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Wrong Place, Wrong Time

If you saw him and didn’t know, you might say, “That man doesn’t belong there. He’s in the wrong place … wrong time.”

I’m speaking of Tony Browne, respected and highly-sought investment advisor. On this afternoon-as on many afternoons-he’s left his office after the market closes for rough-and-tumble Paterson, New Jersey, to spend another day pouring his heart and life into troubled kids almost everyone else has given up on. In terms of spreadsheets or portfolios, the time he’s investing here doesn’t make any sense. But I can assure you, this is absolutely where he belongs.

Here’s Tony’s inspirational update on Paterson’s 2015 Street 2 Street season.

“I think this was the best season Street 2 Street Paterson has ever had. Our emphasis on academics this year created over 120 visits by our boys to the new ‘Street 2 Street Preparatory Academy’ at Bridge Hope Church for after-school tutoring and mentorship. Instead of roaming the streets after school, our Street 2 Street boys logged in hundreds of hours in the safe confines of Bridge Hope under the guidance of Pastor Bennett, Pete Fenzel and a team of wonderful tutors.

“This season had its great trials, with the arrest of one of our best players and the death of Armoni Sexton, a brother of a S2S player (15 year-old Armoni was murdered in a drive-by shooting.) Coaches and volunteers spent time in court, lawyers’ offices, funeral homes, guidance counselor offices, and in Pastor Bennett’s ‘chair.’ They visited the homes of the players, took them on trips or out for a meal … the list goes on and on. Constant daily phone calls among the coaches and volunteers showed how much this team cares for these boys.

We have forged new and lasting relationships with some of the greatest boys you will ever meet. Under their hardened exteriors are young men, just like we were, with hopes and dreams, talents and gifts, faults and blemishes. They are our sons, our future. We choose not to sit idly by and see them go to waste or get gunned down in the streets. Street 2 Street Paterson is life-saving, it is life giving … it provides the one thing that we all need … a reason to hope, a reason to get up every day and have something to look forward to, something greater than ourselves, someplace where people care for us and don’t care what color our skin is or what mistakes we’ve made in the past.”

There’s so much more to share with you about Tony’s work in Paterson, as well as all the other incredible ministries of Street 2 Street. But for now, I want to ask you to prayerfully consider partnering with us this month.

As you read this, we have scores of volunteers all over the New York Metro area, as well as Washington, DC, organizing tournaments and leagues, preparing to minister to hundreds more kids just like the ones Tony is shepherding in Paterson.

But one of the very practical challenges we have is this: the summer season for many families and ministries is “down time” with vacations and other diversions. But for Street 2 Street, this is the most active and most critical moment of our year, and we especially need your help right now.

I’m writing to you because I believe that when it comes to the work of sharing the Good News of hope in Christ with inner-city kids, just like Tony, you belong. This is the right place and the right time for you to truly make a difference, change lives, and build bright futures for teens who otherwise are without hope.

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