Letting the Light Shine
“In full-panic mode, she waited in the dressing room to audition. She rocked back and forth with her head in her knees. I walked over, sat down next to her, and wrapped my arm around her. Then I whispered in her ear, ‘You don’t have to do this’. She immediately took her high heels off and started crying.”
The encounter Heidi Lutman, President of The Sunshine Girls, had with panicked women came because she was auditioning at the strip club in order to pay her rent. But instead, she encountered God. According to Lutman, “I was able to write her a check from the ministry to pay her rent. It’s amazing that God always supplies what we need to love on our ladies. We made sure she knew the money was from God and not us.”
Coming Out of the Shadows
The Sunshine Girls has served strip clubs in Georgia and South Carolina since 2011. A Christian ministry gaining access to a strip club is not always easy. However, Lutman explained that they have a former pimp and club manager who helped to get their foot in the door at the first club. “Jesus used his past to enable us to have easy access when we first started!” He now serves as a driver for the ministry, transporting the outreach teams to the clubs.
The motivation for doing this kind of ministry is to ensure the ladies know that someone sees them and cares about them, said Lutman. They do this with the help of 50 volunteer that prepare and take home-cooked meals to five clubs each week. They also take a monthly gift to a sixth club that does not allow them to take in food. Even when Covid hit, and all the clubs were forced to shut down, The Sunshine Girls continued to outreach by feeding the staff and entertainers in the parking lot on Thursday evenings.
“Everyone is worth rescuing from the ditch of being lost – no matter who they are, what they’ve done, or what they look like,” said Lutman. “Jesus sees us all like that – worthy of rescuing. It’s exactly why he went to the cross – to rescue us all.”