It was the drug dealer. He was the reason dozens of cars were lined up in the middle of the street and around the block. Every Friday afternoon his customers would leave their cars running in the improvised drive-thru to run up the rickety staircase in the back alley.

Dave Funke shook his head in disgust. He had seen the apartment where everyone went to score. All of the chaos just added to feelings he could hardly put into words. How was he ever going to make a difference in this crime-infested, impoverished community?

It had all started one summer when Dave came to Jesus Go-Fest at YWAM Tyler. The music groups at the event had attracted him and in a way that only God designs; he ended up on a short mission trip to Mexico where He spent much of his time serving at an orphanage. He spoke no Spanish but soon realized words didn't even matter. The kids simply wanted hugs and attention.

Dave had never seen the world as a needy place before and certainly hadn't thought he had anything to offer. He had no special gifts to know what to do to help. He soon realized all he had to do was show up; simply being there could change the lives of others. Dave says he felt like the Lord was asking, "What do you want to do, son? Do you want to go on an adventure with Me?" He didn't hesitate and has been a full-time missionary in the inner-city of East Dallas since 1991.

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Dave and his team were given an extremely run-down piece of property next door to the drug dealer. Dave's team had no agenda except to be good neighbors and wait for the Lord to put something in front of them.

What they saw in every direction wherever they went, were needy children. Out of deep compassion, Kid's Club began and the ministry has expanded over the years to include activities for children of all ages, and their parents. Dave and his team provide fun, educational adventures these children would never have otherwise.

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In the early days, the neighborhood gunshots and drug deals filled the streets with uncontrolled noise and confusion. Dave and his team have brought stability and a greater sense of community to their city.

The drug dealer's house has been renovated and is occupied by the young men who have committed their lives to Christ and volunteer with YWAM Dallas. Now, the streets are fairly quiet.

What hasn't changed are the kids who still want hugs and attention and don't care that Dave still doesn't speak much Spanish.

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YWAM Tyler has started other satellite ministry centers just like YWAM Dallas across America. Our URBAN DTS trains young people to discover their passion to reach metro-cities across our world with the love of Jesus. Find out more about our URBAN DTS and begin an adventure with Jesus you'll never forget.  

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Mary Brock

Author: Mary Brock

Mary Brock, and her husband Mark, joined ywam in 1975. She has worked in training, admissions, led the “Prayer Force” ministry at YWAM Tyler for 7 years. She manages YWAM Tyler's Facebook Prayer Group, and devotes her time to writing, editing, and being a grandmother. She also serves as Living Alternatives staff.