August City Updates
- 215 water bottles delivered to 5 clubs
- 1 club let us in for the first time in a few months-- great connections made!
After a month of rest and then going back into the clubs I had prayed that the relationships that were developing would pick right back up where they left off. As we entered I don't know who was more excited us or them, but there was JOY in the dressing room. The night was filled with laughter and a deepening of our relationships. Thank you Lord for always going in before us making it easy for us to follow in your footsteps.
There were several new girls and we were able to form relationships with many of them. We also had the opportunity to reconnect with a girl we hadn't seen in awhile who now says she is confident she is a "child of God." Another friend of ours who had left the club and had gotten a new job is back in the clubs, she asks for prayer that she wouldn't lose her day job because of car issues. A house mom who has received assistance from JSL for some bills recently is very appreciative that we come month after month. We will be meeting with her outside the club in an effort to encourage her to break away—she doesn’t have any kids of her own and considers the girls her children— we recognize it will be very difficult for her to leave. Two of the women were in a car wreck, both of which we have a relationship with. One is recovering from injuries and hasn't returned to work, and another is in jail--we're planning on visiting her soon. Also softened up one of the particularly gruff managers with snacks and a water bottle! They let us park in valet parking for the first time which is much safer!
In another club, the Club Team only had three ladies when normally they have a much larger team, but the smaller team was perfect for that particular Friday. The normal house mom was not there and our time was shorter than normal. She said the manager was not happy because the club wasn't making as much money. Apparently this is why they didn't want us in there as long. A member of our Club Team had met with one of the ladies a couple times since June and we got to see her again last night. Bright beautiful smiles! One of the dancers I hadn't met before got a water bottle and asked why we do what we do. She then read my JSL shirt and was thrilled! She said she wants a shirt because she is tired of people judging her and thinking less of her and that everyone makes mistakes and doesn't want to be judged. Is was a sweet unscripted truth of a moment!
At another club there was good favor and great conversations. Excited about talking with us and especially regarding a bowling event the club team is planning for these girls. Great response when we asked about prayer requests.
- Continued discernment in loving women in transition
- Prayers for open communication with managers
- Prayers for continued open doors at the clubs
25 brightly colored cups with JSL logo and Back to School flyer gifted
3 women served on Club Team and 2 men on Security Team
- Chick-fil-A chicken nuggets enjoyed in the dressing room
This month, the club was buzzing with talk of kids starting school and the emotions that moms go through preparing for the start of the school year. As we were talking, one of the women rushed into the dressing room to frantically count her money. I started a conversation with her and in her hurry, she shared with me that she was $90 short on her rent. She had to be up early the next morning to work her other job and was desperate to make $90 to ensure that she and her two kids would have a place to stay. Her desperation was heartbreaking, and I couldn’t help but wonder how many other ladies in the club had a similar predicament that night. This emergency state is all too common for women in the sex industry. As we hear their stories, we want to be wise. We don’t want our ministry to only provide Band-Aids for a short term fix. We want to point them toward the source of the Living Water - to speak life and hope and love into their “right now.” We are confident that God works miracles in big ways, but we pray to be patient and hopeful when that work seems slow. We only see this chapter, when God is writing a whole book.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2
- New City Team Leader for Temple/Killeen
- Outreach sponsorships
- Babysitting Team Leader and Hospitality Team Leader
- Additional community partnerships and volunteers
SAN ANTONIO UPDATE
- 75 cups with flyers for school supplies handed out, donated by Christ Centered Women
- Had a great conversation with a manager expectant for a new job
- We were able to pray for 3 women in one club
August outreach is fun because I LOVE school supplies and we get the opportunity to take the women shopping for their kids. It also gives us the chance to love on the rest of family affected by this industry. 80% of the women are single moms, and school supplies aren’t cheap.
We headed into the club armed with cups for the women and a flyer for school supplies. There were not many women in the first club we went into, but as a manager walked through I stopped him because we had never met. We had a great conversation and he asked “Will you pray for me? I have an interview on Monday and if I get this position, I can leave this place.” We know and recognize there are several women itching to leave, but we often neglect to realize-- they are not the only ones. We love the women and men we encounter in the club-- from the managers to the valet and bouncers.
