One of our dancing queens asked me, “Hey, can we have a retreat just for us?” The question arrested me. I knew it would take a team and due to our budget, I knew it would have to be cheap. I told the Lord I would do it if He provided a retreat setting for free. Wink wink. 2 hours later at a friend’s surprise birthday party, a woman handed me a folded up lime green napkin with her contact information reminding me that if I ever wanted to use her large home in the country for a retreat… she’d be game. W H A T.
Like so much of this Strip Club Ministry work… it can seem little nuts at first. And yet, so many of these unctions are Holy Spirit nudges. Mark Batterson says in his book Whisper, “When you take your cues from the Holy Spirit, you’ll do some things that will make people think you’re crazy. So be it. Obey the whisper and see what God does.” YES!
We began praying and dreaming. We asked team members to come alive in their giftings… we had ladies praying, we had people donating, we had someone operating in hospitality, we had crafty chicks on vision boards, we had event planners planning, wordy girls writing love notes, and artsy geniuses creating graphics. Every outreach we would bring invites and we tried to create a stir on social media. The girls were getting psyched. We started a messenger chat with the girls who seemed the most serious where we all encouraged each other.
The event: We had 2 sessions of worship & the Word (topics were ‘New Life’ and ‘Vision’) we had 2 sessions of hot-seat prayer, worship stations (forgiveness, surrender, and thanksgiving) We had an incredible lunch and a fancy dinner, we carved pumpkins and made vision boards. We laughed and we cried together. It was fabulous.
‘B’ forgave her father for atrocities committed in her childhood. ‘A’ forgave her husband and began to believe they could experience happiness. ’S’ decided it was time to live with intention, not just tumbleweed through life. ‘M’ needed prayer for strength and wisdom on how to be Mommy to a special needs little boy. ‘V’ was just so very grateful for the opportunity to be together… she also shared the fear of stepping out in a new job that highlighted the passion in her heart, would she fail? ’B’ also prayed for her sisters with the most incredible verbiage and word pictures. We celebrated sobriety. We cheered newfound freedom.
These beauties are growing in their relationship with God. We look forward to seeing them at our 99ONE Bible Study. Yes, it was a lot of work. Absolutely, it was worth it. I’m so grateful Jesus spent time with spicy people, that he loved on people in dicey places, that he called on shocking people to follow Him.
Listen to those whispers. You might seem a little crazy, but you might be obeying a whisper from God.
Written by Strip Church Network partner: Annie Bullard, the Director of 99ONE