Well I'm just going to jump right into it. We had a really amazing visit to the club last night. My friend Stephanie came with me for the first time, and she did so great. The wonderful ladies at First Baptist put together some cute spring mugs filled with Reese's eggs for the girls and cookies for the guys that were a hit. A couple of ladies came and met with Steph and I at church before our visit to pray over us, over the visit, and the people we would meet, and we are definitely making that a regular thing. I know that there are lots of people praying for us as we go out, and we definitely pray before we go in, but there was something even sweeter about coming together with more women to intercede for this ministry.
We went in pretty much right after they opened, so for most of the time we were there they had no customers. We talked briefly with a waitress who was on her phone out front when we got there, and she seemed surprised and pleased that I remembered her name. The guys (security/bartender) were back to their usual polite-but-not-chatty selves, and we were really suprised to find 3 girls in the dressing room hanging out and getting ready. Lately they've stayed out of the dressing room, staying on the floor waiting for customers. One of the girls even mentioned as we were leaving that they needed to hurry up and get out there, because they aren't supposed to spend a lot of time in the dressing room.
As soon as we walked in the other waitress (as far as I know she's still not dancing) "A" lit up with a smile and hugged me when I asked if she remembered me. She has been gone for the last few months, and I found out that she has been recovering from a very serious surgery. Apparently she accidentally got in the middle of a bar fight a few months ago and ended up with several broken and fractured bones that required surgery. She said that it was her first night back, and we ended up talking for a long time. She's in the Reserves and found out that in 3 months she'll be shipping out for another year-long tour. She's not scared, and is excited about the chance to save the money she'll make while she's away, and even mentioned wanting to take one of Mom's history classes when she gets back (she met and talked with Mom for a long time in November). She's such a sweet girl and seems so out of place there. We talked almost the whole time Steph and I were there, and I ended up sharing my contact info with her because she hasn't really been able to make any friends in town and says she needs 'girl time'. I really hope she'll get in touch with me so we can spend more time together.
Stephanie did a great job, she went into the dressing room with me and ended up having this incredible conversation with the other 2 girls that were there. I was so glad she came, especially knowing that they probably wouldn't have connected with me the way they did with her, and was reminded how much God uses our story to reach out to others. In the course of their conversation, both girls opened up about their addictions and one told Steph her heartbreaking life story. Steph pointed out that compared to everything she's been through, dancing must not seem like a bad thing at all. This woman is trying to get clean, but please pray for her. The other girl shared that she was using anything she could and "didn't want to function". Every time we go in I'm reminded again that everyone there is walking around with more pain and open wounds than we could ever see.
Last month we passed out cards good for a free hair cut with Stephanie, and the DJ and his girlfriend both made appointments for today! Keep Stephanie in your prayers, and pray that their experience is a good one. When we talked to the DJ last night he said that if he and his girlfriend don't go home for the weekend, they'll be at church this Sunday. So there's a lot to pray about! Thank you to all of you who have been and continue to be so encouraging and supportive of this ministry, especially with your prayers.