In the second club we were able to speak with one of the girls who was at the vigil we attended for Margarita and she was able to process a little more about what had happened. We were finishing our conversation and one of the team members asked her if she could pray for her right in that moment, which lead to another team member praying for a waitress who is really wanting to leave. The best part was we already got a call from one of the girls we prayed for and were able to take her shopping and speak life and hope to her. We will be meeting soon to put together a budget and look for a job. She texted afterward and said “I cried when I got home because I’ve never had anyone look out for me like you ladies do.”
- Team members for all teams! If you are interested email email@example.com
- Monthly Outreach Sponsorships through December
- Alliance partners and connections within the community
- Prayers for continual God ecounters for the women
- Prayers for two girls we know that are pregnant and expecting soon-- that there would be peace and joy around this event
- Prayers for our current team members and the relationships they have with women
- 150 water bottles with LOVE logo delivered to 3 Houston clubs
- "Back to School" flyers distributed to offer help with school supplies for dancers’ children
In mid-July, we found out one of our clubs had made big changes - new name, new hours, and new dancers. Although it was a slower night at our other two clubs, we had good conversations and were able to see old friends and catch up. When we pulled up to our last club, we weren’t sure how the night was going to go - if the new changes would affect our relationship with this club. Praise God, we were able to get in with no problem! It was bittersweet to walk in and only see one of the women we’ve developed a friendship with over the past 8 months. We missed seeing their faces and all of the laughter we shared with that particular group (they were loud and fun to be with!), but we continue to pray that maybe these changes would be the catalyst to new work and and a new way of life for them.
Two of our club team members also had the opportunity to take a dancer school shopping for 5 of her 6 children. One of our ladies shared this about their time together:
“Like many of the women we have met, she has been hurt by the church and is raising her children on her own. Her mom died when she was 11 years old and her other 2 siblings were taken in by family, but she was turned over to the state. I felt and heard the pain in her voice as she shared with me that the last thing that she wants to do is go to the club, but she does it in order to provide for her 6 children. By the end of our conversation we laughed, cried and found ourselves hugging in the produce section of WalMart as if no one else was there, and I didn't want to let her go. I trust that the Lord will be with her and her children, but it's hard because a part of me feels like I'm throwing her back to the wolves. I received a phone call later that day with all of her kids on speaker phone, thanking us for the school supplies! I am grateful that the Lord added her to my life, because I want to plant the seeds in all of the women I come in contact with to know how valued, cherished, and loved they are by Jesus.”
That is what we are about-- We love. We speak life. We awaken hope. We empower change. Jesus came so that we would have life, and have it to the FULL. Jesus loved, and so we love.
- We are looking for a few more outreach sponsors for Fall 2016. If you would like to sponsor an outreach, know someone who would, or would like more details, please let me know! firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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 water bottles with LOVE stickers gifted
6 Chick-fil-A nugget trays delivered
6 gift cards given to management
7 women taken back to school shopping
“The Jesus girls are here” was yelled as we went into our second club of the evening. It was as if everything else that had been going on stopped as a few women ran back to the dressing room to greet us. With huge smiles stretched across their faces they gave our club team the kind of embraces that you feel deep in the soul. Women began quickly updating us on their lives and filling us in on the exciting and hopeful opportunities that were coming their way. They opened up about the difficult realities they are facing and asked us for prayer and support. Every month I am reminded of how the Kingdom is found in these sacred moments. As we listen and as we offer care, the presence of Jesus is extended and fills the room. All of us are changed as His love comes rushing in. Growing in friendship with these women is one of the highest honors I hold in this life. I am truly grateful for everyone who helped assemble the gifts, cater food, and buy gift cards so we could take some of the women back to school shopping. God is truly on the move!
We are looking for more volunteers on hospitality team and prayer team. Please fill out a volunteer form at www.jesussaidlove.com/volunteer if interested!