Mercy Flowing from SYM Volunteers

Street Youth Ministry (SYM) needs more help. We build up our volunteer teams by asking people to learn about us, to pray for us, and to get involved. This starts by going to sign up and joining our newsletters.


Once a quarter we send out a story of ministry. In a year or two, you will see all aspects of our ministry–faith issues and renewal, drug counseling, education, emotional healing, simple compassion and more. 


Once a month we send out a prayer letter. We ask that our prayer team choose one item to focus on that month in prayer for us. This letter gives you a great overview of the issues our clients face: poverty, insobriety, anger at God, and distrust of Christian churches. In addition, once a month, we email a prayer request that come from a clients that same day. It’s been nothing short of miraculous how God responds when our clients and our prayer team members pray together for God’s help.


Finally, we ask volunteers to prepare food and come sit with us for our weekly events. We always need sandwiches, breakfast casseroles and breakfast tacos for our freezer. Instructions for how to make them can be found in our new volunteer notebook at SYM Volunteers. Does it really matter? Here’s a story to inspire and challenge:


Corey’s mom called us Thursday morning. We had confirmed that her son, our client for more than a year, had died the previous Sunday in New Orleans. We had supplied him with prayer, sandwiches, and dog supplies when he passed through Austin, including ministering to him just a few weeks ago. Corey was a very smart and sweet kid. We never really knew why he was on the street, but we did encourage him to expect more for himself and to stay safe. He readily accepted sandwiches from us, lovingly made by volunteer’s. We gave his dog, Gonzo–his best friend in life–dog food and even a saddlebag backpack for him to carry his own supplies while they walked, hitch-hiked and “hopped trains” together. And we offered Corey brief drug counseling on the street as well as took his prayer requests for friends, family and self.


We still lost Corey to a drug overdose in New Orleans, part of the revelry of Mardis Gras. But through the ministry that our volunteers support we were able to know, love and serve Corey. And when the time came, we were able to reach out to his mother, brother and sister. We could share that Corey was sweet and not overtaken by drug addiction. We could share that his morals were intact, and he didn’t habitually lie, cheat or steal. We could share that he was still charming and intelligent.


Praise God, we don’t always lose clients! We have many who are no longer on the street, working at jobs, living indoors, going to college, and even being great parents. Our volunteers matter in helping to support all these great things that our clients accomplish for themselves. But our volunteers also help make possible the simple mercy of knowing a mother’s son and of being able to comfort his family at a terrible time.


“To know, love and serve street dependent youth.”
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