In Wichita KS we have had as many as 4 different ministries visiting area strip clubs, each connected to a different church and each visiting a different club. We call our ministry “4Women” because we started off as a group of 4, and we are “for” women. We have been doing monthly outreach to the Oasis* since Easter of 2014.
On a quarterly basis, we get together for what we call the “All City” meeting. We share what is going on in each of the clubs and each of our ministries. We share struggles and we share victories. We encourage one another and we pray for one another. Another ministry, Crowns, had been visiting Club Honey Bee* for a couple years, but several team members had moved out of state and they were no longer conducting outreaches. Over the years, the 4Women Ministry had grown to 6 women. So during the first All City Meeting of 2020, someone suggested that 4Women pray about covering Club Honey Bee.
So we prayed.
And we talked to our church leadership. One of our concerns was the financial aspect of taking on a second club. We were a self-funded ministry, meaning that if we spent $150 on outreach gifts, we’d split it by 6, and each pitch in $25 for that month. One of the lead pastors suggested that we formulate a budget, based on going to both clubs, and request that the church fund us for the following year. We put the budget together and prayed that if it was God’s will that we go to Club Honey Bee, then the church would fund it.
We prayed. And we waited. And we prayed. It was weeks before they got back to us.
They said yes!
In September, we visited Club Honey Bee to introduce ourselves and ask permission to return on a monthly basis. The bartender that we spoke to was so encouraged to see us and we got a wide open yes! She shared prayer requests and we even discussed her visiting our church.
So it was that on September 16th, 2020, we had our first outreach to our second club. We were excited. As it turned out however, the girls were in a training event when we arrived, so we simply dropped of the gifts with a brief hello. The next two months, we were able to spend a little more time there and we started to develop a few relationships. We had not yet met the owner however.
Have you experienced God “interrupting” what you had planned during a ministry opportunity? That is exactly what our team experienced on December 17th. Due to concern of COVID exposure, we had planned to drop off the gifts and not stay for any extended interactions. To our surprise, Stacy*, the owner of Club Honey Bee was at the club that evening. She very much wanted to visit with us regarding a heart-wrenching personal tragedy — the death of her adult son.
We were ushered into a very small back room where she poured her heart out to us. We heard her life story and ended up praying for her. She had started watching an online church service on Sundays, and she was regularly listening to Christian music videos her boyfriend was sending to her for encouragement. After that evening, Shawndra, one of our team members, started texting her scripture and encouraging words. Stacy started responding back and almost overnight, a friendship began to develop. Shawndra shared the gospel over text and suggested to Stacy that she commit her life to Christ. Unbeknownst to us, Stacy was seeing a grief counselor who was a Christian and who was planting similar seeds. The hound of heaven was in pursuit of this dear soul.
I will always remember January 21, 2021. I’m a little bit of a nerd about numbers and that date is a palindrome – it reads the same backwards and forwards: 1-21-21. Our January outreach was on that date and as we turned into the club’s parking lot, Shawndra noticed a car and somehow knew that it belonged to Stacy. Shawndra turned to the other two of us and said: “Stacy is here”. And she was. When we walked in, Stacy immediately came over to us and asked: “Which one of you is Shawndra?” She then ushered us into that same little storage space in the back.
And then she said “I’m ready”.
For the next half hour there was rejoicing in heaven as we prayed and cried and hugged in that little back room as Stacy surrendered her life to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We didn’t do a thing except show up in obedience. It was such a privilege to be a witness to Stacy’s salvation. Our new dear sister said yes to Jesus! And we can’t wait to see what God’s going to do in her life next.
*The names of the 2 clubs and the name of the club owner have been changed.
Featured article by Strip Church Network partner Laura Heagler