Yep. I’m still involved in the Stripper Ministry… and it has my heart. What this ministry is doing keeps me up at night thinking and praying… it’s on my mind when I get up… and I long to do more.
This past Tuesday we were able to return to the club to spend more time with the ladies and staff. I had been looking forward to it since the last time. It’s not that I’m looking forward to going back to the actual place… just anxious to continue investing in the relationships that have really just begun.
As usual, we (my Dream Dancers team) set up the food, said our hellos, gave hugs, and made ourselves available for whatever happened. This time we brought Chick-fil-a chicken strips (yum) and EVERY kind of sweet you can imagine… I guess we all had Halloween treats in mind. As the dancers started coming in to get ready for their evening of work, some were really excited to see us and ran to greet us… others waved and headed into the dressing rooms promising to return for food.
One of the girls, Nay-Nay (I don’t know her real name yet… it will come), came over for some grub and small talk. After she fixed her plate, she sat at the bar to eat. We continued to chat and welcome others to the food. A few minutes later, Nay-Nay beelines it towards one of my team members and says, “I just need you to pray for me. I’m ready to get out of this place…” My team member grabbed her by the hand and lead her to the rest of us and explained to her that we would pray with her right then. We circled around her and asked what was going on. Her response,
“I just want out…”
She wants out. She’s ready. She wants away from that place. She wants away from the contained evil that a strip club is. She wants new opportunities, new life, new purpose… real purpose, new people. She wants strength to walk away. She wants doors to open and courage to walk through them. She wants away from the men who enter that building… that don’t care, don’t love, don’t know, and don’t appreciate her for HER.
We prayed boldly for her… in the middle of a strip club dance floor!! That was a first for me! But it was awesome. We prayed for all of those things above… and more. We prayed with desperation because we LONG for her to know her worth in Jesus, to have identity in Him alone, to live the purpose that He has planned for her, and for her to know what true love is… from the King of Kings.
She cried. I cried.
She wants out.
That’s what this is all about. We aren’t going in and shoving anything down their throats. We aren’t condemning them for how they dress, dance, or talk. We aren’t judging their lifestyle or their opinions. We are showing them love, offering hope, and being available to them. God changes hearts. God opens eyes. God draws people out of darkness into His light. God does it. We are just available… in a strip club… to talk and pray and cry when it’s needed.
With that said, we are very aware that some of the girls in the club are not there by choice. We know that there is a strong possibility that many of them are forced to come and dance to earn money for people on the outside. For them, we are praying for boldness to tell someone so that she can be rescued… that she can be restored and safe from that kind of trafficking.
After we prayed with Nay-Nay, the manager of the club (who welcomes us and advocated for us in my last post) rushed over and said, “Now that’s what I’m talking about…” Kinda crazy for a manager of a strip club to encourage that, huh? Yea… I thought so too. BUT from what I can gather, our friend “Stud,” continues in that business because he feels an obligation to those girls. I know it sounds crazy to most of us but… God can do what He wants to do. Stud is a protector, counselor, adviser, truth-teller, brother, daddy, and more to those girls. He shared his heart with us – he really wants to see us invest in each girl… showing them that people actual do care, that God is real, and that life in a strip club is lacking. Yes sir. We can do that!
God is on the move. Things are changing because of our visits on those Tuesdays. Hope has entered those four walls. The light has been brought in the middle of that dark place.
P.S. This song broke my heart… so want these girls just to know this