For August, our theme was “Back to School.” Thanks to generous donations, we were able to tell them dancers that Jesus Said Love could help them provide school supplies for their children. Chick-fil-a donated their delicious nugget trays for us to deliver to each club along with donated homemade cookies. We began the night with a special night of prayer. We had the pleasure of having an old dancer call in and participate in the prayer portion of our evening. We were able to offer childcare for the first time during prayer so that parents could attend without an issue.
The Go Team was greeted with extra smiles from the first club! Immediately, we picked up conversations right where we left off last month. However, we had unusual nights at the two remaining clubs. The number of women we were able to speak to was at an all time low. At one of the clubs, not a single girl was in the dressing room and all of the remaining staff members were new. For the first time in a while, we were asked who we were and what we were doing there by the girl working the door. Was it just a slow night? Had all the dancers moved on? One manager expressed that summers are a very slow time for the clubs. Does this mean the dancers are there, but just not wanting to talk to us? There are always so many moving pieces with the women we work with, it is so hard to tell what the reasoning is. I DO know, however, that the Lord is moving in these clubs and in the hearts of the dancers. I also KNOW that God continues to tell us to GO in obedience, and that is our goal. We will continue to GO and love on these women month after month.
Although this month’s outreach was a little unusual, we were able to start this school year back with a day away retreat. This is always such a special time where we really get to invest in the lives of the women that attend. Thanks to many wonderful volunteers, we were able to offer childcare, food, a special message, cooking demonstrations and gifts. It was an amazing day! We had 5 women attend this month and they all absolutely loved the retreat! We focused on self-care and how to love yourself to better love and care for others. The speaker incorporated how Jesus even took time to retreat away and connect with His Father so that He could continue to do the work He was called to do. We were able to offer a SNAP/WIC approved cooking demonstration that we all participated in preparing and then could take home to their families for dinner that evening. God’s presence was amongst the entire day, in the conversations the quiet time, the activities.
We are in need of committed team members in many areas! We still need volunteers to join our prayer team (commit to praying once a month during our outreach), hospitality team (assist in baking meals for retreats and outreaches, helping with baby showers, graduation parties, etc.), babysitters team (volunteer approx. 5 hours a month to assist our team and women with childcare) and security team (group of men that drive the club team, serve as security and connect with bouncers/management outside of the club).
Carly Webb: our wonderful Love Team leader who helped organize many details for our day-away retreat
Chick-fil-a: donated nugget trays for outreach night
Dawn Wible: donated groceries and provided a healthy cooking demonstration for the women who came to the day away retreat
Amy Anderson: made and donated towel wraps for the women who attended the day away retreat
Lavenia Wickham and Kacie Driver: for volunteering their time to provide childcare for outreach night and for the day away retreat
Rachel Reid, Carol Paret, Jill Anderson: for providing homemade food for the day away retreat
Cindy Janecka: volunteering to come and speak at the day away retreat
Open Heaven Christian Fellowship: donated gift cards to help provide school supplies for the back to school outreach
Missy McReynolds: opening her home for our team and women for the day away
Please pray for our team as we start a new season with new social work interns, new club team members and other new team members coming on board. The Lord has really blessed us with excited and willing people. My prayer is that the team grows together and that their hearts stay on fire to serve the women we meet through JSL. Also, we'd love continued prayer for more area churches to partner with us and share the mission to their congregations.
Kristi | Waco CTL