September City Updates
COLLEGE STATION UPDATE
- 20 bags were stuffed with daily essentials (deodorant, makeup remover, etc.)
- 20 Jesus Loves Strippers “Flip Bibles” were given out, along with JSL contact cards
- 7 new prayer team members, 2 new club team members, 1 new security team member served during August outreach
- 8 different BCS churches were represented during the outreach.
- Chick-Fil-A of Bryan donated a nugget tray & delicious cupcakes were catered by New Life Church
- Connected with 15 dancers new to our local club (and mostly new to the industry)
- 3 “Back to School” lists were completed for three of our dancers’ children.
August has been a month filled with transition and opportunity. With so many moving pieces, it’s been difficult to organize plans and strategies.
As we entered the club, we quickly realized that the room held double the usual number of dancers...but no patrons. This allowed each JSL volunteer extra time for conversation with several new dancers! Most of these were totally new to the industry and heard for the first time the heartbeat of Jesus Said Love.
Towards the end, we saw an old friend walking into work at the club. The woman was visibly upset that she had been “caught”. We had the opportunity to share that God is not a God of shame and guilt, but one of love, grace and redemption. During outreach and follow up conversations outside of the club, we heard time and time again: “I know God loves me because you are here.”
- Continued opportunities to deepen our relationship with each dancer
- Wisdom and provision for the women transitioning out of the industry
- As our volunteers number grow, pray that church partnerships are strengthened
- Pray for Bryan/College Station House of Love to continue to grow
- Financial support for the College Station city budget & my personal salary
- 3 Large Chick Fil A nugget trays delivered to 3 clubs
- 50 “Back To School Supply” flyers passed out to 3 clubs
- 50 bracelets from Raven and Lily were passed out to 3 clubs
- 4 women went back to school shopping with our team
- 5 women reached out to our team and are hoping to transition out of the industry
August was my first outreach as a part of the Waco team! It was an honor to do ministry beside our Waco team- they are incredible! Each one of them is full of love and compassion. They have powerful testimonies and clear calling.
Our Friday night was filled with honest and vulnerable dialogue with the women. Money was low, fear was high, and all of the women were looking for a way out. Many phone numbers were exchanged, and so many of the women are meeting with us outside of the clubs.
A few weeks ago, I met with one of these women. She recently decided to make the brave decision to leave the industry and transition into the unknown...but because of her lifestyle, she felt like God may not want to take her back.
In the middle of a coffee shop, I shared the story of the prodigal son, which she had never heard before. When I described the Father's open arms in response to his son's return, she began to weep. She finally said in between sobs, "That is the most amazing story I have ever heard." Hope was awakened in her, and she became convinced all over again of God's incredible love! Pray for our dear friend as she applies at other jobs this month.
- For new team leaders and for volunteers
- For church and community partnerships to continue to deepen and expand
- For many opportunities for the women we are working with
SAN ANTONIO UPDATE
- 75 “Back To School” bags were given out to dancers
- 3 Large Chick-Fil-A nugget trays were well-received (generously donated by Chick-Fil-A of San Antonio)
August outreach was incredible! The ladies were excited to see us and welcomed us with open arms. “I missed you guys!” and, “Where have ya’ll been?” were common phrases in each club we visited.
For one dancer, it was her first night in the clubs after a three-year absence. She had secured a secretarial job that she loved...but her boss sexually harassed her, so she hit him. She feared she would be arrested, so she left and never returned. To pay the bills for her and her six-year-old son, she returned to what she knew: dancing. She invited me to sit and talk with her as she was packing her things to leave. She said, “I’m about to pay to leave because I know now that this isn’t the life for me.” I was able to pray for her and encourage her in her decision to leave it behind!
Another amazing woman sang for me as I encouraged her to follow her passion for music. She had been singing in her church choir until they recently discovered she was a dancer and asked her to step down. She explained that she understood and wasn’t bitter at all with the church’s decision. When she sang, there was a peace in the atmosphere.
