Seriously Incredible Story of Ex-stripper Melinda!
Not long ago, women from all over the globe, descended on Pasadena. Their purpose: Learning how to reach women trapped in the sex industry in their communities.
My friends Patty and Lisa led a session about leadership development at this conference. They are from Girlfriend It, a leadership development movement for women in Phoenix, and are also one of our Strip Church Network partners.
In an unplanned turn of events, one of the women sitting next to Patty and Lisa at the training was Melinda (not her real name), a woman they'd ministered to in an Arizona Strip Club years ago!
After the Pasadena conference, Melinda wrote me, sharing her story and the series of events leading her to the session that day. With her permission, here are a few excerpts from her letter:
A group of 'churchy' ladies dropped in the club with gifts for us girls. I vividly recall a particular Easter weekend, when a lady, about my mom's age, handed me three baskets. Smiling, she said, "Happy Easter! God loves you very much".
I made little eye contact with her, thanked her, and took the baskets. When home, I opened one of the baskets, finding an average looking silver bracelet. There was nothing special about it. When I started to toss it in the trash, I saw this engraving:
"When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, 'I am the light of the world, whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. (John 8:12)"
At age nineteen, I started stripping; seven years later, there was nothing I could put in my resume. What a huge wake-up call. Worn out and discouraged, I could only ask myself, "What happened with my youth?"
On April 27, 2011, Melinda took a leap of faith and left the industry. She spent time overseas with her family before returning to the U.S.
Since then, she's actively pursued God and a healthy life-style, forever transformed by God's love.
On April 27, 2012 (exactly one year after leaving her strip club job), she responded to God's call, and found herself in the Pasadena training session.
Melinda found herself sitting next to those "churchy" ladies - the very one who had given her a silver bracelet. Without a single reason to think this encounter could happen, the night before she had pulled out the still untouched bracelet.
The bracelet is a reminder of God's faithfulness, no matter how dark our past may be. He promises to bring the light of life to us. Every time I see the silver bracelet a voice whispers...
"Go, my child. Be my hands and feet,
for others to see that light in you."
A few days ago, Melinda let me know she, and her newly trained outreach team, had made their first strip club outreach. What a success!
God has a purpose for these women, and your investment means thousands of women will know God loves them beyond measure!
Thanks to the generosity of the Denver Foundation, every donation of $100 or more will be matched up to $5,000!
Thank you for caring, and for partnering with Treasures to reach them.
Founder / Executive Director
Your gift helps purchase supplies for outreaches and care packages, as well as personal items to bless women, just as it did with Melinda. Please mail your best gift to: P. O. Box 2013, North Hills, CA 91343. To make an online contribution, visit the DONATE page at www.iamatreasure.com
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