My wife Rachel and I have been attending Covenant for just over a year. In our short time at the church, we’ve found amazing community in the 20s/30s group, felt warmly welcomed by members of all ages, and have been challenged by insightful teaching. An experience that I want to highlight is our time serving with Street Youth Ministry (SYM), coordinated and founded by longtime member Terry Cole.
Rachel and I believe, as many of us do, that active service and involvement is a vital part to practicing our faith. We try to seek out ministries that reach people and places that are close to God’s heart. One of the most piercing chapters in the Bible for me is Isaiah 58, where God speaks through the words of the prophet about true fasting – we are called to share food, break the chains of injustice, and clothe the naked… in behalf of the hungry.
These holy tasks are not easy for anyone to shoulder alone. Understanding who is in need and what the best ways are to help has been a challenge for us, and we prayed for this understanding, though perhaps not expecting that God would answer our prayer in the way He did.
We were introduced to SYM through a friend in the 20s/30s group, and we were excited to find that it is a ministry that seeks “to know, love, and serve street-dependent youth” in Austin. This mission far exceeds just a meal or temporary help, it is based on building relationships rather than simply providing services. Joining in a God-sized mission like this cannot just involve one person or a few people. It involves a community; it involves churches; it involves all of us and the varying gifts and passions that God has given us.
For just a few Saturdays this summer, Rachel and I were blessed with the opportunity to pick up boxes of donated food and prepare meals for the ministry with Terry for the upcoming week. In a serviceable kitchen in the basement of a church off of the Drag by UT campus, we gathered on Saturday morning to chop zucchini, blend salsa, improvise fruit salad, and make creative use of whatever sort of food we had. We played just a small role in this God-sized mission, but having creative fun in the kitchen, serving alongside Terry, and learning about SYM’s mission certainly left an impression on us.
We are moving to a new city and a new job this fall, but before we depart, we want to challenge YOU to play a part in this vital ministry. It took us almost a year at Covenant before we came across SYM – you may have been at Covenant just a few weeks, or you may be a life-long member, but I want to encourage you to consider serving alongside Terry in knowing, loving, and serving our friends in need.
You may be adept at dicing onions for salsa, or you may have a passion for leading Bible studies? Perhaps you can share a skill with the clients at the weekly self-care gathering, or maybe you can offer a financial blessing to the ministry. In any capacity you can serve, SYM gratefully receives and faithfully uses the time, talents, and resources with which it has been blessed. The heart of our Father is zealously passionate for justice, mercy, clothing, food, and shelter for the needy. Terry and SYM faithfully serve a small corner of the world in need, but the ministry is larger than just a few people – it involves all of us. Will you consider playing a part in serving those in need through SYM?
You can find out more about SYM’s mission and opportunities at http://ift.tt/1qQKPHo.
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