Emmaus Ministries Newsletter: May 2008

With John Green’s permission, I’m posting each and every newsletter from Emmaus Road. I want you to keep up on this ministry with me, and pray for (and loosen thine wallets for) a ministry that helps bring Jesus to men who have turned to selling themselves into prostitution. These guys have committed their lives to a holy work, and they need our support.

(These newsletters will be presented in their entirety with nothing put after the jump.)

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Dear As Were Some of You Readers:

“I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle.”

I’m not sure what prompted Mother Teresa to say those words, but when I’m feeling discouraged or frustrated, I remember them. I also remember you.

You and I have been called to work in an unusual mission field. We work with the men who are hidden in plain sight on Chicago’s streets. Their lives are ruled by drug addiction and prostitution, and often, they aren’t ready to change. Only God’s love can make these guys see that they’re worthy of so much more.

A common prayer among every volunteer and staff member here at Emmaus is that our actions always reflect His powerful love. That starts with the simple act of providing hot food, showers, or a change of clothes for the guys who come to the Ministry Center. But fulfilling these needs costs money, and right now, money is one thing we don’t have. However, in order to truly make a difference in the lives of these men, we can’t give up in the face of challenge.

Dramatic change doesn’t happen right away. Every time someone comes into the ministry center for a meal, our staff knows it’s a valuable opportunity. Each act of service or generosity builds a little bit of trust, and that trust is priceless.

Jack didn’t trust us at all in the beginning. He’s only 26, young compared to the men we usually meet on the street, but his youth and shy demeanor can’t hide the fact that life has been cruel to him. For several months, our outreach team spoke with him as much as they could. He wasn’t willing to share much about himself, and he certainly wasn’t eager to come to the Ministry Center.

So when Jack walked through the door one night, we were shocked — and absolutely thrilled — to see him. The Emmaus staff did all we could to make him feel comfortable and welcome, but he wasn’t very responsive. After a hot meal and a shower, he was gone.

For many of the men who come to the Ministry Center, that’s where our story with them ends. They’ll turn away from further help and return to the streets, and we’ll never see them again. But that’s not what happened with Jack. Several weeks later, he was back. This time, he felt comfortable enough to share his story with a member of our staff.

Jack had never known what it was like to have a family or a place to call home. When he was eight years old, his father abandoned him and his mother. Then his mother lost custody, and Jack landed in foster care.

For the next several years, he was physically and mentally abused by the people who were supposed to look after him. At the age of fifteen, he decided he was ready for any alternative to the life he’d been handed. He ran away from his caretakers and began a new life on the streets.

It turns out that Jack ran from one bad situation to another. Before long, he was addicted to drugs and selling his body to survive. Until he came to Emmaus, prostitution was the only way he knew how to keep himself alive.

These days, Jack is a regular at the Ministry Center. When he comes in, he’s always grateful for the services he receives there — things you and I might take for granted. To Jack, food, clothes, and a shower are more than handouts, they’re real proof that someone cares about him. Now he sees the Emmaus staff as his family — a family that will never abandon him.

Because of friends like you, we’ve been able to fulfill the basic needs of our guys for more than 18 years. There are still so many men just like Jack who need the compassionate services you help provide! Will you continue to make Emmaus a place where God can lift them up and heal their hearts?

July marks the beginning of a new fiscal year — and the start of a new life for so many guys who will come to the Ministry Center. We need your partnership to give Emmaus a solid start! That’s why I’m asking you to please give as generously as you can today. We need your help to bolster our resources, leave our financial struggles behind, and make our ministry stronger than ever. Thank you so much for everything you do!

In His Grip,

John Green

P.S. Even in the most difficult times, we’ll never give up on the men we serve here at Emmaus. Your support provides opportunities to reach out to those who desperately need God’s love and healing. Please help us start the new fiscal year off strong by making a generous gift today. Thank you!

Click Here to Make a Secure Online Donation

March Distant Country Newsletter

Please click on the link below to view our full-color March 2008 “Distant Country” newsletter (.pdf format).

March 2008 Distant Country Newsletter

Upcoming Emmaus Events

Our 5th Annual Endurance Ride will be on Saturday, June 7th, 2008. This is our day-long bicycle fundraiser, a fun-filled, family-friendly event. People have come in from all over the country to ride, and each year we have a blast. Consider being a part of this event by riding yourself, volunteering, or sponsoring someone else. Find out more at www.streets.org/enduranceride.

Please plan to join us for our Fall Banquet luncheon on Saturday, December 6th, 2008. Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, will be our keynote speaker.

Click here for details on these and many other upcoming events!

Immersion Nights

Are you or a group from your church or university interested in learning more about urban ministry, the issues behind male prostitution, and life on the streets? If so, we’d love to have you come out and attend one of our Immersion Nights.

While most Immersion Nights are scheduled for groups, individuals are welcome to join in on an evening which is already scheduled. To learn more, to schedule an Immersion Night, or to RSVP, call Al Tauber at 773-334-6063 or 800-378-4445, or email him at al@streets.org.

Click here to learn more about Immersion Nights

“Stories from the Streets” Coming to Your Area…

…or at least close by!

Andi & Al Tauber are traveling to different areas of the country each month to perform their very powerful “Stories from the Streets” presentation. Through the use of dramatic monologue, story, and song, the lives of men involved in prostitution are portrayed in a moving, engaging, and sometimes amusing way.

Here is Andi & Al’s general schedule for the next few months; click the link below for a much more detailed listing. Andi & Al would love to hear from Emmaus supporters interested in hosting a presentation of “Stories” in these areas or nearby. The presentation can be adapted to fit a “house event” in a supporter’s home, for a church, or for a high school or college audience. Any help you can provide in setting up a presentation would be greatly appreciated. Contact Andi Tauber at (773) 334-6063 or andi@streets.org to talk about scheduling.

See a detailed listing of Stories from the Streets events

Changes at Emmaus

As I mentioned last month, we’ve had to make some changes here at Emmaus.

I’m happy to say that in March 2008 our branch in Houston Texas, officially became independent of the “home office” here in Chicago. Nathaniel and Catherine Saylor who have led this effort since April of 2002 have built up a good base of local support and a very committed and active base of volunteers. As a ministry we are committed to seeing efforts like this started in other cities. Our goal is not to create a large institution with many branches but to help facilitate locally supported efforts to reach male prostitutes with the Good News of Christ. We hope that Houston is but the first of these efforts.

With Houston moving to independence this decreased the “load” on our operations here in Chicago. Because of that and due to a significant decrease in monthly donations (most likely due to our current economy) we laid off three staff people this month.

These efforts – Houston becoming independent and cutting back on Chicago staff – will cut our monthly expenses by about $20,000.

This is a difficult time for ministries around the country as supporters feel the financial strains that face our country right now. We’re doing all we can to cut back and not significantly impact our direct ministry to guys on the streets.

Please support our work as you are able during this challenging time. Please also pray for our staff as these cuts have meant some people taking on new responsibilities and roles.

John Green

Click Here to make a secure online donation

Contact Emmaus

(773) 334-6063

emmaus@streets.org

www.streets.org

To subscribe: click here.

Emmaus Ministries
921 W Wilson Ave
Chicago, Illinois 60640

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~ by WriterRand on May 30, 2008.

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