Posts tagged ‘answered prayers’

November 10, 2015

Goals Achieved Fall 2015

via Blogger

May 11, 2014

Do We Ask Big Enough?

My daughter has unusual pets. She loves rats! 

One day, she was riding her bike home from her university class, when she was hit in the crosswalk by a careless driver. The careless driver turned out to be a jerk as well because they didn’t stop to give aide. Thankfully, my daughter was only bruised and shocked. She told me, “Another inch and I would have been in the hospital.”

But something far worse happened. Her companion rat was riding on her shoulder. She is a young thing, only about 6 weeks old, and she freaked out when they were both thrown to the ground when hit by the truck. The rat scurried away and past a bridge barrier and down into a river canyon under the bridge. My poor shocked daughter could not follow and could not find the rat.

My daughter was devastated. She didn’t sleep. And she didn’t want to return to school or class. I talked with her on the phone the morning after all this and asked if she was afraid to ride. “No. I can do it.” I talked some more and asked if she wanted to go to class. “I think I will sleep now, skipping my first class, but I’ll go to the second class and my yoga. That will help me.” So that was the plan.

When I hung up, my heart was so heavy. She has had such a rough time and lost her previous companion rat to a death. It was a sweet and wonderful little thing. This was due to a  freak accident only weeks before. I feared the new loss would send her into depression or worse. 

I hurt so much for her. And I prayed all sorts of things all day long. Prayers for protection for her. Prayers that the little rat hadn’t suffered too long, since it had frozen that night. Prayers that my daughter would find inner strength. Prayers that someone would reach out to my daughter in just the right way to help. It went on and on.

That night, I got an amazing text. Things were better. And I called her to get the whole amazing story.

My daughter did sleep after emailing her professor to let her know she would be skipping class because she had been in an accident. Then she pulled herself together and began to ride to school. She would have to pass the place where she had almost been seriously hurt the day before. And where her little rat had frozen to death. 

She steeled herself for the strip. About 2.5 blocks from the place, she stopped. There, off to the side of the road was her rat. ALIVE! She was still totally freaked out and my daughter couldn’t catch her. But she bought a piece of fruit from a nearby convenience store, and the rat was so hungry that she ran to the smell of a freshly opened orange. (Did I mention that my daughter is smart!) 

The little rat was cold, dehydrated and noticeably smaller than 24 hours before. My daughter turned around and biked home. She watered the little rat, fed the little rat, and fixed her up a little nest to warm in. Then, daughter and rat were upstairs napping together.

Never in my prayers, did I even imagine asking God to save her rat and allow them to reunite. I had not hope or even though of such a thing. Now I see that I didn’t ask big enough.

I frequently ask my client, “What do you want God to do in your life?” And it’s a hard question to ask. And I will be telling this little story of the miracle rat for a long time. I hope it stands as a reminder that we need to imagine bigger things. We need to ask for bigger things. 

And we need to have faith
 that our Father wants wonderful things for us, 
things more wonderful
 than we expect.

via Blogger

December 21, 2013

Do you see what I see?

I got a phone call from a client named “Tommy” in the evening. He started, “Something strange is happening on the Drag.” I braced myself as Tommy continued, “I want you to see what I see! I think really good things may happen soon.” 

My client is not the first to have asked me “Do you see what I see?” About two years ago, a pastor from a church on the Drag once informed me that he had come upon a group of clients praying. Someone had just gone to the hospital, and a group was sitting and praying, some distressed and crying and others leading a prayer. The pastor had never seen this before.

All the credit goes to God’s glory, but we began teaching our clients how to pray every week almost four years ago. We also placed emphasis on taking prayer requests from them and sharing them with prayer warriors. We have poured countless hours into nurturing their prayer lives so they feel comfortable sharing with God… their needs, the good times, the bad times, and the ugly. And God has changed their lives.

A pastor that I meet with for supervision remarked during one of our sessions, “I have to stop and simply give praise that the street youth have become a praying community.” It was a very promising sign. Do you see what I see? Tommy’s news promised to be even better!

Tommy said, “People are talking about Jesus tonight. I don’t mean preachers. I mean that street youth are talking to each other about Him!” 

Many street youth have come to Christ over the years. We know because they write to us from wherever they have settled down and tell us about their successes and transformation. But lately, we’ve seen clients come to know Christ on the street.

Again, all the glory goes to God. Many people work with street youth in their daily lives and it is always our goal to get them plugged into local churches. The people we have poured into for years have become saved!

But even more is going on. I want you to see what I see! There are at least five clients who are regularly going to local churches and sharing their faith on the street. 

  • One is a Saul-to-Paul story of intense persecution of Christians until his conversion.
  • Another is a story of black-arts magician to Christian. 
  • One was a drug-crazed person constantly going to jail and now is totally transformed.
  • Another is the story of a shy young lady who could barely speak in public now sharing her faith openly. 
  • And Tommy is a man healed, once crippled by mental health issues and now fully in love with God and loving others. 

God has met each of these people with his transforming power. Oh the joy of seeing what I see!

And fruit has begun to multiply. I couldn’t be more excited that these people are taking their street friends with them on Sunday, and helping them receive the Gospel. At least one more has been baptized through their work (and is now away at a rehab). Another has renewed her faith and joined them in spreading the Gospel.

