May City Updates
- 215 Nail polishes delivered to 5 clubs
- 3 dancers asked for help in leaving the industry
- 6 dancers began their transition out of the industry in April
“Although our team seemed to be battling spiritual warfare this month, outreach was full of His glory. Victories took place in our club as a meeting was scheduled with one of the dancers regarding transitioning out of the industry and another dancer just kept stating it was time to leave. She had promised herself she would only dance for 6 months and it has almost been 1 year… she is ready for a change. Time and time again, these ladies thank us for not judging them and all I can think about is how we are as broken as they are, the only difference is that we are holding onto our Father with all our might.” -- Gina M., Club Team Leader
April started as a month of discouragement for our teams. March was wonderful and connections in the clubs were made, and yet somehow before April outreach the connections had all seemed to fall away. Not only were connections hard, but each team member was experiencing great spiritual warfare. Loss, illness, stress, destruction of homes from weather, and broken relationships had brought about grief within our club team. We began asking and praying for big things to happen for the women, the staff, and the clubs we see regularly.
Friday night (April 15) was outreach, and by Saturday morning we had 3 women contacting our team members for support. We prayed big and God answered BIG. Within a week's time, our team was able to help one woman transition to a new job, find safer housing, and remove herself from a violent relationship. We were able to connect another woman with a safe house in the area for rehab and support. We also began the process of transition with a longtime friend in the club as we were able to connect her with counseling and tutoring.
Our team was reminded that this is not about our timing, or even us at all. God has a perfect plan for each of these women and we are to trust that and continue to pursue Him in discernment as we walk alongside these women as they take their own leap of faith.
- Monthly Outreach sponsors through December
- Growth in Church Partnerships
- Pray for connection with new club owner and re-entry of the club team
- Personal CTL financial support
- Prayer for guidance as our team walks the journey of transition with these 6 women
- 4 Club Team members delivered gifts
- 35 bags of nail polish and nail files were giften to the women
- 35 fresh honeybuns were gifted from Miller's Bakery
I know that in my own life, the Lord loves surprising me. He surprises me in the way He provides for me, in the way He brings people in my life at the exact time I need them most, and in so many other ways. My favorite surprises are people, learning about where people came from and what they have been through tells so much about God’s faithfulness in His pursuit of us. In April’s outreach I witnessed our greatest surprise yet. As I was talking with one of the staff at the club about my move and furthering my education, he asked so many questions about why I wanted to help people and what I wanted to do with social work. After a while, he told me he used to be in the business of social work, but it just got to be too much. There was too much pain and too much hurt and too much stress. I get that. I get that there can be so much devastation around that it can be crippling. Friends, we have hope. Hope that Christ is with us and promises to be near to us and comfort us. As much darkness as there is, His light and goodness is great still. Will you pray for our friends that don’t know that hope?
- New City Team Leader for Temple/Killeen
- Community Partnerships
- Deeper relationships with women outside the club
SAN ANTONIO UPDATE
- 80 nail polishes and files were given out
- 5 women voicing that they want to volunteer with a ministry like JSL one day
- 1 Security Team Leader was able to purchase a piece of art from the manager who he had prayed with the month prior (the manager is wanting to sell his art)
- Several opportunities to pray with managers and the women
I want to highlight my amazing team this month as they are some of the most relational people I know. Each month the team takes time to text the women who they have each formed relationships with and before outreach will text to ask if they are working and to let them know that we are coming. They are incredible about remembering the little details about each woman that helps to assure them that we REALLY care, we REALLY see them, and this is not just a “we did something good, so let’s pat ourselves on the back.” They are dedicated to reaching out throughout the month to love and encourage.
The prayer team is small but mighty. They had a great night of hearing God and praying directly for what was happening while we were having conversations. They kept hearing and praying for hope to arise and we had 5 girls tell us (in different words): “I want to do what you do one day! When I leave the club, I want to come back and help other girls leave.”
Picture it for a moment: Our club team being comprised of women that have left the industry and can go back and declare freedom in their greatest place pain! WOW! I get so excited about that picture.
- VOLUNTEERS: specifically on Prayer Team, Babysitter’s Club, Hospitality, and Security Team. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested!
