HUGE YARD SALE!!
Gearing up for the yard sale
Join us this week, Dec. 5-7 for our huge garage sale.
Find gifts and thrifts, meet the youth and have a great time!
Come Celebrate Thanksgiving at STR8 UP!
STR8 UP invites you and your family to celebrate our 2nd Annual Thanksgiving feast with us.Everyone is welcome! If you know someone who was alone yesterday, bring them with you.
Our doors will open at 1PM today and dinner will be served at 4ish. We will have the traditional turkey and all the fixin's.
Check out all things our youth have been doing. Join in basketball tournaments, volleyball and more!
No need to bring anything but a good appetite and the expectation for fun.
It's not about the turkey
The holiday season is fast approaching and with it tons of festivities. We have some of our own planned at STR8 UP also. While the parties, food and shopping are great, let us not forget the true meaning of the holidays. Thanksgiving is a time to don the attitude of gratitude. Pause and reflect on God’s many blessings daily. Sometimes it is hard to see the blessings when we are focused on the trials of everyday life. Therefore, I challenge you to daily pick one blessing (at least) and thank God for it. It can be anything because even the air we breathe is bestowed upon us by a God who loves us unconditionally. You can post this on Face Book as many do or just write it on a sticky note. At the end of November you will be surprised at how much God has given you.
Our 2nd Annual Thanksgiving Dinner will be on November 29 at 4:30. The dinner is a way for our youth and their families to come together and show our appreciation. It is open to all youth and their families, if you know someone that will be alone, bring them. The more the merrier. We will be inviting local fire and police departments.
Saturday, Nov. 9, we will be closed as we take the youth to Faith on Fire with Sammy and Dana or Bowling with the Stars with Kim and Aaron.
We have incredible speakers lined up that you will not want to miss this month!
We are accepting donations now for our yard sale that will take place on December 5,6,&7. We will pick up large items and items from the elderly. To arrange a pick up call Sammy at the office at 863-699-1480.
We will be closed on December 7 for the Wild Game Dinner.
In closing, we pray that everyone has a wonderful holiday season. Take the challenge I listed above, I dare you.
STR8 UP Speaker is a Knock Out!
We had a very special guest speaker come out last night and share his testimony. Daniel “El Alacran” Lozano is a professional boxer as well as a Christian. He and his family, wife, Luisa, mom, Sylvia and father Daniel Sr. came to give testimonies and share how God has blessed their family.
Daniel started boxing when he was just 7 years old; at first he hated it. His father/trainer put him in boxing to keep him off of the streets and learn discipline. “I didn't want to see him get into drugs and make mistakes like I did”, said Daniel Sr. At the tender age of 11, Daniel decided that he loved the sport and began to win many matches and trophies.
Daniel shared his rigorous training schedule and spoke of working hard for a dream. He told the kids that there is an enemy out there that seeks to destroy your dreams. It is a battle of spiritual warfare. Daniel is all too aware of this battle for the mind as he lost his first match in over 4 years last week. He says he was doing great during his season of “falling away” from God. He and his wife rededicated their lives to Jesus about four months ago. That’s when the enemy hit. Pun intended. Daniel lost a televised title match. He says he heard the enemy whispering to him, “where is Jesus now; you were doing just fine without him”. Daniel is now in a season of recuperation both physical and emotional. He will have his next match sometime in November or December. STR8 UP will be watching and cheering their new friend on!
Daniel gave lessons to Tameko McKeithen. A youth from STR8 UP who has shown much promise in boxing. “It was great to see both Daniel Sr. and Jr. take our youth under their wings and offer to teach them and improve their skills”, said Sammy.
Afterward the Lozano family was gracious enough to spend time talking and taking pictures with the kids. Daniel also signed many autographs on shirts and boxing gloves that were given away by the family.
Not Your Granny's Worship
Taking the City Family descended on Lake Placid with a BOOM! Literally, the bass in the house was rattling the entire building! Reaching Out Ministries and STR8 UP presented the youth and many adults to worship- rap style. The movement that is known as Taking the City brought their teams of Hip Hop worshippers and took everyone on a different avenue of worship than most see on Sundays. Taking the City was formed to use music as a tool to speak to kids in their own language. All the lyrics were clean and gave God glory. The artists showed the kids that rap did not need to tear down but could be used as a way to build up and praise Jesus. Some of the artists that performed were: Divine Appointment, G-Reign, Juryla, Dough Boy, Mike Barker, and STR8 UP’s own, The Chosen Few.
After several hours of performing, Dough Boy gave his testimony and performed his song “Leave Em Behind”, which is his testimony, set to music. This song struck a chord with the youth and not a kid was sitting when he gave the alter call. Kids flocked to the alter to receive Christ and lay their burdens down at the cross. There were so many kids that all the leaders and some parents stepped up to pray for and with the youth. It was an amazingly beautiful sight to see the hand of God move so completely through the building. There were hardly any dry eyes in the house.