Do you see what I see? I can hardly believe my eyes! It is so wonderful to see the strength of these young people turned into Gospel tools for His Kingdom. 

Thank you so much for being a part of this!

via Blogger

June 15, 2013

Creating a praying community on the street

Some supporters ask how we approach our clients about prayer requests. Many are not Christian, and most do not pray on their own regularly. We simply ask “What do you want God to do for you?” at an appropriate point in our conversations. We like this question because it places emphasis on God’s provision, which is available to believers and unbelievers every day. It also puts God in an active role. Often the answer is “whatever He wants” or “just bless me.” To that we reply, “That’s fine, and we’ll pray. But the more specific you can be, the more helpful it may be. I believe God really wants to know what you want. Maybe He won’t do it, but He wants to hear it.” 
Another way we get into prayer requests is when we are asked for something (like shoes, guitar strings or a backpack). If we have it, we simply say, “God provided one of those today, and I’d be happy to give it to you if it will help.” If we don’t have the thing they have asked about, we never promise to go buy it. We turn it into a prayer request. We write it into our prayer book. And we share it with a prayer team member. The street youth have come to value that a lot. One client puts it this way, “When things go into that little book of yours, Terry–they just happen!” We also usually give them a little homily when they ask for things. We tell them: “Jesus said ‘Ask, seek, and knock.’ The ask part is what you just did. We’ll ask God for it with you, too. The seek part means you start looking for it. We’ll watch out for it, too. And nobody who wants the door opened knocks once and runs away. It means keep looking and keep asking.” More frequently than not, the street youth finds the item before we meet them again, giving us an opportunity to talk about God’s provision for them even on the street. And that’s awesome!

“To know, love and serve street dependent youth.”
Who We Serve   What We Do   Get Involved  Wishlist   Publications  Speaking   Service Projects   Sign-up

Become a fan on Facebook!

Text or call: (512) 553-3796
Volunteer or donate (tax deductible) online
Arrange a meeting with me:

via Blogger

May 20, 2013

New Beginnings

The first time I saw him, I was afraid. He had wild hair, talked to himself in an animated way, and didn’t make eye contact. It took me repeated times to work up the courage to speak with him. But it was the beginning of something surprising.
Nick had come from Dallas and was living on the streets. He didn’t have any ID because he had left it at his previous place of residence. He kept his money in his shoes. We served him a street lunch every Friday for weeks. Unfortunately, Nick began to change. He got wilder and began using drugs. His hair grew into artful dreads, with a few ornaments inserted. On several occasions, we found him passed out or overdosed, and he went to jail many times as well.
But recently I found myself sitting in prayer time, and Nick was the only participant. I figured God had cleared our everyone else for a reason, so I kept asking questions. Soon, Nick was telling me his whole story. It started out typical for a large segment of my clients: he lived at home with his mom. After puberty, his mind began to betray him. He suffered from delusions and visions. As a 17 year old, he felt that the medications he took almost destroyed his personality, and so he stopped taking them. He learned that heroin somehow helped his mind become calmer. To mediate the heroin, he began to use cocaine. These things led to his leaving home, living with a girlfriend, various drug addictions, criminal offenses, and eventually going to prison.
In prison, Nick joined a brotherhood and learned Islam. As a young man, mostly without medication, and mostly without drugs, he survived seven years in prison. Upon his release, he lived in a halfway house in Dallas. Without help with his transition, Nick found that he couldn’t live by the rules and left one night. That’s when I met Nick in the streets of Austin.
During prayer time, Nick expressed a desire to get his life together. After hearing his whole story, I realized this would be a completely new life for him. And so, we made a plan. First step was to review his taking his medication again. Nick–typical of many of my clients as they reach brain maturity at 25–was willing to reconsider medication. He knew how to get them from MHMR. The next step was getting his disability benefits started. We agreed that, for now, Nick was in no shape to work because of his mental challenges and lack of soft skills. We hoped that eventually he will go back to work, but for now, God might provide for him through disability benefits. Nick wants a place to live, where he can do his art and music. And so again, we developed a plan. I left Nick to take the first steps, and I got his permission to follow-up regularly to see if he’s doing it.
After that, I asked Nick about his Muslim beliefs. It turns out that Nick believes in Jesus today. I explained the Gospel and asked if he understood it; he did. Then, we prayed that God would reveal himself more fully and that Nick would begin trying to live a new and grateful life as a Christian.
Since our conversation, I have seen Nick many times. He has obtained medication. He has applied for disability. He is exercising great restrain to stay away from damaging drugs and activities. And he is trying to walk closer with Jesus. According to Nick, it’s difficult. He told me the other day, “I need to take a vacation. This is hard.” And I understood him. Rebirth is not easy. Renewal is not usually immediate or occurs overnight. It requires patience, strength, endurance, and strong faith. I don’t know what the future holds for Nick, but I am so privileged to walk alongside him.
It’s a time for rebirth and renewal. I pray you see it in nature. I pray you see it in your faith, community, and even in your family. Furthermore, I pray you sense renewal in your personal life.
It’s a privilege for me to be your representative in this work! And, together on a daily basis, we can encourage people who are often ignored, invisible, and unwelcomed. Thank you for your support.

“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:
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:
Follow SYM: Facebook LinkedIn Blog RSS Twitter Plaxo Etsy Etsy Blogger Google Buzz YouTube Google Plus

via Blogger