February City Updates
- 35 mugs were filled with snacks and vouchers for a free group class at TrueCore fitness
- 7 candy bars were given to bouncers and management
This month, just as we were about to leave the club, we started talking with one woman about dating relationships. She began to explain rules about dating between dancers and management. In favor of the rule, one woman said, “Doesn’t everyone know that this isn’t real? Our lives we live here in the club aren’t real. It’s a fantasy, you can’t expect anyone to really love you here.” My stomach dropped. So often, this is the mentality we come up against in the club. Life in the club isn’t “real life” and the things that happen there don’t affect what happens outside the walls of the club. This is why so many women find it so difficult to discuss kids and their families right before they step onto the stage. As a survival skill, they separate the two realities. They cannot coexist.
This makes loving the girls authentically and deeply in the club so important, Christ does love us, even in the club he chases us and pursues us.
- Prayer for vision for the new year
- Continued growth in volunteers
- Greater community awareness and involvement
- 204 handmade scarves were delivered to women in the clubs
- 15 college girls from Lake Highlands Church sewed and prayed over the gifts
- 9 large bowls of homemade puppy chow were given as a treat
- 1 women quit dancing and through JSL & began job training
- 1 team member stepped up to house a dancer after the Dallas Tornadoes
The Dallas team is strong, committed and willing. This month I have been in awe of the connections, time, and effort they have put into loving women they’ve met in the clubs. Composed of all backgrounds and denominations, this team truly represents the church. They are stepping far beyond the church walls; into clubs, homes, coffee shops, restaurants, doctors and even lawyer offices to advocate for the needs of these women.
While growth can be a daunting and a fearful thing, I am more than confident that these 52 team members have become the hands and feet of Jesus. They are answering the call and stepping up to serve in ways they never imagined possible. Since the month of December, the Dallas team has helped 2 dancers begin the transition out of the club: connecting them with churches for community, assisting with job training, pursuing and legal aid in an effort for holistic healing. BIG things are happening in Dallas. When the Body of Christ comes together to love in unexpected ways, He moves… and moves in a powerful way. We look forward to what is to come!
“Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for the food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.” 2 Corinthians 9:10
- Steadfastness for our teams has connections are made outside the club
- Growth in the security team
- Church partnerships
- Financial Provision in 2016 for JSLD
- 75 “You are loved!” coffee mugs with homemade hot chocolate given to dancers at 2 clubs
- 1 manager warmly expressed his gratitude to us for coming!
After calling ahead to let the clubs know we were coming to bring gifts, one manager told us that we could not come back. We were surprised...this club had met us with the most positive response in December during our Christmas outreach. However, I politely and respectfully refused to take “no” for an answer, thinking of every possible way that we could send gifts to our women, but there seemed to be no getting through.
However, that disappointment led to the beautiful gift of having more time in the other two clubs, leaving opportunities for real, and intentional conversations with women. In between conversations about makeup, we saw ladies start to open up to our women. A manager at one of the clubs told us how much he appreciated us being there, and to let him know if we needed ANYTHING. Our security guys were engaging with bouncers and managers outside of the club. God knew, and provided time and space in those two clubs to allow us to be present and available. What a humbling privilege it is to be right in the middle of what God is doing!
- Pray for continued trust and rapport built with dancers and management
- Provision and partnerships - with churches, businesses, schools and individuals
- Monthly outreach sponsors
- Opportunities to share Jesus Said Love in Houston
- 50 mugs filled with chocolates and hot cocoa were delivered
- Met 3 new women
- Passed out 60 January retreat flyers
First, I want to thank everyone from the community who contributed to our January outreach. The women absolutely loved the mugs filled with chocolates and hot cocoa mixes. I am thankful for the hospitality team who planned an AMAZING January retreat and for Carly Webb and the rest of the gift bag team who put together all of the gifts for our January outreach. Our visit to the clubs went really well. As always, it is such a gift to see depths of gratitude come across dancer’s faces as they open their gift bags. A gift bag communicates more to them than I think we often realize. We also were able to plan a January retreat, which was an absolute blast! We were able to eat lunch together, do yoga with Elizabeth Oates, and then make beautiful paper mache hearts with Jordan Ashby.
- We are in need of volunteers- specifically on Club Team, Prayer Team, and Security Team. Email Kellie@jesussaidlove.com if you are interested!
- Pray for team leaders and that many more volunteers would join our team in Waco
- Pray for job opportunities for women who are looking for them and pray for women who are transitioning into a new job. Pray that they would have favor in their workplaces and for extra measures of grace and peace as they step into new environments.
COLLEGE STATION UPDATE
It’s been nearly 3 months since The Silk Stocking (College Station’s only strip club) closed its doors. While many community members and churchgoers applauded and made comments about the joyous news (chalked up to God’s judgment on the sex industry), we had to frown a bit. Our dear friends were left without jobs and without alternatives.
Thankfully, Jesus is bigger than a club’s closed doors. Soon after, our team had a “town hall” meeting to discuss “what’s next?” with our friends from the club. Since this meeting, we have seen 35% of those women step back into a church for the first time in a long time. We have begun working with various professional women throughout BCS to become “Alliance Partners” who directly work with former dancers to awaken hope and empower change in their new lives. We are continuing to walk through the transition with these women, and God continues to provide. Here are a few quotes from our Alliance Partners...
"You don't know how much of a blessing this has been to us! I've never seen this much gratitude towards me in my life. We are truly grateful for the help!" I was able to share about how we love her and how much more Christ loves her and her family. -JSL Alliance partner
“I was astounded at how open and vulnerable she was with me upon our first meeting. It was humbling how quickly she opened up to me. She was precious and I got to tell her over and over how she is a good mom. She was clearly emotional and was weeping as she said thank you. She confessed that she is lonely and wants friends. I'm so hopeful for this new season ahead of her and thankful to walk alongside of her.” -JSL Alliance Partner
“The power of someone who stays is love with skin on. It took a messy few weeks, but once R knew that I was staying in her life no matter what, she told me her story. As she told her story through tears and screams, it was as if loads of chains fell to the ground from both of us. Her exact words after sharing her story with me, "I've never felt so light." And I replied, "Me too." I think the power of love must be when anyone says to us, "me too." We started as struggling strangers, now we belong together as struggling friends. Thank you JSL for the opportunity to belong to love in the most powerful way.” -JSL Alliance Partner
SAN ANTONIO UPDATE
- Connected with 2 girls outside of the clubs
- 75 mugs stuffed with hot chocolate mix
- Connected with 2 girls outside of the club
January outreach was full of transition and excitement. We had really great conversations in all the clubs. Numbers were exchanged and connections made on Facebook. The girls are really expectant, their faces light up when they see us and catch us up on the details of their lives. One of our Club Team members (a teacher) and was able to connect with a dancer who has aspirations to also be a teacher!
- We are in need of volunteers: specifically on Prayer Team, Babysitter’s Club, Hospitality, and Security Team. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested!
- We are in need of outreach sponsorships
- Pray for team leaders and that many more volunteers would join our team in San Antonio
- Pray for strong relationships to be built outside of the club.
- Pray for healing touches from God.
- Pray for Alliance Partners and outreach sponsorship