Last night's visit felt really short, but it went really well. A great friend from church, Diana Trantham, made pretty earrings and bracelets and Stephanie Liby donated free haircuts, so our gifts were pretty great this month. I also made Mississippi Mud bars for the guys on staff. Janice Wood (Mom) went with me.
Before the visit I felt the urge to make sure that I asked girls if there was anything I could pray for them about, so I went in expecting God to have something going on. We went in and chatted with the guys (bouncers, dj, bartender) who were all sitting at the bar hanging out. One of the bouncers talked more than usual and even showed me pictures of his twins on his phone, and asked to see pictures of Stella. They ask how she is every time I come in now, which is encouraging as far as relationships that have been built with people at the club. I really want to make a point to reach out to that particular bouncer's wife - she's a stay-at-home mom with 2 year old twins! So please pray that God provides a way to have a playdate, or some kind of interaction with her. I talked quickly with the dj, who's dad recently passed away, and he told me that they spread the ashes this week. He seemed pretty ok and I invited him to let his girlfriend (former dancer) know about the free haircut. He and she both used the coupon the last time we gave away free haircuts. I talked to the bartender, and his grandfather passed away last month, but it was expected and he's fine with it. He told me that he's moved to Lexington, and I told him about a great church up there near where he lives, that TJ and I went to when we lived in Lex (Center Point). He was quick to tell me that he is still a member of his home church where he grew up, and that he spent 9 years playing church league basketball, but that right now working two jobs has him too tired to make it to church on Sundays. Please pray that he is driven to check out Center Point, or any church and feels a desire to know God on a deeper level.
We met 3 new dancers tonight - the girl I talked to last month really wasn't kidding about most of the old girls quitting or being fired. I chatted with one of the new girls - "R" - for a while, and asked if there was anything I could pray for her about, but she said she was fine. She did dance in Lex for a while, so she had met the ladies from Bruised Reed (Southland) and really liked them. It helped make her more comfortable with us, I think, which is great. Mom was able to talk to a new bartender and get to know her a little bit. She is attending church, but had been having trouble with money and is a single mother. Almost all of them are. When we went to the dressing room to leave the rest of the gifts on the counter for anyone to came in to work later, we met another new girl, "L", who has only worked there for a month. This is her first experience dancing, and she hates it. We had a great conversation with her, and she asked us to let her know if we knew of any place that was hiring. She is also a single mother, needed some extra money, and couldn't find a job for a couple of months before she applied at the club. She gave me her phone number and I'll be calling her with some ideas. Please pray for her. It feels like there is a short window when someone first starts in this line of work when they hate it and can get out before it gets really difficult and they've been sucked into the life, or feel they can't do anything else. She also attends a church, and wanted to make sure we didn't tell anyone about her for fear that where she's working might get out. Please pray that she is able to get a different job and gets away from dancing quickly.
Thank you so much for your prayers. We know that this is not a battle against the people working here, or the customers coming in, but a battle against Satan and his hold on them all. Keep it up!