September City Updates
- 215 hand-painted coffee mugs delivered to 4 clubs
- 12 pizzas brought in and devoured by 3 clubs
- 1 donation received from a woman at the club
- 1 woman exchanged phone numbers with a Club Team member to discuss leaving the industry
Our September Outreach was a night of women sharing life with one another— hugs were exchanged the moment our teams entered the dressing rooms. The air filled with laughter and joy as the Club Team and women caught up on life and passed around sweet pictures of precious new babies.
Even in the midst of the excitement we could still feel the presence of pain and heartache with some, so we listened— we listened and we loved.
At one club a house mom approached one of our Club Team members and handed her $6. “This is from one of the girls,” she explained. “She knew she wasn’t going to be here tonight and wanted to give this to you.”
Friday night we received a $6 donation— it represented a love, a generosity, a beautiful outpouring of self that we seldom often think about, let alone live out. While it’s clear this sweet girl understands the heart of JSL, we recognize even more so she is living out the heart of God. She understands the calling to awaken hope and empower change, and she knows $6 makes a difference. $6 will move mountains. $6 will change hearts.
- Financial support for the Dallas budget
- Church partnerships
- Prayer for Club Team members' commitment to stay strong
- Prayers for continued support as women continue to transition out of the industry
- 25 knit scarves gifted
- 3 women served on Club Team and 2 men on Security Team
- Pizza enjoyed in the dressing room
Voices filled the dressing room with more talk than ever about dreams and job hunts Friday night— there was a sweet air of hope in the room. As we all talked about the fall season and hopes for cooler weather, we met a woman who just started working at the club. She grew up in church and started dancing because some of her financial aid fell through. She has another job as well (as many of the women we meet do), but it doesn’t provide enough to pay for school. She has dreams and goals and is so hopeful for her future— she is so close to completing her degree. She is smart and driven and told us detailed plans of what she wants to do after she achieves her Bachelor’s degree.
It is not uncommon to find women who turned to dancing to put themselves through school. In fact, there are some larger clubs in the country who will actually recruit on college campuses. (Read Dancing for the Devil by Anny Donewald for a personal account of this.)
She asked, “What church are you guys from?”
“Actually, we all go to different churches.”
We named off our respective churches and she said, “Wow. It is really cool you would all come together.” Her eyes told me she had experienced disappointment in the Church.
I replied, “We all serve one Jesus.”
It is a beautiful thing to see our community come together through JSL. As we wait for God to bring a City Team Leader to Temple/Killeen, we are excited to see new volunteers and connections. It will truly take our entire village loving on these women to awaken hope and empower change in our community.
- New City Team Leader for Temple/Killeen
- Outreach sponsorship partners for 2017
- Babysitting Team Leader and Hospitality Team Leader
- Additional community partnerships and volunteers
SAN ANTONIO UPDATE
- 80 scarves and bracelets gifted, donated by Wayside Chapel
- Met many new friends as well as managers
- Talked with a girl who is desperate to leave the industry
If you want to change a culture, a society, you have to be willing to listen. It is when you take the time to sit and then invest in the individuals before you that you learn the heart of what they really need. Friday night I was able to learn the heart of what one particular girl needed when we talked at the club.
She started by mentioning things passively as she walked by— she said she wanted out, she commented on being abused, and finally she walked up to me and said “Do you know what you’re doing wrong? Do you know why you’re not really making a difference?” I was taken aback, I was even a little offended— our hearts are for these women, we want so much for each girl to know we are there for them, but I stopped and listened. “What can we do better?” I asked. “Make it personal,” she said. “It seems like this is just a job and there’s a list of things you want us to do. I want to know you see me. I want to know you don’t treat us all the same. If I want to see a list of things I need to do, I can Google it.”
