Author: Amy Wallace
I was asked to write this months ago but couldn’t figure out what to share, or even where to start. Hope in strip clubs? Come on, this is the enemies play ground.
For the last 5 years, I have been involved with the ministry POLE Gems. We venture into strip clubs and hand out gifts to the ladies and some of the gentlemen that work there. It sounds scandalous and is sometimes a little crazy. However, I have come to understand that following Jesus sometimes includes going to places you never thought you would go, and every once and awhile places others think you shouldn’t go.
When Jesus traveled from Judea to Galilee, He took the road through Samaria. A road Orthodox Jews avoided, when two others were avalible. But He had a specific purpose in mind. He wanted to reach those the religious zealots wouldn’t reach out to and invite them to true life. He sat at a well and spoke to a women familiar with disgrace and asked for a drink. As she served Him, He spoke to her hope. He saw her, He loved her, He promised her she would never thirst again, because he is the living water.
On my last outreach I walked into a local strip club, as I have many times before, not really expecting anything. I started handing out these cute plastic Christmas tumblers. I approached one girl who looked at the gift, gave a huge smile and asked me, ” why did you give this to me you don’t even know me?” I smiled at her and said because you are special. With tears in her eyes she again asked, “Why?”
This is the hope.
Jesus came for her; He loves her; I get to tell her.
I gave her another hug and said, “because Jesus says you are beautiful and worth it.” She looked at one of the other girls and jokingly said, “I’m only worth $40 tonight.” My heart sank as I put my hand on her shoulder and said “No honey, you are worth far more than that.”
I don’t know if I will see her again, but at least I know a little bit of hope was shared that night. My prayer for her is that every time she uses that cup, she remembers being seen. Not for what she could give, but for who God created her to be. The cups in my home don’t always represent hope, but I pray that as that jolly tumbler sits on her counter it will somehow remind her that she need not thirst for empty hope when the greatest love awaits her through Christ.
Interested in helping with POLE Gems? Email Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org