March 28, 2014
We can shop at smile.amazon.com until March 31, 2014 and Amazon will donate an extra $5 to Street Youth Ministry.
- Go to http://ift.tt/1aWn6xc
- Log in with Your Email Address and Your Amazon Password
- Scroll down under “Or pick your own charitable organization:” enter this in the field – Street Youth Ministry Of Austin
- Press the Search button
- Choose the entry that is for Austin, TX
- Shop and make sure your items states “Eligible for amazonsmile donation.”
Terms and Conditions (listed on the website):
- One donation per customer.
- Limited time offer. You must complete a purchase at smile.amazon.com including one or more items eligible for an AmazonSmile donation between 12:00 a.m. (PT) March 24, 2014 and 11:59 p.m. (PT) March 31, 2014. In addition, this promotion will expire after aggregate donations have reached $1 million.
- The $5 donation will be made through the AmazonSmile program at smile.amazon.com under the same terms and at the same time as other donations made through the program, and will be in addition to the 0.5% donation made on the purchase price of your eligible item(s).
- Offer valid for customers located and with billing addresses in the United States.
- Offer may not be combined with other offers.
- Amazon reserves the right to modify or cancel the offer at any time.
- Offer is non-transferable and may not be resold.
- If any of the products related to this promotion are returned, the donation will not be made.
- If you violate any of the Terms and Conditions, the promotion will be invalid.
- Void where prohibited.
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March 26, 2014
This client makes wooden instruments and pendants.
You can purchase them on Etsy.
He is pictured with his didgeridoo*.
*definition and pronunciation of a didgeridoo
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March 20, 2014
It’s been a harder winter than the previous few years. We’ve been stretched a bit, but we’re doing OK.
I just heard about two of our recovering clients, now living in a house, holding jobs, and raising a new child.
They spent their own money to make chili and take it down to their friends on the street. When they ran out, they went and got more ingredients, then made more chili. They went back and served that second batch of chili.
How great is this!
The Bible tells us that God wants us to glorify Him and enjoy him forever. And it says that God wants to bless us mightily so that we can be a blessing to others.
How great a world it would be if everyone gave as these two.
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March 18, 2014
We heard from a client we haven’t seen in a long while. We LOVE hearing from clients!
Here is what he had to say.
We are sharing what he had to say in hopes that it inspires supporters and gives hope to clients who are currently where Luke used to be.
I know you back from 2009. You used to help me a lot. I remember you helped me get my pills when my hand swelled up so bad.
I was best friends with [two of your clients] who both died. God, I miss my friends.
I go to church now and totally gave my life to Jesus.
I still slip up, but I’ve been off heroin for over 4 years now. I go to [an addiction] doctor, and it really helps with the opiate urges.
Pray for our world, and all the friends I’ve lost in the past 3 years…
Pray for all their souls, please.
And pray I make it safely back out west.
|Best Free Christian Clip Art!
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March 6, 2014
Sharing art created by a street youth.
|A palm tree?
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March 4, 2014
Jesus said that we should give alms a certain way. He didn’t say it was optional, or we should do it when we feel like it, or if we think the person is worthy, or if we think the person is going to make right decisions in their life. Jesus say we are to do alms.
The problem of giving alms?
Alms means money today, probably because that’s the simplest thing to do. However, the word in the Bible means helpful mercies. That can be anything from a snack, a dinner, a coat, or a few dollars.
What should you give?
I believe that the most valuable thing you can give to someone who is homeless is your smiling face and some of your time. Take a moment to smile and see how they react. Take a moment to share your name and ask theirs. Offer that you will be praying for them in coming days (and do it more than once).
Giving through missional community?
If you’re part of a missional community, you might consider inviting someone as alms safely to a your community. Only do this if your group’s decorum allows, of course. In such a community, we all yearn to be known and to share some of what it means to be ourselves with others. This is often not available to someone who is homeless. That doesn’t mean they can take over your group, hog the conversation or be unsociable. All the rules of good group participation still apply, and you can gently ask everyone to follow the decorum of your group.
Giving alms is not the same as adopting someone as a project. We can typically only give small mercies to those in need.
Jesus can heal, make whole, provide huge helps, and do more than we can ever imagine.
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March 2, 2014
We meet people right where they are. We don’t have that many sex workers, that is people who perform sex acts for money, but we do have a lot of survival sex. That means exchanging sex for something of value other than money: a ride, a place to sleep, protection, drugs. We also have people who dance in exotic clubs for a living. Obviously they have the opportunity to engage in direct sex work in such environments.
Austin is fairly lucky in that street youth aren’t terribly exploited in the local sex trade. I hear a lot of stories from peers and clients that it’s different in other parts of the country. Some of that may have to do with the fact that the deep south is “runaway unfriendly”–that is, all licensed people are required to turn in an underaged runaway if they become aware of their full name and birthdate. Many of my peers in other locations have a lot more young teenage youth living on the street. In Austin, if you’re under 17, you are likely to be picked up by authorities. As a result, those folks tend not to stay here. But they do congregate in other cities. These most vulnerable young people apparently often fall prey to sex work.
We meet sex workers right where they are. We address the positives of their work (allowing them money to take care of themselves, allowing them to care for others, etc) without tearing them down. And we talk about the negatives. Often sex work is accompanied by the need to self-medicate or numb-out with drugs. Often sex work is accompanied by a very brittle emotional state–maintaining until something comes along and then reacting very strongly to some seemingly little thing. And sex work often completely messes up ability to enjoy human touch and close relationships. Most of our clients know these things and we just check in with them to see how they are coping.
I had a client come forward who is actively engaged in straight porn filming. He is a 19 year old Christ follower and it’s tearing him up to do this. He feels so alone and hopeless. He has a long term girlfriend but he feels himself isolated from her. He confesses his sin after every shooting session, but feels trapped and goes back because the money is so good and he doesn’t know another way to support himself and his girlfriend.
We discussed the nature of forgiven sin. We discussed the nature of ongoing sin. We discussed how he is hurting inside and how little he brings to the relationship with his girlfriend because of it. In addition, we talked about how he’s hurting other people… people he doesn’t even know who watch his film and grow apart in their relationships because porn is a poor substitute for intimacy. He knew it all, but was grateful for having someone to talk with about it.
At the end of our session, I asked if he wanted a hug. I expected him to say no. But he said yes. And hugged me for all he was worth. He struggled to say, “It’s been so long since I’ve been hugged.” I reminded him that he was a beautiful child of God and that he could not do anything to make God love him more than he already does. But change was coming for him… it was very obvious to me. He agreed. I asked if he wanted another hug, and he once again leapt at the chance.
I pray for this client. I pray he sees that he is talented and worthy. I pray he finds a way to say no the allure of this exploited way to make a living for himself. I pray for his healing. I pray he finds a support group that will accept him just as he is. And I pray for all those who find that the only thing of value they have to offer is their body. It hurts them so much and they deserve so much better.
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