Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

Back to the Club-Part 14 February 22, 2013

Today we hear part of Heather’s experience in the club, next week we will finish it off.

candle-1350399555gnnOn February 4th, I made my way to Connection Church in Canton, MI.  There, I met Laura and Margie, another lady on the outreach team for My Sister Song.  I learned a lot about what we do on the outreach and so much more! 

My Sister Song is much more than a strip club outreach, they have so many resources for women in the sex industry who are seeking help.  Going into the clubs is a vital part of our ministry but the follow-up is just as important.  If you’d like to know more about it, please visit the website: MySisterSong.com. 

The morning of February 9th, a wonderful lady from elem3nt Church planned a prayer service for me.  My friends, my sister, the elders of our church and Pastor Gayle all prayed over me and let me know they were sending me out on this Godly mission but I am not alone, they are behind me all the way! 

What an awesome feeling to be supported and loved through this!!  I am so unbelievably blessed!!

That night I met up with Laura and Margie and we loaded up Margie’s van with gift bags and ear warmers and scarfs for the girls working at the strip clubs. We prayed and headed out to the clubs. 

I was so excited and nervous! I knew this is what I was called to do but I had no idea how I would feel going back into the darkness of the strip clubs. 

When we pulled up to the first club of the night, we were greeted by the valet. We gave them some homemade cookies and made sure they knew who we were. We got out of the van and walked into the club.

The smell of cigarette smoke and men and women’s cologne was overwhelming to me. The darkness of the club brought back so many memories, so many emotions

Honestly, I wanted to cry right then and there but I knew I couldn’t, I had work to do, God’s work!

I followed Laura and Margie through the club. We gave cookies to the bouncers and managers. Any girl who wasn’t actually dancing while we were walking through the club, we gave a gift bag to. 

We made it to the dressing room where the house mom was and there were more girls there getting ready to work. We handed the girls gift bags. 

They were so appreciative of the gifts. We talked to the house mom, she’s pretty much in charge of the girls while they’re in the dressing room, she knows how many are working and would make sure each girl got a gift if we weren’t able to give it to them ourselves. 

Some of the girls thought we were selling the ear warmers, it was so awesome to watch their faces light up when they realized they were gifts for them. Laura made sure the girls knew what we were doing there and she told them even if they just wanted to talk to someone who understands what they’re going through, they could call us. 

While all this was going on, I smiled and watched and learned from Laura and Margie. 

Seeing those girls, I was seeing my old self.  I could tell some were high, some weren’t. I could see the pain in their eyes behind all the make-up.  My heart was breaking for them but I knew I was being the hands and feet of Jesus and His presence was among us and among them.

When we walked out of the first club, it took everything I had not to cry, I wasn’t about to mess up this Godly mission. 

I breathed in the night air. I was glad to be out of the smoke-filled club but was sad that I had to leave those girls in there.  I wished I could take them all away from the club and show them there’s so much more than that but it’s not that easy. 

I know all too well, a girl has to want to leave, it has to be on her terms, then she’ll find her way out. That’s where we come in, we’re there when they’re ready.

Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us,to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace. Luke 1:78-80 NLT

I believe this is what we are called to do once we leave our dark places, our sin. Go back and shine the Light so others will find their way out. How are you shining God’s light today so others can find their way to Him?

LivingWell

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Being Brave-Part 13 February 15, 2013

I said this would be Heather’s last week, but who knew my sister could be long-winded? She has a few more weeks of story to share before she is done, which is just fine. It’s amazing to hear and read.

So here’s more of Heather’s Genesis 502o, the updated, happening-right-now part 🙂

I went back into a strip club last weekend.  Actually, I went into several strip clubs. 

Before I tell you about the awesome mission God has put me on, let me tell you how it all got started.

On December 9, 2012, the message in church that week was a video of me reading my Genesis 5020.  That was a very special day for me.  That was the day I officially became free. 

My story was out there, everyone at church knew all the shame I had been hiding under.  I did one of the things I feared most, I put myself out there for all to see, hear and judge.  But something amazing happened that day, instead of being judged, I was loved.  I never received so many hugs in one day my entire life! 

I was finally free from my shame and could talk openly about my past.

As you all know, at the end of my Genesis 5020, I talk about a couple ministries, one of them being My Sister Song, a strip club outreach.  Well, after giving my testimony at church, saying how I would love to help women in the sex industry, I felt like that left me sort of accountable, like I had better actually get involved and do something in some ministry.  But I just wasn’t sure which ministry and what type of involvement that would be.  So I left it alone for a little while and prayed about it.

On January 13, 2013, I went to church just like I do every Sunday.  I thought the only thing special about the day was that it happened to be my birthday, which seems to get less special every year because I’m only getting older. 

But as I sat in church that Sunday, God stirred something inside me.

Pastor Gayle spoke about Joshua and how he led the Israelites to Jericho.  How they marched around the city and blew their horns and the walls of the city came crashing down.  (I am not doing the sermon justice, if you’d like to hear it for yourself click here.

 But then he asked us what was our Jericho?  What walls in our life did we need to knock down?  Are we going to be like the ten men who went into the promised land and came out saying there’s no way we can take over that city or are we going to be like Joshua and Caleb, who came out saying, this is what God wants us to do, so let’s do it!  Pastor Gayle challenged us to be strong and courageous, just as Joshua had been.

