Let me begin by introducing myself to you. My name is Bill Scott. I’ve been working with students in across the United States for 20 years. You may have heard me on ZJAM for years on SPIRIT FM on Saturday nights, or as the co-host on Dawson McAllister Live and Xtreme Talk Live. I’ve watched Straight Street grow from the very beginning. For over two decades I’ve watch the impact of Straight Street on this city. I know how busy Keith and the team are this month so I agreed to write this month’s newsletter.
For over two decades Straight Street has dedicated all they have to saving America’s most endangered species, our teenagers. Why have Keith and his team dedicated the last two decades of their lives to reaching teenagers in our area? So they could reach kids like Amanda and Nikki. Amanda – “Let me first start by saying, Thank you. As I started to write this evening, a song was playing in the back ground called “What Love Really Means” by JJ Heller. It is a favorite of mine especially when thinking of how I spent a lot of my teen years wondering “what love really means”. I may have never found the answer if I had not found Straight Street or should I say, had Straight Street not found ME. I had been sexually abused for 13 yrs. Home? Well, dysfunction would be sugar coating it. After so many nights of crying myself to sleep, I grew up thinking that crying does no good and that there is no one out there interested in helping me. Besides, we all have problems, right? Straight Street showed me that not only people, but God cared, and what was going on was not normal and certainly not my fault.” Niki – “When I was thirteen, my mom and I were in a homeless shelter because her and her boyfriend had broken up. I felt lost and alone. I had attended a brand new school where I had no friends. All of this occurred only months after my older sister was put into foster care. And now I was on a strict schedule, which included: an eight o’clock curfew, scheduled meals and a mandatory church service. I remember there being one service in particular that really spoke to my heart. After the service I was determined to meet the guest speaker. It seemed like he understood my situation and was speaking directly to me. He said his name was Keith Farmer. After chatting with him for a while, he told me about a program on Saturday nights. He said it was a place kids could get away and learn about God.” Straight Street provides a variety of ministries that serve hurting teens in our area. The Youth Ministry provides a youth center where students have a safe alternative to running the streets so they can hang out and have fun, away from the many negative influences they face daily. Life Hurts, God Heals is our small group program dealing with hurts. These hurts include from peer abuse, bullying, sexual identity, sexual abuse, and much more. The TeenMOPS program offers mentoring, classes on baby care and information on mother/baby nutrition. It is also a time for teenage mothers to meet, share and get the help they need to be great mothers. Crisis Support is a powerful area of ministry for Straight Street. In partnership with Total Life Counseling, Inc (TLC) Straight Street is able to provide help with individual, marital and family counseling that integrates sound psychological, spiritual and social principles to help people grow in their life satisfaction that is biblical based and focused on seeking Christ as our source for healing and restoration. As we continue to grow in our outreach we want to share about a new emergency shelter for human trafficking victims, girls 17 and younger rescued in Virginia. The human trafficking outreach will operate under the Street Ransom name. Many people are surprised at how huge the problem is with sex trafficking. 600,000 to 800,000 women, children and men are bought and sold across international borders every year and are exploited for forced labor or commercial sex. There are 2 to 4 million victims annually, 50% of those victims are estimated to be children. 1. 5 million victims are in the United States as of three years ago says the U.S. Government. I know for a fact Straight Street has so much already on their agenda. The ministry prayed as a team for more than a year before moving forward to develop Street Ransom. The ministry needed to make sure this was a God directed call and not an emotional reaction to this horrific crime in our country and community. As they prayed, God provided the name Street Ransom – Matthew 20:28 ‘just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’ Straight Street has been in Roanoke for more than 20 years and works within the community, schools, legal system. The need for the numerous outreaches under the Straight Street name must continue in order to reach hurting teens and families. The trafficking outreach operates under the Street Ransom name so that those served through Straight Street do not think that the ministry has changed direction or focus, however, Street Ransom is an outreach of Straight Street. Needless to say our budget is growing quickly and your help is needed. Your Straight Street needs to raise $300,000 each year. With the Street Ransom plans, the ministry will need to raise another $300,000 to provide emergency shelter care for juvenile human trafficking victims, educate the community and provide educational resources for schools. All of the kids that Straight Street have worked with deserve a chance to experience God’s love, protection, safety and a new beginning in life. This simply isn’t going to happen because Keith and the staff have good intentions. The only way this is going to happen is if you step up and make your best gift. My encouragement would be for you to consider a ‘dollar a day’ ($30) gift or even an increase to what you are already giving. I know for sure that I blow a ‘dollar a day’ just on my coffee daily. The impact of matching my coffee money to help someone caught in human trafficking would be amazing. A few of you could do $100 a month and yet there are a few that could do a gift of $1,000 or more – please give as God directs. Thank you in advance for joining one of the most impactful ministries in our area to reach out to those hurting the most. It has been an honor to help with Straight Street by challenging you in the July newsletter to make an impact for eternity, reaching America’s most endangered species, teenagers. In Service with you for Him,
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