Posts tagged ‘street youth prayer’

August 18, 2015

Our Prayer Walks


The “The 5 Love Languages” is a great book for relationships. I was recently reminded by the pastor at Covenant Presbyterian Church that people have prayer languages, too. 


Some prefer silent prayer. Some prefer praying alone and aloud. Some sing. Some dedicate blocks of time and other pray in short stolen moments between tasks. Some pray driving, or running, or meditating.

Our prayer walks are a chance to walk through the neighborhood we serve. We have chosen 8pm on a Wednesday night because is a very quiet time. Most neighbors are gone. The sun is down (but it’s well lit as an urban landscape). The day is done and a new day will come tomorrow. That’s the setting for our prayer walk.


We begin at one partner’s church location. We explain what happens there and how to pray. We’ll ask if anyone wants to pray for the site and activities that will take place there. Then we will walk together along the sidewalks of Guadalupe to a new place.

As we go, we may point out places where people celebrate. Or where people beg. Or where people suffer. Participants will no doubt offer some prayers silently as we answer questions.

We’ll stop at locations important to our clients. Businesses that help out. Businesses that are sometime troublesome. We’ll offer prayers for the neighborhood.

We’ll stop at a place where clients gather in the evening. They will greet us and say hello. They may offer some prayer requests and we can pray with them. We may just have conversation in the calm still evening.

As we walk back to our starting point, we’ll answer questions and make suggestions for continued prayer for the community. It’s a great way to get to know us and what we do.

Sign-up at our Corporate Prayer Walk page.

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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 http://streetyouth.blogspot.com/2013/12/do-you-see-what-i-see.html

October 31, 2013

What Do You Want God To Do In Your Life?


From Terry: 

We began our Wednesday night fellowship dinners again, taking as many clients that want to attend to Covenant Presbyterian Church for dinner with members; followed by a small group. It’s a great success so far; after three weeks. Although we do offer the option to leave campus after dinner, so far, not even one person has asked for a ride back to the Drag at 6:30pm. Everyone has stayed for the small group afterward. 

A co-leader has been preparing a class each week on a simple parable. This particular week was on how to pray The Lord’s Prayer, and the parable of the stranger at night. 

As we closed our discussion, I prompted the group to let me know how I could be praying with them by asking, “What do you want God to do in your life?” I got few responses. So, I prompted them several more times, probably freaking out my two co-leaders. But slowly, the numbness wore off, and the clients allowed their true wants to come to the surface. “A place to live.” “Money.” “Happiness.” In the middle of these and other answers, one young man simply said, “Forgiveness.” 

We closed our session in prayer and began looking for drivers to take the clients back to the Drag. I arranged to take the young man, who said forgiveness, back alone. On the way back, he played the radio. Eventually, I turned it down and told him that I needed to follow-up. I wanted to know more about the forgiveness he wanted in his life. We talked a bit in the dark truck cab. He knows he does wrong. He knows he’s been a burden on his parents. But he wants forgiveness in these things and more.

I shared how the Gospel works, forgiveness in exchange for asking and believing. It sounds too good to be true. And it would be if anyone else in the universe were promising it. But God IS trustworthy. The client wasn’t sure yet, but we are continuing to work on it. 

Please pray that this client comes to understand the grace of Jesus Christ. Please pray for all clients that suffer from numbness. Help the desires of their heart to break through, because no matter how much sin is in their life or has touched their life, some of their desires are truly good and noble. And these desires will give rise to the desire to know the One who is holy and worthy, and the source of all goodness in the universe. 

And that will be a great day for each of them!

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August 17, 2013

What a difference!


I was walking on our Friday mini-mission trip with a volunteer talking. I saw someone I thought I recognized about a half-block up. I suggested that the volunteer allow me to approach the person alone because the person I thought I recognized is sometimes very angry.
I couldn’t have been more mistaken about who I saw. The musical 6 foot 8 young man grinned ear to ear and shouted, “Well hello, Terry! I was hoping to see you! You probably don’t remember me, but I’m Jason.” I could hardly believe what I was seeing. 
For you see, it was the same man outwardly, but there was nothing the same about him. He was peaceful, happy, and full of joy. He told me where he had been for the past year or so and why he was traveling and street-dependent again. He gratefully took a few things and bragged about how he tells everyone what great work we do, wherever he goes. And then he said goodbye.
I stopped him and asked about his faith, because I had a hunch. Sure enough, he told me he had hit rock bottom about a year ago and have found a new life in Christ! I asked if I could give him a hug and he grinned ear to ear and dropped his pack to the ground. I once again feared for my safety as he bear-hugged me. Thankfully no ribs were cracked. What a wonderful difference faith makes.
We cannot fix anyone, but faith can cure anything through God. We are so happy to see someone find their way home to Christ’s loving arms.

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July 30, 2013

What triggered such a big change from electrical engineering to humanitarian work?


