Street Youth Ministry had 19 people walk through the door at our relaunch Bible study. Clients chose the new time, which was best for them, Tuesday from 11am to 1pm. We provided a light meal and a safe place to rest and just be. And, we hosted a number of activities during the time period.
Each week we need at least one volunteer; preferably two (unfortunately, if we don’t have at least one volunteer, we have to close the door to the event for that day). Volunteers can sign-up for the Tuesday Bible study helper role at http://volunteer.StreetYouthMinistry.org by clicking on the words near the top “Helpers and Dog Sitters”, or by scrolling down and clicking on the large orange button with the white letters “Helpers” on the left hand side.
This Tuesday we had a baked potato buffet that Terry and the volunteers made from Saturday morning recovered food. The volunteers prepared the food, then Terry was able to cook the food (literally at the last minute). It was delicious. To be honest, Terry can’t normally spend so much time preparing food. We really do need food volunteers every Tuesday. Without a food volunteer, we won’t be able to offer a light meal that day. Food volunteers can sign-up at http://volunteer.StreetYouthMinistry.org by clicking “Food.”
We plan to offer a Discipleship class on Wednesdays at 2:00pm; as soon as we have sufficient volunteers. That class will be for followers of Jesus, or people who want to be followers of Jesus. But our Bible study will be open to all and will be more to encounter and discuss the Bible; no matter what your faith status. The Bible study group agreed and appreciated our approach. People who are interested in helping with Discipleship on Wednesday at 2pm may record their availability at http://sign-up.StreetYouthMinistry.org.
Our Bible study began with an icebreaker. Everyone shared their names and what they wanted to dress up as for Halloween. They had some awesome ideas! After the buffet was served, Terry started the faith portion of our activity.
This particular Tuesday, I wanted to begin by asking our group what they wanted to do. I explained that whatever we do was going to be safe for believers, non-believers, believers-of-other-things, and those simply unsure or searching.
Shortly after that, a street youth pulled out his own Bible and said he loves Psalm 91 because his grandfather loves it. He began to read Psalm 91. Everyone listened. I asked what does it mean to him. He said it didn’t mean that much to him, but it meant everything to his grandfather; so it meant a lot to him too. His grandfather related to that particular Psalm mostly in terms of his Vietnam War experience.
I suggested that we rewrite the Psalm in terms they could understand and relate it to the streets. We began discussing the Psalm verse by verse, trying to understand the words as they might have appeared in a culture 4000 years ago. And then we tried to recapture the same ideas how a street youth would relate. The result:
1. God is powerful. He has your back.
2. Your faithfulness will protect you.
3. He will save you from the man and from sickness.
4. He will provide a safe alley for protection and retreat.
5. You don’t have to fear hateful people or your enemies,
6. nor MRSA and other wasting diseases.
7. Friends and family may fall, but God will protect you.
1 Happy is he whose resting-place is in the secret of the Lord, and under the shade of the wings of the Most High; 2 Who says of the Lord, He is my safe place and my tower of strength: he is my God, in whom is my hope. 3 He will take you out of the bird-net, and keep you safe from wasting disease. 4 You will be covered by his feathers; under his wings you will be safe: his good faith will be your salvation. 5 You will have no fear of the evil things of the night, or of the arrow in flight by day, 6 Or of the disease which takes men in the dark, or of the destruction which makes waste when the sun is high. 7 You will see a thousand falling by your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it will not come near you. 8 Only with your eyes will you see the reward of the evil-doers. 9 Because you have said, I am in the hands of the Lord, the Most High is my safe resting-place; 10 No evil will come on you, and no disease will come near your tent. 11 For he will give you into the care of his angels to keep you wherever you go. 12 In their hands they will keep you up, so that your foot may not be crushed against a stone. 13 You will put your foot on the lion and the snake; the young lion and the great snake will be crushed under your feet. 14 Because he has given me his love, I will take him out of danger: I will put him in a place of honour, because he has kept my name in his heart. 15 When his cry comes up to me, I will give him an answer: I will be with him in trouble; I will make him free from danger and give him honour. 16 With long life will he be rewarded; and I will let him see my salvation.
Bible in Basic English version