar jitters, sugar crashes. Amazing answers. I asked, “Why do you drink them?” More great answers: Because I love them. Because it’s fun to have a soda with a friend. Because my dad offered it to me and I don’t get to do many things with my dad. Because I need a pick-me-up. Because I’m bored. All true answers.

Then I asked if they could now connect the dots. Why do street youth smoke cigarettes? Can we understand it more? Can we be less judgmental and more accepting? Light bulbs went off in some! I closed with this reminder: why they do it doesn’t change the fact that cigarettes are not good for you, any more than liking sodas doesn’t change the fact that too many aren’t good for you either!

The world needs more understanding and compassion. The world needs more smiles. Maybe–just maybe–the next generation can do a better job!

What are your thoughts on building compassion in the next generation?

 

February 3, 2012

The Power of Being Intentional


I often regret not having time to write our incarcerated clients. A friend recently asked me if I knew anyone in jail he could help as part of his weekly charities, so I jumped on his offer. Since I’ve been asking the street youth if people are in jail or the hospital, it’s led to spontaneous prayer on more than one occasion! They want to pray for their friends in jail to change. They want to pray for their friends on the street not to do things that put them in jail. They want to pray for a legal system to treat them as fairly as their more monied citizens. It’s been awesome to experience. So, thanks to my friend who proposed a specific way to help the ministry, freed me from one more thing to do or to worry over not doing, and opened up a brand new conversation and response among the clients!  If you could do your dream volunteer job, what would that be for you?  Leave us a comment.

 

“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: m.StreetYouthMinistry.org.
I’m a notary for benefit of clients and supporters. Ph: (512) 553-3796
Volunteer or donate (tax deductible) online
Arrange a meeting with me: tungle.me/terrycole

Follow SYM: Facebook LinkedIn Blog RSS Twitter Plaxo Etsy Etsy Blogger Google Buzz Tungle.me YouTube Google Plus