Published: Thursday, 13 March 2014 12:31
Hope. Faith. Trust. Believe. This was the theme of our most recent visits to area strip clubs. One of the club owners in PA, who has given us an open door policy, requested that we visit two other clubs in surrounding counties because he felt that the girls needed to be “reached out to”.
Our first visit to the new clubs ended when our team of four found both of them dark and closed, even though we had checked on the hours. We used our time sitting in one of the parking lots to talk, strategize, share and pray with one another.
Pressing on, we decided to try again a week later after visiting one of our adopted clubs on a scheduled night. With twenty-four beautifully wrapped gift bags holding special awareness bracelets, homemade scones and poppy seed bread, a fruit tray, and purple and green cupcakes carefully packed in the car, we were ready!
In the late afternoon, we first enjoyed visiting a couple of the girls we’ve gotten to know who work the day shift at the club we visit the most. It’s a little more relaxed in the afternoons so we have time to simply chat about life, kids, relationships and the drama of working in a club.
Miss A was afraid to open her gift at first because she didn’t want to undo the beauty of it! But what a blessing when she asked if she could have an awareness bracelet for her teenage daughter. An extra cupcake was shared, too!
On to the next club, the sunset was beautiful during the drive and the conversation in the car was helpful and inspiring as we weren’t sure what to expect at the two new clubs. Some of the girls who knew we were going either warned us or told us to say hi to a certain friend.
We were pleasantly surprised, at the first place, to find two young ladies almost alone since it was still early evening. We carefully explained who we were, shared that one of the owners asked us to come in, and told them why we were there: on behalf of She’s Somebody’s Daughter we wanted to let them know that they are valued and loved, and that we have a few gifts for them.
They looked at us, looked at each other and just laughed as they said “Well this is different from what we know, and it's so nice!” and from there we didn’t stop talking – about kids and potty training to trying poppy seed bread for the first time to knowing people who pray and claim to be Christians but live a different life than they'd expect to see.
At one point, as we said that honoring a woman as a daughter is a decision each person will have to make in his or own her heart, I couldn’t help but wonder what the patrons thought who were listening to this conversation.
Thirty minutes later, we promised to return and left extra goodies for the girls who weren’t on shift yet. These two girls were very excited and are already looking forward to the spa/pampering day coming up in May!
On to the next club, feeling thankful for the connections we had just made, we were cautiously hopeful; for this next one was the club we were warned about for various reasons. After entering the door we made our way through the hallway reception area to the counter and found a lovely, very tattooed lady resting under her fuzzy blanket on a leather sofa. We hated to disturb her, but she jumped up and asked how she could help us as she kept looking at the gifts and goodies we held in our hands.
Later we agreed that we have never had someone stare so intently into our eyes as this woman did as we shared why we were there with gifts – we simply wanted to let her and her girls know that they are loved and valued. None of us blinked for a few seconds as we waited for her to respond not knowing if she was going to kick us out or laugh or what, so you can imagine our surprise when she began to cry and said “God does work in mysterious ways. I can’t believe you are here tonight.”
This beautiful lady has been searching for meaning and shared that she is trying to ‘get her life in order’. She listens to Joyce Myers and has a better knowledge of the Bible than some Christians. We assured her that she is not alone, through She's Somebody's Daughter and the support network being built, brighter days are ahead.
We were able to share with her that we’ve been offered free tickets for the Beth Moore conference coming to Hershey, PA in May. At the suggestion of a team member, it didn’t take long for her to get online to find Beth Moore videos to watch later.
After another round of hugs, she gave us permission to come back anytime and we promised she would see us again. She just kept saying, “God does work in mysterious ways; He showed Himself this night.”
It was a lot to digest as we made our way to our last stop of the night, back to our first club so we could connect with the night shift girls. And were we ever thankful we planned it this way!
As we set up at one of our usual tables, the green and purple cupcakes were such a hit they had one young lady jumping up and down she was so excited!!
After getting past the delicate, gorgeous wrapping of the gift bags – which everybody loved and nobody wanted to destroy! – the bracelets definitely were a hit. One of the girls, after opening hers and reading the word that was written on the charm, gasped and immediately pointed to a very large tattoo on her side of the same word…her life word: BELIEVE. She couldn’t believe the bag she chose had a bracelet with her word! This led into a discussion about what she believes in, a discussion that will continue on future visits.
Other words were hope, faith, trust...hence our theme for the evening’s visits.We look forward to returning to visit the ladies and feel honored that they are so receptive to our visits.
Learn more about Lighthouse Network's mental health and addiction awareness bracelets.