Annie: “Hello, Hookers For Jesus, how can I help you?”
Annie: Hello? Hello is anybody there?
Girl’s voice: Ummmm….Hi. This is Lisa. Is this Annie, the girl that gave me a gift bag a few months ago?”
Annie: Yes, it is. Hello Lisa, so nice to hear from you! How are you?
Lisa: That’s why I’m calling you…I’m not doing too good.
Annie: Awww I am so sorry to hear that, what can I do for you? Do you want to talk about it? Would you like to possibly meet for coffee?
I remember this well, the first day that I actually got contacted by a girl from one of our outreaches. I was so excited! I felt overjoyed! Because I knew that no matter what anyone said about our outreach, it worked. Sigh. We were doing something right!
After the initial phone call and coffee, I then invited her to our weekly bible study group. She really enjoyed it and loved meeting other ladies on the same journey as her. We then invited her to church.
Lisa soon became a regular attendee and told us that she wanted to quit the lifestyle she was in, but didn’t know how. Could we possibly show her the way? (why yes, we can of course!)
A few weeks of her spending time with us: eating, going on outings, coming to church with us, phone conversations, text and personal prayers she needed in her situation–that Sunday we were all sitting in a church service. Soft music playing in the background, lights low and the pastors voice serious and tender. We all closed our eyes as we listened to the prayer that all pastors offer at the end of every sermon. And when I opened up my eyes, to the right of me, there was beautiful Lisa standing with tears streaming down her cheeks, smiling as she walked to the alter to receive Jesus Christ as her Savior. And it was her own free choice.
Oh the joy and elation of witnessing a humbled, broken and tearful woman coming to Jesus!
There is one thing that I must say that we never did and that we continually shy away from: We never force ladies to believe in God, or choose Jesus.
Instead, after initial contact, we form a relationship with each girl—with no strings attached. There is something really important to be said when you love others unconditionally!
With our ministry, we try to best follow Jesus’s example of relationship with people. Jesus liked to eat and hang out with girls like us. So, much of what we do with the ladies is based around eating. (haha this could get addicting!) Taking someone to lunch or dinner is such an awesome way to show you love and care for them with your personal time—time speaks volumes.
Later, Matthew invited Jesus and His disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. Matthew 9:10
Jesus spent TIME with others. Hanging out. Teaching them. Eating with them. Praying with them. And let’s not forget the many times He fed the multitudes on the mountain with fish and bread, and shared about the Kingdom Of God.
The best thing I can share from successes in our ministry is that we are a community of women that all genuinely love each other and spend time with each other. When the girls get around us and experience this love—they are compelled to be apart of it—they want what we have! And because Jesus freely gave to us, so we freely give to the women we serve.
For each woman, we are an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on, and a loving hug when things get really tough–as she navigates her life IN or OUT of the sex industry.
Jesus said: “The thief comes only to kill, steal and destroy, but I came that you may have life, and live it to the full, until it overflows.” John 10:10
Jesus came here to give life to those who are dead. To give hope to those who feel hopeless. To help those who are helpless. To show love to those who feel unloved. This should be the main focus of our ministries—to give life—to give love—not to get “converts”. Trust me, the girls will know it if you are manipulating them by making them feel “forced” to make a decision towards Christ. A decision that is forced–is not truly from the heart, it is a decision of compliance, not free will. This breeds disaster in the long run and paints Jesus in a bad light, because God is not a manipulator or a puppet master!
Having the right to “choose” Jesus on her own creates a lasting relationship between her and the Savior—and puts you in a role of servant, not savior.
“But Annie, what about numbers? We need to show others that we are doing something with our ministry by having ladies coming around us from the sex industry!”
Listen ladies, if your focus is truly the unconditional love of Jesus, you don’t need to worry about your numbers growing. If you are focused on the true heart of Jesus—they will come. Your job is to stay loyal to why you were called to this in the first place—for the love of Jesus. Stay loyal to your vision. Stay faithful to the call. God will move—trust Him!
So when someone asks me: “How many girls have you saved?” I simply tell them: “ZERO. Jesus saved them, not me!” (and that keeps them quieter than a church mouse).
God bless you ladies! Keep your heads up! Keep fishing! And most importantly, keep on loving! There are great days ahead for all of you and God is on the move!
Hookers For Jesus