For the past three and a half years a team of women in central Arkansas have visited local strip clubs on a monthly basis. When others hear about what we do, the number one question that is asked is “why?”
And the answer is very simple.
The answer is Jesus.
Our method is simple. We walk into the clubs give the girls bags filled with nice gifts and cards that simply let them know that we are unconditionally loved.
We give hugs when we can. And simply show them love.
We are not there to bring a message of condemnation, hate, or shame. That’s not the God that we serve. We serve a God who seeks. We serve a God who loves His children so much that He goes to where they are and loves them exactly for who they are.
Church attendance is dwindling, and this generation is looking for answers. They are looking for something that is real and tangible. They are looking for Hope. We visit strip clubs to bring the message of Hope to the women working there, and let them know that Jesus loves them right there where they are and that He has a plan for their life.
The girls working at these clubs come from diverse backgrounds. Some are young girls and this is their first job. Some are single mothers trying to make ends meet. Some are there by choice, others are not. Every woman is different, and we recognize that they are individuals with their own story.
To the woman in the club
We want you to know that no matter who you are, where you have been, how old you are, what color your skin is, or what has happened in your past, you are loved and valued by God.
He has a plan for your life. And you are not here by accident.
He will never leave you or forsake you. There is nothing that you could ever do, or have ever done, that will make you less valuable in His eyes. There is Hope.
To the church
To the church, we know this may make you feel uncomfortable. Through this outreach we hope to not only reach these women with the message of God’s unconditional love, but also challenge you to step outside of the four walls, go into your place of work, into the streets, into the hospitals, the clubs, and seek God’s heart for people.
Jesus sought those who other’s cast away and stood up for those that the religious condemned. His heart is for the broken-hearted and their restoration. He sees them with new eyes. He wants to use you, in your own unique way, to become uncomfortable, step away from the things that you understand, and to trust Him to do the impossible through you.
There will be many more blogs and we will continue to dig deeper into what God has called us to do. We will share the triumphs and set backs to this journey that we are on. Whether you are a girl working in the sex industry, or someone who feels called to walk into the unknown and follow what God has called you to do, we want you to know that there is more for you than what you could ever dream or imagine. God knew you when you were in your mother’s womb and He has not left you or forgotten about you. You were designed with purpose and there is nothing, absolutely nothing that can make Him stop loving you. He sees you with new eyes every day.
Until next time,
Heather Parady & the New Eyes team
PS. I also want to take a minute and acknowledge two people who made this possible. My pastors Terry and Kim Nance (Impact Church) were the first people to validate what God spoke to me about this team. Almost 4 years ago, I very reluctantly met with them to share what I felt the Lord spoke to me to do. As a girl in her mid-twenties, I was completely scared out of my mind to approach my pastors about something so outside of the box. However, they not only gave their blessing, they have done nothing but support and encourage the journey that New Eyes has been on. I want to thank them and acknowledge them for encouraging the impossible and being consistent examples to me about what believing in and loving others truly means. They are the real deal, and a whole lot of it.