Monday, October 15, 2007

Stripped Away

Came across this interesting piece last week to share. Hehe don't worry, it's not that sort of 'interesting piece'. =p

Suggestive as it seems, JC's Girls is in fact a Christian ministry dedicated to spreading the word of God to strippers. Yes, strippers.

How did it start? Heather Veitch, herself a former Vegas exotic dancer and porn actress, left the industry and gave herself to Christ in 1999. Working thereafter as a hairdresser, she became a stay-at-home mother and vowed never to keep in touch with her sinful past.

Then one day, and old friend dropped by and shared about one of Heather's girlfriends, whom she used to work with in the strip club. The poor girl had died recently of alcoholism, with no friends or family. At the time of her death, she was dating a man 40 to 50 years older than herself. The only people she had were her fellow stripper girlfriends. At her funeral, they didn't know what to do and poured alcohol over her grave to remember her. Saddened greatly by such a loveless death, Heather's only thought was, "I could have told her about Jesus."

In an interview, Heather details how she once lived a similar lifestyle of sex, drugs, alcohol and emptiness. Making 1200 to 2000 dollars a night was the norm, at the price of constantly pushing away - in vain - hands of men eager to touch and degrade you. She would purposely perform drunk almost every night to dull such pain away.

"It broke my heart, that I know what it's like for that girl. And because I had turned my back on it, I forgot that all my friends are still there. They were still there, and I left. It was like there was a burning house, and I escaped. The house is still on fire, while my friends are still inside, and I'm not willing to go back inside and try to pull them out."

And how could she carry across this message with impact? Having worked in such joints in the past, Heather deduced that if someone came in, bought her time and only wanted to sit down with her and tell her about God's love, she would have been touched. Maybe she wouldn't have made a change there and then, but there was no way she would forget such an encounter with God.

A burning passion to minister to sexual sinners as Jesus did, she gathered a group of girls from church and made their way to a local strip club. Each of them would choose a girl to buy a private dance from. However, unlike any request the strippers had ever received, all these girls wanted to do was pray for them.

Says Lori Albee, another member of JC's Girls about her first experience approaching a stripper:

"I asked a girl for a dance, and she said yes. This girl was adorable - she looked like any girl on a college campus. We started walking back to the booth and she said, "I've never had a girl ask me to dance before." And I said, "I've never asked a girl to dance before."

We were laughing and building a rapport before we even got to the booth, and once we did, I told her, "I really don't want you to dance for me. We're just here because we love you girls and we want you to know that there's a God out there who loves you, too." And she said, "I cannot believe that girls like you would come to a place like this to tell us about God."

I said, "We just want you to know that if you want God in your life, he's there for you. There's nothing you've ever done that's so bad that he would not forgive you." Her eyes instantly started welling with tears, and she went, "Thank you so much. I keep feeling like I want to go into church, but I feel like I'm going to turn into a pillar of fire."

I told her, "Absolutely not. There is nobody in that church who is better than you are. God wants you as much as he wants anybody." I then asked her if I could pray for her, and she said, "Please, pray for me." Then she grabbed my hand, and I just prayed that she would remember this moment in time when God came to her right where she - and that God would protect her, because she's in a dangerous job. That was really it. It was very simple and short - the length of one song, about three minutes.

Amazingly, the girls have been pretty well-received for evangelists. They stirred up quite a buzz lately at a porn convention in Las Vegas, distributing gift-wrapped Bibles, teaser postcards and T-shirts to visitors. All items were snapped up in short time.

What makes JC's Girls such a success? Respect. Having gone through a similar experience, Heather understands the tremendous judgement women in the sex industry receive from Christians. Therefore, she makes it a point to respect their culture of glamour and physical beauty, earning their trust in return. She never expects them to leave their jobs before being allowed to step into church. Rather, they are encouraged to first develop a relationship with God and gradually let Him take charge of their lives. Most times, instead of ending up feeling morally policed, they experience love, forgiveness and salvation.

"If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he find it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way, your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost." Matthew 18:12-14

God bless you, JC's Girls!

1 comment:

Bea said...

nice sharing mok..thnx =)