Just last night, myself and two of our team members visited the local strip club where in the past, I had been treated unkindly by the management. We purposed in our hearts to pray through the day, because that must be the backbone of this ministry. Personally, I think ministry can become misery if it is not saturated in prayer.
In my quiet time yesterday morning I was in the book of Obadiah. The smallest book in the Old Testament, yet so very powerful as is all of God's Word. The Lord sent Obadiah to the Edomites (descendants of Esau) to warn them about His coming judgment. I sensed that He was prompting us to warn the dancers of the very same. We always look the dancers in the eyes and say something like, "Jesus loves you." They usually smile and then take the gift. But last night besides telling them that, we also said, "But what you are doing is not God's will for you." The responses were varied, yet the same.
The first dancer responded, "we're not all bad in here." In no way were we judging her (we always pray against a judgmental spirit) but speaking the truth in love. Love is not always soft and warm, sometimes love must confront with truth. Jesus modeled this throughout the Gospels. The dancer then said it was all about the money because she was going to be a doctor. I'm sure she could read my thoughts because I have a lousy poker face. I told her I would pray for her, and she walked away, shaking her head. I hope she will one day become a doctor but not by the means of stripping. How these dancers need JESUS! How we all need JESUS!!
The next dancer responded that it wasn't her will either, and then she walked away. It made me wonder who was forcing her. Is it because of drugs or a controlling person in her life. I hope we can meet her again to see if she will talk to us.
After that a dancer approached us with a big smile and asked what we were about. When we told her she said she had never heard of such a thing. She said she felt guilty for taking the gift but we told it was our blessing to give. She did exchange phone numbers with one of our team members and said she would be interested in doing a Bible study with us. How we pray she will do this!
Another one of the dancers I had met before who is a single mom and attends church every Sunday, before I could say anything, she says, I know, I know." But does she know how the heart of Christ must hurt, or her mother who raised her up in the admonition of the Lord. And what about her child? How the Lord must weep over all of us when we stray.
As Christians, we know the culture today has forgotten the holiness of God. We live in a world where right seems wrong and wrong seems right. And yet the Lord is so merciful to delay His coming. I believe the Lord wants these dancers to come to Him and that is why we will continue to storm the gates of Heaven on their behalf.
Lastly, the other club owner told us about his mother who has been hospitalized many times. Cancer has eaten much of her body. We have been praying for her. One of the team members suggested we go to the hospital to meet her and pray for her. We were able to visit her twice last week, taking a Bible and flowers. We are praying for her salvation.
God is so good!!! I'm so thankful for my pastor who reminds me that our fruit is our obedience to go into the darkness to be His light. This ministry is not easy, far from it, but it is a worthy work of God. "Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls -- yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation." Hab. 3:17,18. By His grace we will not become weary in doing good.