- Outreach Sponsorships
- Pray for team leaders and that many more volunteers would join our team in San Antonio
- Pray for two girls we know that are pregnant-- that there would be peace and joy around this event
- Pray girls are awakened to their true identity in Christ
- Pray for Alliance Partners and business relationships to help the women start a new life
- 140 dancers at 3 clubs received O.P.I. nail polish and files
- Trust is building and dancers are opening up. When it was time to leave our first club, I tapped one of our club team ladies on the shoulder to let her know that we were leaving, and the woman she was visiting with looked at me and said, “I’m going to need five more minutes with her.” (Yes, you can have five more minutes!)
- Trust is also building with management: A manager at one of the other clubs (who hasn’t said much the past few months), pulled me aside and asked, “Can you help these girls? If I have a girl who needs help, can I contact you?”. I responded with, “Yes! That’s why we’re here. We want to be available. Please call me if you have a dancer in need.”
I wanted to share this amazing story from our Club Team Leader. She has her own beautiful story of rescue and redemption after working in the sex industry for 7 years. God is now using her in POWERFUL ways to minister to women in the industry. Please take a minute to read this story of a beautiful intersection between Jesus Said Love and Redeemed Ministries!
“I was honored when asked to lead a bible study for the women at Redeemed Assessment Center in Houston starting in March 2016. Being with JSL since December 2015, I was dedicated to laying the fruit of our labor at the cross and trusting in His Spirit to work in the lives and hearts of the women we come in contact with each month. The Lord knows every detail of our lives and divinely weaves our paths together to reveal the fruit that His spirit is cultivating. I recently experienced one of these moments while visiting the women at Redeemed, just 10 days after JSL's April outreach.
I always start off by sharing my story, so that the women know that I am not there to judge, but that I have walked in their shoes and can identify with them. I also start off by giving big ((hugs)), and normally they are well received. However, this time, there was a young woman there named "A" that was not as excited to see me as I was to see her. As I shared how God rescued me and now has commissioned me to go back into the darkness to rescue others with the light of His hope, she interrupted me and said, "You came into the club I worked in about a week ago and gave us nail polish! You had on 'Jesus Loves Strippers' shirts, right?!"
Tears filled my eyes as I sat and listened to her tell me that for 8 years she had been in this industry and had never encountered a ministry like this in the clubs. "A" went onto to say that it was the first time she had felt genuine love and care in a long time. Shortly after the outreach, "A" was robbed by a customer and then two other dancers within 48 hours. The overwhelming loss was too much for her and she wanted to end her life, but instead said she felt a stirring in her heart to get help. She reached out to a nearby police station that connected her to Redeemed. At the end of our hour long conversation, she shared that she would rather walk into the uncertainty of her future than back to the darkness of her past. "A" also ended our conversation with outstretched arms, inviting me in for a big ((hug)), while telling me that she was so grateful to meet someone who had overcome what she is going through and that there is HOPE!”
Thank you for your continued prayers!
- Businesses in Houston that are willing to hire women desiring to transition out of the commercial sex industry
- Pray for intentional conversation, and opportunities to meet with dancers outside of the clubs
- If you have a bible study, Sunday school class, MOPS group, or even just group of friends who would like to hear about Jesus Said Love, we would love to share with you! You can contact Sally Collier, our City Team Leader, at email@example.com
- 45 nail polishes gifted
- 12 pizzas delivered to all three clubs
- 6 Torchy's gift cards given to male staff by our security team
At the beginning of April, I received a message that came through our dancer hotline number which we attach to all of our gifts every month. The voice on the other line sounded desperate as she expressed her desire to transition out of the industry and her need for help. She had experience dancing in three different cities across Texas. When I called her back and we began to talk, hope and excitement grew in her voice as she dreamt of a fresh start. She has since landed two different jobs in the area and is beginning to save money. Please pray for our friend as she navigates through the first couple months of transition!
Outreach at the end of the month went well. We met several new women and are continuing to connect with women outside of the clubs. Pray for relationships to continue to develop and deepen!
- We are looking for more volunteers on Hospitality Team and Prayer Team. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org