Friday, June 11, 2010

Scarlet Hope

I've got a lot of things on my mind lately concerning the Holy Spirit, especially after reading Frances Chan's book Forgotten God. But I'm not even sure where I'd begin sharing some of that, so I'm going somewhere else with this post...because I feel like the Spirit's leading that way anyway, and it's heavy on my heart.

Some of you know I've been serving with a ministry here in Louisville called Scarlet Hope. We are reaching out to women in the sex industry to share with them the love of Jesus...not just to see them leave their job, but more importantly to see the gospel transform their lives entirely. If they leave the sex industry, obviously that's a win.

Right now we're aware of numerous girls who are looking for other jobs and are desperate to leave the industry and find work elsewhere. But it's not so easy: some have felonies against them, some have drug & alcohol addictions, and needless to say, many employers just won't hire someone with stripping on their resume. It's just not easy.

There is so much that goes into seeing these girls' lives get turned around. Obviously, it starts with Jesus. But there are realistic needs with many of them needing rehab from drug use, counseling to cope with issues of rape & abuse, housing, food, childcare, education, and the list goes on and on... The approximate cost for helping a girl leave the industry is about $5,000. And we're just a team of girls who are trying to love these dancers...

The more girls that go into the clubs on our team, the more relationships that are built, and the more we're becoming aware of girls who want to leave the industry. We're in desperate need of funding to assist these girls in changing their lives. We need partners who can fund this ministry, people to create/find jobs or employers that will hire our girls, someone who can write grants as a passionate partner with this ministry. I'm writing because this is heavy on my heart today after going into the clubs last night, and we're getting to the point where it's almost overwhelming the needs we're seeing.

I don't even know how many people read this, but I feel like the Holy Spirit is asking me to write and share about this ministry. There are so many ways God is working through Scarlet Hope right now, and we're seeking His wisdom as we follow His lead in the clubs and in our friendships with the girls.

I left last night heartbroken. Weekly I notice these little menus in plastic stands that sit on the tables displaying options from a $15 lap dance ranging to a $250 VIP room. I hate that these girls' bodies are listed like a daily special at a restaurant, and I hate that there is a monetary value placed on them. And they deal with rejection, on top of that, when men turn them down for just a $15 dance. I just want them to realize that they're valued so much more than that...that Jesus gave His life for them, and there's no monetary cost that can show how much they're worth.

If you're reading this, please pray for the girls we encounter in the clubs each week. I can't share specifics here, but trust me when I say that they have more hurt and pain in their lives than many of us can imagine. Please pray on Thursday nights as we literally go into the darkness. Pray for people to give and partner with this ministry in the ways we need. Pray for opportunities to share about Jesus with them, and pray for open hearts and ears to hear.

If there is any way you'd like to find out more about the ministry, donate, find other ways to help, or even start a similar ministry in your city, check out


Christine said...

What an amazing ministry. I believe that this goes on in other countries like places in Africa but it's easy to forget that it goes on here at home.

Kelly said...

Mandy -
This sounds like an amazing ministry that you are involved in! I would love to see something like this happening in St. Louis with Harvester. I will definitely be thinking about you all and praying for you as you serve in a place where most Christians wouldn't dream of going, but which so desperately needs to see living examples of Christ's love!