Called Strippers by Name: God Wooing Porshia and Laura
On Friday night, as we got ready to head out to 11 strip clubs in the San Fernando Valley (the adult industry capital of the world) our prayer director, Jason, had the name Laura* in his heart.
Later, I walked into one of the strip clubs we reach and headed directly over to a woman sitting at the bar with a client. Usually, when a woman is with a customer, I tend to offer a brief hello hand her the gift, careful not to interrupt. But in this case, the woman at the bar began fully engaging and asking questions.
When she asked us what kind of support we offer and I told her about our Thursday night support group. At that point, she wrapped her arms around me and gave me the first of about 6 hugs. "That is exactly what I need! I am going to come to that!" she stated matter of factly.
Then, she unwrapped her gift, put on her Treasures bracelet and read the inscription, "Loved. Valued. Purposed."
"That is who you are." I leaned in and whispered.
"Oh my gosh! Do you see what this says?" She exclaimed to the client sitting next to her.
"No I can't see it" he replied. "It's too dark in here." (I am struck by the irony of this statement.)
"Loved. Valued. Purposed." she declared. "Because that is what I am!" After hugging me again and kissing my hand and cheek several times, she finally offered, "By the way, my name is Laura".
It was the very name that God put on Jason's heart earlier that night! At another club Kate (Treasures volunteer/outreach director) remembered the name of a woman she met on a previous outreach and wondered if she would see her again. Since the woman was pregnant during our last visit, we weren't sure we would see her.
After giving gifts to the women throughout the club, Kate headed back to the dressing room and found one last girl tucked away in the back corner alone. She turned around and smiled and sure enough it was her!
"Aren't you Porchia*? Weren't you pregnant last time we were here?"
"Yes! Yes, I'm Porchia! How did you remember that!? I love you guys! I keep my kids' pictures on my refrigerator with all the magnets you have given me over the past 7 years!"
Before we ever set foot in the strip clubs that night, God was wooing Porshia and Laura.
And so it is with all of the women we reach. While we may not know all of their names, He does. And He is calling them each by name.
"Beloved daughter, I know you by name. I have not forgotten you. My love is everlasting and my grace is enough. You, my darling, are loved beyond measure, valued far above rubies, purposed for more than you can imagine!"
Love, Harmony Dust
*Names changed to protect confidentiality
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