Life is a series of patterns and circles, seasons weaving together a journey that to us feels unpredictable, shaky, and disconnected at best. But to the God who holds all things together, nothing remains in peripheral sight. All seeing, all knowing, all good, God takes the thread of love and weaves our stories into the making of miracles. Never forget, you ARE a miracle formed by the Miracle-Maker.
Last night in my hometown of Tyler, Texas, I got to watch as the the Spirit sent first drafts into the army of Light. A small and spirited troop they were - they were there to be a part of the vision of Jesus Said Love. They were community partners, business owners, and more men than we have ever had show up in a city to inquire about volunteering. Praise the Good Lord!!!
As Brett and I shared and our amazing HQ staffers from Waco bustled about to serve and give and help launch this vision in East Texas, I kept thinking, “I can’t believe how this happened, I just can’t believe it.” Here’s a little backstory:
In May, Brett and I went to speak to Crossbrand Cowboy Church for a “missions night”...we led worship and shared the story of JSL. To our amazement, nearly 30 people lined up waiting to talk to us regarding how to bring JSL to East Texas. We were blown away. Around that time I also received a call from Laney Wooten, a worship leader in Longview (not far from Tyler) who heard us speak years ago in Amarillo. Laney said God continued to give her dreams about the clubs and directed her into Teresa’s, a club in Longview. I could sense God must be doing something in East Texas regarding the industry and those in it. Long story short, Laney goes and meets the owner - Teresa herself - they form a bond over special needs kiddos and the next thing Laney knows: Teresa is surrendering her life to Jesus! Then, in August, Laney texts me to say, “you’re not going to believe this, but Teresa feels like God is telling her to shut the club down and start a “Center for Kindness” as a non-profit! How do we help her and the women without jobs now?” Clearly, God was making a way for JSL in East Texas to support and be a resource for those impacted by the industry!
Last night, not only did I get time to meet and pray with Laney and Teresa, but other orgs doing boots on the ground work in the area. One of the gaps we continue to identify is the need for jobs. You have to work in order to recover, needs must be met, money must be earned. Summer shared last night about dignified work and what it has meant for her to own Luna and be accountable to her investors. Ultimately, working with a purpose equals freedom! It is part of the holistic healing JSL desires to practice.
That is why at 1500 Columbus we are introducing Lovely - a social enterprise and new storefront for you to come “buy and love”. You will love what you buy and as you buy, extend love. Money earned through Lovely will not only support JSL but help people like Summer and Teresa start their own businesses. As we grow, it will become a company where we can hire those needing immediate jobs! Stay tuned, because you'll soon be able to follow Lovely on social media and keep up with the latest updates...and our store mascot!
In order for Lovely to thrive and for the vision of JSL to catch fire, we are asking for people to sign up to host a “Lovely Party” in your city! This will be a “pop up shop” and vision casting party in your town, at your home, church, or private room at a restaurant/wine/coffee shop. It gives people a chance to not only hear about the vision of JSL, but shop for some amazing products that support jobs for domestic commercial sex exploits! If you would like to host a Lovely Party, keep up with us via social media on how to sign up, otherwise you can email us via our Contact Page.
There is so much happening within and around us but I want to emphasize, all of these “big” things are the results of seemingly “small” acts of responding to God. EVERY choice has a consequence, it’s the law of nature. When you choose to allocate your responses toward the Kingdom of God, people’s lives are changed in miraculous ways. What a ride it is to be a part of God’s story, weaving miracles together for the sake of humanity! Come join the ride.
Emily Mills || JSL Founder