Anya, a 10 year old girl, regularly asks me, “who we are blessing this month?” Last month she said, “I think you should help teenagers because they are hurting and some don’t have good lives”. I smiled and said, “That’s a great idea”. The search began and we soon found ‘Straight Street’.
Nikki was 13 when she and her mom were in a homeless shelter because her mother and her boyfriend had broken up. She was at a new school with no friends’; and her sister had been placed in foster care. She had to attend a church service where she met a guest speaker named Keith Farmer who told her about Straight Street. She went to the Saturday meetings for a few months, and then her mother moved in with her new boyfriend.
Years later at age 17, while preparing for the birth of her son, she got off work one night but her mom wasn’t waiting for her in the parking lot. She called and her mom said she wasn’t coming. There she was, pregnant, stranded, with nothing to her name. The police wouldn’t help as she was almost 18 and legally emanicipated due to her pregnancy. The only person she could think of to call was Keith Farmer.
Even after not seeing her for several years, Keith showed up at 11 pm and took her to the mission. There she received clothes, blankets, food and bus passes to get to and from work. Keith reminded her that no matter how difficult things became or how many mistakes she had made, God still loved her. She started attending TeenMOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), bible study and worship services. A few months later her son was born and soon she was able to get her own place, her first car and Straight Street still continued to help with gas vouchers for her commute. In Nikki’s words, “From helping me off the streets when I was younger, to being there anytime I needed anything at all. Also for never giving up on me, even when I strayed away, they have always been the light leading me towards God. They have been a true example of God’s love. Without them I would not be where I am today!”
Straight Streets is a ministry out of Roanoke, VA. It’s a fun, exciting, and safe place where youth can hang out with their friends. Bible classes where youth are discipled and challenged to be strong in their faith. Job mentoring and tutoring, that covers a wide range of subjects and skills. Family enrichment programs and retreats to help parents and their youth heal broken or stressed relationships. Community service projects that equip youth to look beyond their own needs and to the needs of others. Lifeskills training to help youth build confidence and enhance their leadership potential. Individual and group counseling by licensed counselors, to ensure that youth emotional and psychological conflicts are not carried into adulthood.
We are thrilled to partner with this impactful ministry by supporting their efforts in reaching at-risk youth. We thank them for giving of their time and love to help build tomorrows future! We pray blessings for Straight Streets and in all the various needs that come their way. May God bring wisdom and clarity as they continue to be His hands and feet.
To find out more about this months’ blessing – www.straightstreet.org