I was at a dinner party the other day. The hostess asked me to explain what I did at Street Youth Ministry. [We don’t hijack dinner parties but we are please to share when supporters ask!] The next day, I got an email from one of the guests. He asked, “If I may ask, what triggered such a big change from electrical engineering to humanitarian work?”
It’s a long story, but the short answer is that this culture of “throwaway” youth broke my heart when I began volunteering by accident to serve them a meal once a month in 2003. As I learned more about them over time by listening and observing, I was so amazed by their strength and resilience to adversity. As I listened to them even more, I realized they were very spiritual as a whole, and they were hungry to hear God’s story but really had significant issues with “church” and “Christians.” One thing led to another, and here I am serving them daily to help them achieve for themselves stability, sobriety, reconnection to God and a Christian community. Our motto reflect my own journey with the street youth: to know, love and serve street-dependent young people so that some may come to know Christ.

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“To know, love and serve street dependent youth.”
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Become a fan on Facebook!Mobile? No problem: m.StreetYouthMinistry.org.
I’m a notary for benefit of clients and supporters. Ph: (512) 553-3796
Volunteer or donate (tax deductible) online
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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!

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June 8, 2013

“There’s nothing better”


Yesterday in our weekly prayer time, a client started a sentence with “There’s nothing better than the feeling you get when…” That got my attention. The client had been quietly reflecting on our prayer time and filling out a brief worksheet designed to help him take something personal away from the group prayer time.
I asked him to repeat the sentence for everyone. “There is nothing better than the feeling you get when someone gets their crap together and gets off the street. It’s so great when they come back to visit.” He went on to describe how happy he was for several clients from Austin and from his home town of El Paso that have gotten clean, housed, employed and “together.”
We love it when clients come back to visit, too! We agree with our client, but we add one thing: there is nothing better than the feeling you get when a client gets their stuff together and claims their rightful place in God’s Kingdom!
In the rest of the prayer time, clients shared what it’s going to be like then they get their stuff together. I’ll be clean. My family will accept me. I’ll be completely sober. I’ll change my habits. I’ll have a nice place. I’ll be a good dad. I’ll start a career. I’ll make music every day. I’ll see doctors who keep me healthy. 
Join us that these prayers come true, and that our clients do find their place in the sun in God’s Kingdom!



“To know, love and serve street dependent youth.”
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Text or call: (512) 553-3796
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May 10, 2013

An Uplift from an Unexpected Source


I was having a challenging day. There is a resurgence of drug use (tweaking) in a group of our clients. There is a certain amount of complacency in an even larger group of our clients. In fact, today, I was having a hard time finding any of our street-bound clients who were ready to work on getting anywhere.
Now… ministry is not about me feeling good about what we do. And we do celebrate tons of clients who have gotten up off the street and gone places with their lives. What’s going on right now is that we have a lot of people who aren’t ready to make change. Maybe it’s Spring fever! But it was a hard day to get through. Clients came for food and left. “What’s in it for me NOW” sort of ruled the day. Clients said “hi”, but otherwise avoided conversations about change. They were more interested this day in partying than planning. 
I came across a client I haven’t seen in a while. He was viewed by man as “hopeless.” He was certainly hard to manage back in the day! He was a big drug user, practiced sex as a means of entertainment, and was quite violent. His mental health challenges were huge, as well. 
Today, he was sitting on the ground waiting. I asked him how things were. “I’ve been sober for months. I’ve been taking my meds and they really help. I’ve gotten my social security reinstated. I’m getting ready to move into a place and figure out how to get some kind of job.” Wow! That’s a big contrast to the rest of my day. I shared that with him and thanked him.
He had more to say. He goes to church regularly. He loves it. And he’s involved in worship, study and fellowship activities three times a week. He’s not dating anyone right now, although he admits he’s like to be. He still struggles with sex but he led a conversation with me about the virtues of wanting to be with one person and about taking the physical stuff slow. Awesome! That really made my day and I told him so. 
But he still had more! He has been helping another client. The second client is challenged with a severe but treatable mental health issue. The client was mistreated by “Christians” in the past and is very hot/cold on having a relationship with Jesus. But the first client is helping the second client, taking him to church, helping him to keep up with things and plan, and encouraging him to be open to mental health treatment. The first client talked in terms of his leadership skills and wanting to help others! Wow!
I’ll go through all the bad days ahead in exchange for seeing street-dependent clients get up and help themselves and then start to help others who struggle in ways that they can understand first hand. It’s just awesome to see! 
What a great day it is today. I better get going and find out why! Volunteer with our ministry.

“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: m.StreetYouthMinistry.org.
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: tungle.me/terrycole
Follow SYM: Facebook LinkedIn Blog RSS Twitter Plaxo Etsy Etsy Blogger Google Buzz Tungle.me YouTube Google Plus

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