“I’ve had so much fun talking with you, and I’ve completely forgotten your name!”
Yes, this happens often during visits to our adopted clubs! It’s even harder when trying to remember given names and club names! This has created some good laughs, as well as times of total confusion! “Oh your name is…? I thought her name was….? Ah, you both are named….!” The ladies are always gracious though, and don’t seem to mind when we ask more than once: what was your name again?
Of course, many names and faces are etched in our hearts and minds, as friendships have formed during the time we’ve been visiting the clubs, and during those special times outside of the clubs.
At our most recent visit, we handed out “Friendship Bags” - created by women from Newport Assembly of God Church at a retreat. It was interesting because friendship is a theme that often comes up during conversations at the clubs in dressing rooms, hallways, and at back corner tables.
We’ve personally asked questions like “what does a true friend look like?” “What if a friend lets you down?” and heard comments such as “I don’t really have any true friends, only acquaintances.” “She’s my best friend…well, she’s really like a sister.” “These girls are my only friends.” “My friends treat me better than my family does.”
During one of our recent visits, it honestly felt as if we were just visiting friends, while also making new ones! So, when asking the question: what does a true friend look like, the most interesting answer came from one of our favorite ladies. She said “a true friend is like God, and treats you like Jesus would.” And she feels that she doesn’t have a friend in her life who does this.
A high calling for sure; and yet one that is possible because it’s that very kind of love that should compel each of us to build friendships and learn someone’s name. For who doesn’t want to be called by name, known and loved exactly for who she was created to be?
We took our time at one of the clubs during this past visit. This was in a place that we often breeze through with gifts and hugs so as not to interfere with the employees, patrons, and owner. This time, though, we were able to sit down and chat, and therefore make a couple of new friends. We were surprised to get reacquainted with friends we had met previously. Discussions ranged from dreams of cosmetology school to memories of high school soccer years.
I can’t say that we find much to laugh about after our visits, but during them? We sure do laugh a lot with the friends we are making. We’re all learning one another’s name, our likes and dislikes, kid issues, financial hardships, and relationship woes…things we all deal with in life.
But isn’t it always good to remember that we don’t need to navigate these things alone? And so we continue to build this support network around this community, and when we can greet almost every one of these ladies by name, it’s a good indicator that we truly are ‘building a community that honors women.'
Learn more about our strip club outreach: Our Beautiful Exchange (the outreach ministry of SSD)
She's Somebody's Daughter Volunteers
Our visit this month could not have happened without the help and support of approximately 50 volunteers, some on the front lines and many behind the scenes: from 8 of us on the visiting team, to 3 men who drive and offer a safe presence in the parking lot, to the ladies from the retreat who created our gift bags, to the dozens of people who meet to pray for us or pray on their own…Thank you!!!
A special thank you to individual volunteers and supporters who:
- Took the time to talk through a work issue with one of the ladies two weeks ago, and heard these words during this recent visit: “So this week I thought about something you said when we talked...”.
- Made plans at the last minute to drive an hour to be a “safety presence” in one of the parking lots!
- Wrote a special note to one lady who recently lost her uncle; this young ladies reaction after reading this personal note was priceless.
- Are willing to, because of their own business savvy, financially invest in the schooling of these young ladies.
- Researches resources for the ‘Get Help’ section of our website.
- Offered her services as a seamstress for one young lady looking forward to her upcoming wedding!
- Bargain-shopped at yard sales for quality infant clothes.
- Offered free furniture to a young couple.
- Borrowed a moving van, drove, and moved various pieces of furniture for a young family.
- Met, discussed and assessed billboard locations.
- Donated to support the PA billboard for an entire year!
- Donated to support an OKC billboard for four months!
- Offered financial support which enables us to set up an office in the near future.
- Worked more hours than we’ll ever know, behind the scenes, to create our new mobile app.
- Gave her two week notice at her FT job and has offered to donate hours every week to SSD in the coming months!
And to all who pray, serve, give, and support SSD in a variety of ways...a very humble and heartfelt thank you to each and every one!