The Father’s Love “Strip Club Outreach”

Here’s a story of one night on our Strip club outreach.  As my hand hit the door, I slowly opened it to the sound of chatter, heavy metal music, and a strong smell of smoke, perfume & despair. On the surface it looked like one big party was going on. Everyone was happy, having fun, and living it up. My steps led me into the back of the club, and I arrived at my destination for the night. A dressing room. Not any dressing room. This one had all of Gods daughter’s in it! Yes, you heard me right. The dancers, strippers, sex workers, whatever the world titles them as but to me I see them as God’s daughter’s.

They are good at their jobs because when you talk with them,the girls are so happy,the money is flowing,and they are seeing their dreams starting to become a reality. It won’t be long before they can return to their former life, their normal life. No one will ever know the things they did to get that degree, to raise that child, to pay the rent, to start that business. No, this will be their little secret, and it will be tucked away so deep in their soul that no one will break down the walls to ever find out how they really survived in their circumstances. Not until we walk in. We ask the questions that pull on their heart strings. We dig deep and find out “who they are” and to get to know them better. We become a friend, a mentor and a positive voice in their life. We look at the root, not the fruit, of their life, and continue on in our relationships this way.

We remind ourselves that it’s not our job to judge their lives, but to be a light and a Godly influence, to draw them closer to a God that is waiting for His daughter to arrive. The Bridegroom is patient, a gentleman, a lover of her soul. He uses us to love on the girls and to show them how valued they are.

Soon they sense a deeper and more profound relationship and begin to ask questions. Some come to church, have coffee or attend events with us. Just knowing we gave them another option is so rewarding because then we know they aren’t left with the only option they once knew. Darkness.

So I sit down and start to watch a young girl do her makeup. I ask questions about what kind she’s using and make small chat. I grab a cupcake from the goodies we brought in and ask if she’d like one. Red Velvet I say, just for you! She stopped doing her makeup and looked at me. I asked her, “have you heard of us or seen us in here?” “No,why are you here, she responded?” Well, we want you to know that you are cared for and not forgotten….. and honestly, I don’t remember the rest, it was God’s words and not mine. He took over and spoke right into this woman’s heart. Tears began to pour our of her eyes and you could visibly see she was shaken by the words that were spoken! She ripped off her false eyelashes and ran into the bathroom and went into a stall and bawled her head off.

I sat there overwhelmed by what God was doing, and tried so hard to hold in my emotional anguish for this young girl. I felt her pain, I knew what she was going through, and it broke my heart to see her hurting! She composed herself, walked back into the room, and embraced me with a hug. Then she cried some more on my shoulder. Tears flowed all over my arm and my shirt. She was overwhelmed, and didn’t realize she had just encountered her Father’s love! She sat down and began to share her story. Her boyfriend was beating her and she didn’t know what to do. She said her grandpa was sick, and she was in town to visit him and if he hadn’t been sick she would of never met me. She began to realize that it was no accident that we met, and was incredibly grateful for this encounter. This is the Fathers love, He knows what the girls need to hear, He knows their needs , He knows what it takes to draw them closer to Him. I love, love, love, watching my Daddy do His work and use me in a way I never even dreamed of.

This story is only one of hundreds I have encountered in the last 6 years. So many ask what we do when we go into the clubs, so I wanted to share one of my stories. As we left the club that night, I walked out into the parking lot with my wet sleeve and the tears still fresh on my arm. I touched them and asked God to dry up His little girls eyes and change her life. I was wishing I could keep them on my arm to remind me of how God moves and loves these women more than we’ll ever know. And if we allow God to use us and step out in faith He will do amazing things! Oh and by the way the room didn’t smell like smoke anymore, there was new song playing and HOPE filled the room!!

Lisa Michelle

Original post Aug. 2013

Why tonight?

It was a  late Saturday night with 8 of us girls on the outreach team. We were at our last strip club  when we were in the dressing room reaching out to the girls working that night. I noticed one of our friends off in the distance looking at her phone and not acknowledging us. She is usually very friendly and engaging. But I instantly sensed something wasn’t right. I walked over and stood real close to her, not saying a word as she wouldn’t look up from her phone. Letting her know that I was there but giving her time to say something, if she felt like it. It was only a few minutes after, she looked up at me and said. “why tonight”? Why did you guys have to come in tonight, as tears started to well in her eyes. I said, why not tonight, we care and want you to know you have value and you are loved. She said, this isn’t me, what am I doing her, I have morals? Why do I do this to myself? I reached in and started to hug her and cry with her. I listened as she poured out her gut wrenching, soul searching ways. I reaffirmed her, this is why we come in. For someone like you, that decide to move on from the sex industry and have no other way. “You know 89% of women that work in the sex industry say they want out but they have no others means.” And we see this time after time. It’s the biggest need yet. I urged her to meet up for coffee and chat and get to know each other better. We exchanged numbers and I asked if I could pray with her. She said, yes of course, so I began to pray with her. Right when I was done praying, the manager came in and saw us and said is everything ok here. And she proceeded to tell him that she doesn’t want to work there anymore and needs a shot now!! He reached into her and said, you know alcohol isn’t going to solve the problem, right? It’s just going to make things worse. And then he said something like, listen to this girl, I love them and their here for you. I smiled at him and thanked him. This Royal was getting ready to go on stage, she was having regrets and needed alcohol to get the courage to go. Usually she was with her group of girlfriends but this night she was alone. Most likely needing the money and feeling trapped. Not having her friends around to help her forget the pain and regret of what she does.

I’ve been in this ministry for about 6 years now and it’s not common to have a young girl break down like this when we come in. Yes, it has happened several times in the past few years but sometimes the power of God hits these girls so much, they feel overwhelmed by their position in life. I’ve heard things like, why do you girls keep coming back, it’s been 3 years now and you show up every month! Almost annoyed. Like, who does that! I’ve seen my team show up with the flu (not recommended) :), shingles (really not recommended), no sleep from the night before, straight from working all day to outreach, to you name it. Consistency and love are our secret weapons that these girls need in their lives. Even if it’s all they ever get from us, they will know someone cared and they know, that someone, is Jesus, who we love for and from. And I believe someday they will seek out that kind of love that only a savior can give. Lisa Michelle