It has been such a long time since I've blogged, so let me catch you up on all the LORD has been doing! A young godly woman who is a wife, mother of 2, and a licensed hair stylist has joined our ministry. It is because of her that we are now in the dressing room of a popular strip club. While she is cutting and styling the dancers' hair, Carmen, Pam, and I take turns doing hand massages and manicures. It gives us time to really minister to these broken girls. They begin to open their hearts to us and what a blessing it is to minister to them. This is done all free of charge of course, because we want them to experience the love of Christ. It is amazing to watch the LORD show up in that dressing room. More about that later.
Kelli was part of our ministry for awhile. She is a missionary who was waiting on her next assignment. She joined our Bible study and we instantly fell in love with her spirit. We learned so much from Kelli and thank God for every moment we had with her. She is now in a foreign country where prostitution and sex slavery are rampant. Kelli is being used there in a wonderful way for the Lord. While we miss her, we know she is exactly where she is supposed to be.
Also, we have been able to venture into another club. This one is definitely hard ground. It has been there for over 20 years and its roots are deep. No other Christian group has been able to get in. This is certainly favor from the Lord. He used Pam with her creative perseverance to get us in. I was so amazed, it took me a while to believe it. Great things have happened there. A dancer was saved through a local church and was on her way out of this dreadful den of evil. She asked us to pray with her and then she proceeded to pray the sweetest prayer for us. If you can picture this, some of us were on our knees during this prayer and when I opened my eyes, two of the male customers had tears running down their faces. I believe the Holy Spirit was working conviction in their hearts. It was like the Heavens were opened for just a moment in that dark place. On a different visit, the barmaid had just married and asked if we come behind the bar and pray with her and her new husband. There we were in a circle of prayer holding hands in this nasty place and yet the Lord was ever present. The customers were aware something different was going on. Praise the LORD!!
Now I want to tell you what happened Friday night in the dressing room. We have become friendly with the House Mom who takes care of the girls' needs and is affectionately called "Moma." Her husband recently was going through a serious health issue, a life-threatening cancer, and she really reached out to us. She began to pray with us, and her heart became softer and softer. As a little girl, her mother had left her and her dad. He owned and ran the local porn store, and she was ostracized from the other girls. Moma said this has continued in her life and we were the first "real" female friends she had. She has been out to lunch with us and has really began to trust us. And by the way, the LORD healed her husband. I tell you all this to tell you that Friday night when we saw Moma, she looked very tired. Long story short, she is working the maid's shift too, and giving that money to the maid, who cannot work because of health issues. As our team member was doing her hair, we were encouraging Moma because she said the men around there could not understand why she would do such a thing. We think the Lord is doing a work in Moma!
Also that night, while Sheila's (not her real name) hair was being styled, I began talking to her and handed her a Bible and asked her to read the verses which pertain to the Roman's road to Salvation. She was very convicted, and wants to talk more with us. She has a 3-year old son whose father is in prison. Sheila has promised to call and we pray that she will.
That same night we handed out long-stemmed red roses with devotions attached as well as our ministry card. Three of the dancers told us that the devotions pertained to their situations personally. They read them out loud so everyone in the dressing room could hear. It was like we were having church!
And then while we were on our way out of the club, we noticed how crowded they were that night. And not only that, there were so many women customers, ages anywhere from 30 to 50 highly intoxicated. We also gave roses to them, and they seemed to sober up for just that moment. Devotions were attached to these roses as well. I have wondered how the Lord might have worked in these women's lives through that rose. After all, nothing is too hard for HIM! We continued to make our way out, and the owner motioned to us and asked Carmen and me to come talk to him. He led us to a room behind the bar, my legs felt like jelly expecting that in the next few moments he would ban us from coming into the club. He first asked how we were funded and what church we were from. We explained that we were from different churches and we were funded by donations but essentially the Lord provides. He very humbly asked if he could give us money on a monthly basis to help us out. Carmen said he looked like Jesus standing there, she said it was certainly not the owner of that strip club. We said no thank you, but thanked him for allowing us entrance into the club and especially the dressing room of the dancers. He shook our hands and we said goodbye. Our fellow team members had been waiting anxiously for us. Pam asked, "did he ban us?" Carmen said, "no, he blessed us." Only the Lord could have done this....to give us the favor of kings....only the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY!!! We can't wait to see what HE will do next!!!