My heart broke. Compassion flooded out. In this moment I realized sometimes our desire to help looks like a list of things to do— build a resume, set goals, list job skills. The first thing we have to do is ask what each girl wants— what each one needs. Maybe it’s someone to encourage them, someone to listen to them, someone to be a friend— but first and foremost, we’re to listen. Listen— listen to their heart, validate their pain, validates their fears, listen to their dreams, and walk the journey with them. The whole journey, even if it doesn’t look the way we want it to.
Later that night we had the opportunity to meet another woman currently serving our country, working to try to make ends meet. “I can’t even pray,” she told a team member. “I know God is so disappointed with me and what I’m doing.” Our team member took time to remind her she is cherished, beautiful, and God fully loves her no matter what. “Do you think God is mad at me?” she asked. “No, sweet girl. No way.”
Please pray for these two women this month, pray they will feel seen and loved by God. While we had several other conversations Friday, these stuck out— I believe these are the cries of so many of the women we meet. We all long to be seen, to be known, to be loved.
- Team members for all teams! If you are interested email firstname.lastname@example.org
- We are in need of a DECEMBER Outreach sponsorship
- Alliance partners and connections within the community
- Prayers for continual God ecounters for the women
- Prayers for relationships to continue to flourish at the clubs
- Prayers for our current team members and their families
- 125 fall scarves delivered to women in two Houston clubs
- Deeper connection was made between our Security Team and the parking attendant we see every month at one of the clubs
- 1 of our Club Team volunteers has been tutoring one of the women from the club in math so she can complete her nurses aid certification! Pray for perseverance and provision for her!
This last August we prayed for smooth entry into one of our regular clubs that had completely renovated— from its name to their hours to the women working, everything was different. We were incredibly grateful to have been able to go in last month, and continued prayers for September. When we arrived Friday night we discovered the club had changed all over again— this time with new management, we were not allowed in. Although we were disappointed, we know God is in control, He knows what’s best, and we remain prayerful and hopeful about what’s next!
We had an incredibly fruitful time in one of our other clubs and several of our Club Team volunteers had the opportunity to pray over women in the dressing room. One of our Club Team members shared this about her experience Friday night:
“Every one of us has a creative bent, it is woven in our very being. The Creator of the Universe made it a part of our DNA when He created us in His image. We are created to create— to make, to fashion, to fix, to write, to design. This is no different for one particular girl from the club, she’s a winsome girl with a smile you can’t help but be drawn in by. Our conversation started off slow, it seemed trivial almost, but eventually a trust was built. Then, her demeanor changed. When you have something deep inside you that kindles hope and occupies your mind, it’s hard to keep it to yourself. You could see it in her eyes as they lit up. You could hear it in her voice as the words came tumbling out. I was so caught up in what she was sharing, the chaos of the dressing room and the noisy music pulsing from the dance floor faded away as this precious girl shared her hopes and dreams for a life beyond the strip club. It is clear the Holy Spirit had been gently reminding her of what she was created for— to use the creative talents that God had gifted her with to bring Him glory. Without hesitation, she welcomed our prayers over her right then and there in the dressing room. We ask for you to also pray with us— pray God will continue the good work He has started, pray she will seek His provision, pray He will guide us encouraging and walking with her through this journey.”
We are grateful for every opportunity to speak life into, pray for, and encourage these beautiful, strong women. Thank you for your continued prayers!
- We are looking for a few more outreach sponsors for Fall 2016. If you would like to sponsor an outreach or would like more details, please let us know!
- 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 scarves gifted
- 15 pizzas delivered
The night started with an amazing prayer and worship time at 1500 Columbus. Watching the community come together to pray for the work of JSL and for the women and men we reach was amazing! Our team felt incredibly supported and empowered going into September’s Outreach and we were so thankful!
Conversations in the clubs were full of new job possibilities for the women we reach and there was a hope in the air that was tangible. Several of our club team members were able to pick up where they last left off in conversation the women they connected with last month. Women were excited and giddy to give our team members updates on some of the amazing opportunities they are getting to step into.
We would love for more people to join our Club Team and our other “Love” teams. If you are in the Waco area and have a calling to this of work, we would love to have you on our team!!
- 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!