Monday, June 07, 2010

Strippers.



I've highlighted the Treasures Ministry before, but I received an e-mail from Harmony Dust who founded the ministry. I had to share this e-mail.
STRIP CLUBS & BAPTISMS

7 years ago, during Treasures’ first ever Vegas outreach, we met Abby*.  A bright young woman, full of life and personality in spite of having faced some very painful circumstances in her life, she had just entered the sex industry.
“This is perfect,” I thought.  “Perhaps after meeting the Treasures team, she will decide to leave the industry before she gets too deep into it-- before it gets too deep into her.”
The journey that has followed has caused me to practice everything I preach—Loving people right where they are at, trusting that God will do a work in their heart as they draw near to Him, knowing that it is His goodness that leads people to change.
I would ask God, “What do you want me to say to Abby?”
“Nothing.  Just listen,” He would speak to my heart.
In the past 7 years, there were moments when I had the opportunity to tell her how much God loves her or to pray with her about a challenge she was facing.  I have to admit, there were times when I thought to myself, “Okay God
I know that healing is a journey, and that I am supposed to love people where they are at
but 7 years?”
He would remind me that His love is unfailing, unchanging, unrelenting, unstoppable, and that I am to love as He does.
This weekend, God’s work in Abby’s heart had our team in tears.  She let us know that she wasn’t going into work, despite it being a potentially lucrative holiday weekend and that she just wanted to be around us.  So she joined in all of our activities for the weekend.  During our volunteer prayer, she jumped in and asked us to pray for her.  Before we prayed, she turned to me with tears in her eyes and said, “Every night when I show up at work, I pray that ‘the Prince song’ will come on because I want to leave like you did, Harmony.”
I literally started balling.  I couldn’t even hold back the tears if I wanted to.  Because I know that she was referencing a pivotal moment in my own life when ‘the Prince song’ Purple Rain came on, and I had an encounter with God in the middle of the strip club.  It was at that moment that I left the industry.
We all cried and prayed with Abby.  We told her that God’s plans for her are good and encouraged her that He would make a way for her, just as He made a way for me.
The next day, Abby asked us to come to church with her and was delighted to show up with an entourage of girls.  That day, she told us that she wanted to be baptized but had no one to cheer her on they day her church offered baptisms.  She asked if I would be willing to do the honors of baptizing her.  So, with her Treasures family cheering loudly at the hotel pool, Abby was baptized!
I love that God loves us and meets us right where we are at—in strip clubs and hotel swimming pools, whether we are still dealing with pride or envy
or stripping—He loves us and He always shows up!  He is unrelenting in His pursuit of us and I am honored to witness His pursuit of Abby and the beautiful work He is doing in her life.

Love, Harmony & The Treasures Team

God is good and knows when lives will change. Thank you Jesus for this ministry and the women who are your hands and feet. These women go places where most of us would rather judge.

If you'd like a simple way to help Treasures, you can put their non-profit on your Ralphs card and whenever you shop there, Ralphs will donate to them.  Click here.

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