- For these women as they make the hard decision to step away
- For the San Antonio Team as we develop genuine relationships with these amazing women
- For Church Partnerships to Grow
- For discernment as we may have an opportunity to go into another club
- For outreach to be covered in months to come
- For our prayer team to grow
- 4 Large Chick Fil A nugget trays & chips delivered to 3 clubs
- 150 Back To School Supply Flyers passed out to 4 clubs
- 2 new Clubs Team members entered the clubs for the first time.
- Our Security Team met and began a relationship with 2 new security guards.
- 100 bags of chips were delivered to 3 clubs
- 3 dancers reached out and began relationships with a club team member outside of the club
The evening of outreach collided with the first night of the Exxxotica Convention in Dallas, meaning each club was packed...some almost double the amount of dancers. We met new dancers, a new manager, new security guards, and spoke with a few patrons seeking to understand what we were doing there. Eight new phone numbers were exchanged between dancer and club team, and the relationships outside the club began a few days later.
We could not have been more thankful for the reception we received. One house mom in particular teared up as we walked through the door. The busyness of the summer did not allow our schedules to stay in touch. The month away from the club had been a rough one for her, and she hugged my neck tightly. We spent the next 40 minutes catching up like old friends and she would not let anyone interrupt the conversation.
Our time in the clubs felt like a new start. Although relationships were already formed, it was like the Lord was telling us that amazing things are to come this Fall!
- For one of our women as she began her new job teaching
- For discernment and wisdom for our Club Team as they love these women beginning to transition from the industry.
- For partnerships that allow JSL to help these women transition and meet many of their needs
- For a JSL Dallas Club Team Leader to rise up soon
- For the Security Team to Grow
- 4 Go Team members visited the dressing room
- 1 Security Team member engaged in conversation with 1 manager
- 1 Chick Fil A nugget tray was devoured in about 20 minutes in the dressing room
- 3 girls were interested in going shopping for school supplies with us
- 1 Killeen community need was brought to our attention because of a connection through a waitress at the club
When we arrived in the club, we saw several familiar faces! The girls who have been consistently working in the club have begun to see us as a regular occurrence and look forward to our presence there. The dressing room was a bit of a different story. We are almost always bombarded with new names, new faces, and new stories.
One of our regular women made us aware of a friend of hers who recently took custody of 11 children in her home after both of her sisters were tragically killed. We were able to provide her with gift cards to buy the children school supplies, and a local church gifted her with diapers and grocery store gift cards. Would you pray we are able to make connections for her with a local church, and that this would be seen as an act of trustworthiness for the dancers?
- Development of our prayer team, and consistency in all volunteering
- Our dancers would come to see us as a resource and a signal of hope
- Trust building in our friendships with the dancers
First Outreach: December, 2015
It has been exciting to hear the buzz around JSL coming to Houston! I recently had the privilege of presenting the vision of Jesus Said Love to potential volunteers, an event hosted by our first church partnership! There is still much to be done before our first outreach in December, so please continue praying with me for the following:
- Church partnerships. We would love to see more churches in the Houston area who want to see their people invested with with Jesus Said Love!
- Volunteers. We still need volunteers for all of the following teams: Club Team, Security Team, Bag Team, Hospitality Team, Prayer Team, and House of Love. (We also still need leaders for a few of these teams.)
- Clarity. There are a handful of clubs in the southwest corner of Houston that I am praying for. I am continually asking God for clarity and direction about which specific club/clubs He wants us to be in. Will you pray for this with me? I am confident God will make it clear!
- Our women. Pray for the women, managers, and staff who we will meet! Pray that God will begin preparing their hearts. Pray for favor.
- Finances. When you partner with Jesus Said Love financially, it is just that - a "partnership". When you give, you love and care for women in an industry where there is no hope. When you give, it allows our teams to go into dark places and build relationships with women who need friendship. We’re then able to connect them to community and spiritual resources as they express needs.
We still need funds to run the ministry at full capacity here in Houston. Would you pray with me that churches, organizations, and individuals would partner with us financially?
If you have any questions or would like to volunteer or give, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Praying with hope and confidence!