God was working on my heart, especially that day.  I decided I was going to be like Joshua, strong and courageous. 

So, that evening I went to My Sister Song’s website.  I had checked it out before, I knew what the ministry was all about. 

Ihere’s a place on the website where you can send them an email.  So that’s what I did.  I sent an email saying that I am a former stripper/prostitute and I would like to be involved in their ministry in some capacity.

Later on that same night, I received an email from Laura Urenda, the founder of My Sister Song.  She had a few questions for me and wanted to know more of my story.  So I emailed her back, answering her questions and gave her what I called the short version of my story.

The next day, she emailed me back asking for my address so she could send me a care package that she sends to girls who are or have worked in the industry who contact My Sister Song.  I received the package the next day. 

gift-331280343755JVC1It was filled with lotions, body spray, earrings, information about Connection Church, which is the church their ministry is based out of.  It also contained a book by Harmony Dust who is the founder of Treasures, a strip club ministry in California (My Sister Song and  other ministries like it have been trained by Treasures staff), the book is called Scars and Stilettos. 

It also had a little book titled, Jesus Loves Strippers.  Laura also included candy and crayons and a coloring book for my little girl.  The care package was an expression of Jesus’ love, I totally understand why they send them out!

There was also a cd in the package.  It was Laura speaking at Celebrate Recovery.  She told her story of how she worked in the sex industry and how she got out but she also talked about the various reasons girls find themselves working in the industry. 

She gave a lot of statistics as well.  It was very moving.  I emailed her back after listening to the cd and told her that I was a little jealous of her being able to speak like that.  That’s something I just don’t think I’m very good at but would love to have the courage to do someday. (Whoa, did I just say that?)

So then she said if I felt like I was ready to go back into the strip clubs, she knew a great way I could get involved in her ministry.  And if I wasn’t ready to go into the clubs, there were several other ways I could be involved.

When I read that, I jumped up and down for joy!  

I’m ready, so ready to reach out to these women and let them know they have a Heavenly Father who loves them dearly, and not only that, even though that’s all any of us need, I love them and understand what they’re going through.  

This is what I am called to do!  I felt it all throughout my body. 

I emailed her back and said sign me up, what do I need to do?!  She set up a training class for me on February 4th.

It’s your turn to be brave.

Heather does have a few more weeks but I need someone who is willing to share their story after her. Will it be you? Have you been trying to talk yourself out of every time I ask but it keeps coming up, “Maybe I could share.”

If it keeps coming up  then you are supposed to share. Someone needs your story and it’s not really yours anyway, as Heather said last week, it’s God’s story, you’re just living it. Email your story to: 5020genesisstories (at) gmail (dot)com

 

Bought with a Price-Part 2 November 30, 2012

Filed under: Heather's Genesis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:58 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Today we continue with Heather’s Genesis 5020. If you missed last week’s you can find it here.

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,  for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV

I slowed down on going out to the clubs for a little while until I found another friend to hang out with. 

When I was 26 years old, my boyfriend at the time suggested I try dancing to make some extra money as I was struggling to pay my bills.  I dismissed it at first but then considered it after a man I met at a night club suggested the same thing.  So I looked into it. 

I obtained my business license and sheriff’s card and found a job working as a dancer at a well-known strip club.

My first weekend working at the club, I made more money than I made working 2 weeks at my day job.  I thought it was fun. 

I was able to drink, dance and make money at the same time.  I was getting all kinds of attention from men that made me feel so powerful.

A few months after I started dancing, I quit my day job and just danced full-time.  The money was great at first

I was able to buy my daughter all the things she wanted and I was home more during the day so I could be more involved in her school activities.  At least, that’s how I justified what I was doing.

It didn’t take long for drugs to be introduced to me. 

I thought it was harmless. I would only do them before going to work to give me that extra boost of courage to do what I had to do to make money, because drinking just wasn’t enough

Soon I needed the drugs to get through the day, any day, working or not. 

Drugs are expensive and sometimes there weren’t a lot of men at the club so I had to take things a step further in order to maintain my lifestyle. 

I became a prostitute

For me, it was easier to sell myself than to sell a lap dance. 

I could usually make more money in less time that way, too.  It was fun and easy at first, since I had always been promiscuous anyway, now I was getting paid to do something I used to do for free and generally enjoyed.

The summer after I turned 27, I visited my family in Michigan.  It was a short visit. 

My dad and I had a huge fight over things that had happened in my childhood.  He refused to see my perspective and I his. 

I took my daughter and left my parents’ house in anger.  I didn’t speak to them again for 2 ½ years.  My daughter didn’t understand why she couldn’t see her grandparents anymore but I didn’t care, they had wronged me and I didn’t want anything to do with them. 

I didn’t realize it then, but see it so clearly now, the enemy had a grip on me and was hard at work helping me destroy my life.  He loved every minute of it while it grieved God tremendously.

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30 NIV

Although Heather wasn’t speaking to any of us and I did not know the extent of her darkness, I was on my knees daily. My prayer was that God would bring her back to us, no matter what. I asked Him to do whatever it took to bring her to us.

I say this to encourage those of you who are on your knees praying for lost loved ones, our God’s love never fails, never gives up. Keep praying.

If you have someone you would like prayer for leave a comment and I promise you, I will lift up your loved one.