My heart has been so full in recent weeks! Our Stripped Free team has been privileged to get to meet some amazing new women and to begin to develop friendships with them. Starting new relationships can be hard. You don’t know them and they don’t know you. It takes a while to develop trust and trust must be earned. We’re in the middle of that stage right now with many of our new friends. We don’t blame each other for not trusting fully at first. We’ve all been hurt and had our hearts broken by people that were supposed to love us and the sting of that lasts a while. It takes time to get over betrayal, even if the person who betrayed you is no longer in your life. So we’re patient with each other. We take it a step at a time and that’s good. I love these new relationships. They’re rich and they’re honest while at the same time heartbreaking and frustrating. They challenge me and that’s good too.
The other reason my heart is full is because of the generosity of so many in this wonderful city. One of the things I’ve been learning through this ministry is that almost every woman who works in this industry has kids. Many of them work where they do BECAUSE of their kids. They are doing the best they know how to provide for the ones they love most. For many, they see no other option if they want to feed their families. We wanted to help them provide, so we did two back to school drives for the dancers and their kids in the three clubs we go into. We were overwhelmed at the outpouring of love from people from our churches, Mount Pleasant Christian Church in Greenwood and Heartland Church on the north side of Indianapolis. And then there were the other organizations that decided to lend a helping hand with supplies: Good Samaritan Network in Fishers, Teachers’ Treasures in Indianapolis and the Officer David Moore Food Pantry. Overall we gave away 137 backpacks full of school supplies and more food than I could keep track of. WOW!!! And most importantly, we were able to let these women and their kids know, once again, that someone cares about them and that they are loved by God and us. The joy on the faces of the kids as they picked out their backpacks is something I will never forget. I think Jesus was standing right there with us smiling over each and every one of those precious children. His light was shining brightly that day! Thank you to everyone who was involved and gave so much of their time and resources. Being His hands and feet is a lot of work, but boy is it worth it!
We are already experiencing new doors that have been opened with some of the dancers because of these events. Please keep praying for us. That we will continue to earn the trust of these new friends and that their hearts will be open to us and most importantly to Jesus, the great Lover of their souls. We couldn’t do this without each of you. Thank you for reading and thank you for your prayers!! Jesus Frees!!