STR8 UP and Taking The City Tour are not through with each other. Friendships were forged and bonds were made. We are all truly brothers and sisters in Christ and we’re taking the city for Him.
STR8 UP & The Chosen Few Worship to a Different Beat
What started as a hobby at the STR8 UP Youth House has taken on new meaning. Volunteer mentor, Robbie Waters has taken several young men under his wing and formed a Christian rap group called The Chosen Few. The lyrics are all original and written by Waters and the youth. The songs contain only Christian and positive messages. Under Robbie’s tutelage and supervision, the group of young men is led by a youth leader named Foster Walker. “It all started when the kids would end the night at STR8 UP rapping as they waited for their parents; I saw some real talent there and thought it would be a great to use the kids’ interests and talent to give God glory”, exclaimed Waters.
Everyone has a something to bring to the group, whether its song writing, production, promoting, mixing beats or rapping. The young men that are presently involved are: Foster Walker, Zach Waters, Raashawn Williams, Isaiah Velazquez and Desean Hawthorne.
. “The word is really spreading and we have had some great responses”, said Foster. One man taking notice is Evangelist Kevin Ayala of Reaching Out Ministries. He has become a technical advisor to The Chosen Few. “Kevin has the experience and the know-how to really guide us”, says Waters.
While The Chosen Few consists of only young men at the moment, it is open to all registered members of STR8 UP Youth Ministry. Mr. Waters is willing to teach any student that is willing to take the music seriously. “We have practices, writing sessions, recording times, and eventually performances. It will take time and dedication”, says Robbie
During the past two months, Robbie has seen a change in the young people. “You can tell that they are proud to be a part of this and carry themselves differently. They show respect for their STR8 UP family, and themselves. I used to get into all kinds of trouble and feel if I can keep the boys focused on something positive they might avoid some of the pitfalls I did”, states Robbie.
“We are not sure where God will take this but we cannot wait to find out”, says Isaiah Velazquez. Currently, the group is using SoundCloud to produce their music and set up followers. Their music can be heard on the STR8 UP Face Book page or at Soundcloud. If your middle or high school age student is interested please see Robbie Waters at STR8 UP on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 3-8PM.
Welcome New 6th Graders and New Programs
If you haven't been to STR8 UP lately, you really need to check it out! We have a lot of new things happening. Free tutoring will start on August 29. We are currently seeking tutors as well as NHS students to help with our academic program. High school students that volunteer to tutor are eligible for volunteer hours for school.
We are looking forward to seeing new faces from the new sixth graders. Come by after school to register for our free programs and meet new friends. A parent/ guardian must register you and have a photo ID with them for notary purposes. While we have tons of fun, we take academics seriously and have a mandatory academic/homework time before any recreation is had. Our hours of operation are: Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 3:00PM to 8:00PM.
Robbie Waters has formed a Christian rap group called the Chosen Few. He is willing to take any youth that is serious about their music under his wing. The group is currently rehearsing and recording their original lyrics. Don’t have rapping talent? There are other ways to get involved such as writing, mixing, promoting etc. Please see Robbie when the youth house is open or use the contact form on this website.
Several girls have also formed a dance team. Both the dance team and the Chosen Few will be rehearsing to perform in public at various venues. If you are interested in dancing please talk to a volunteer when the youth house is open.
We will be breaking ground on the new NBA-style basketball court soon! It will be a one-of-a-kind outdoor court in Lake Placid where our youth can hoe their basketball skills or learn new ones. I will update the details of that as I receive them.
We will be closed this week and will reopen on August 29. See you there!
End of Summer Lake Day Bash
We are spending a day at Lake Clay for some fun in the sun! August 17 from 11AM – 5PM we will say goodbye to the summer and celebrate the upcoming school year. We will be boating, tubing, tanning, and grilling. STR8 UP will proved the main course and we are looking for parents to bring some side dishes such as potato salad and macaroni salad, we are also asking for donations of drinks such as kool-aid and/or sodas. This will event will be open to all REGISTERED youth. Parents must sign a special permission slip as there will be no lifeguards on duty; call the office if you need to register or get a permission slip signed (863)699-1480. Please make sure to dress appropriately, T- shirts are required over two- piece bathing suits. Bring a towel, sunscreen and an appetite!
We are seeking help with school supply donations so that we can bless our students. Please drop off any supplies to the Youth House on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 3PM- 8PM.
We had a very successful yard sale thanks to all our donors and shoppers. We would also like to thank everyone that came out to our booth at the Caladium Festival. We are so proud of the way our kids cleaned up the festival during and after the event.
Recent trips to local churches with performing groups have really inspired our youth! Several young ladies have stepped up to leadership roles in forming a dance team to perform hip- hop dances to Christian rap. The girls have come up with the songs and choreography on their own. They are rehearsing to perform in public weekly. Robbie Waters has taken some young men under his wing to write and record original Christian rap songs. The kids can't wait to perform in public.