Saturday, December 19, 2009

Last night (12/15/09)

Last night we went to the strip clubs and took Christmas stockings containing Christmas socks, a Christmas note from the team, candy canes and chocolate candy to the girls. Thank you to The Crossing for providing the gift stockings and contents this month!

Here are highlights from last night:
  • Staci prayed with Shelley who has 4 kids. Staci previously met Shelley the first night Staci came with the team. It was also Shelley's first night at the club, too.
  • Kiki is new. The club was raided the week before, and she got out of jail on Friday. It was her first offense. She's hoping to get her record expunged.
  • Sunnie's baby daddy is facing a possible jail term. She asked prayer for him.
  • Marissa wants out. She wants to go to cosmetology school and eventually own a hair salon.
  • Diamond's dad is having spinal surgery. He's a vet.
  • Shawn asked for general prayer.
  • Percy and his wife are back together.
  • Kim is waiting to hear back from a job interview.
  • Two girls, who were dancing in a cage, stopped dancing & reached out for a bag. Both stood in the cage and looked through the contents of the Christmas stockings and read the note inside.
  • Norma got to see Stacy (whom she met in Oct.). We prayed for her son. She said he is doing fine.
  • Girl dancing on main stage reached out for a bag and thanked the ladies for bringing her a gift. She never missed a beat.
  • Kim (a different Kim) wants to go to dental school next fall.
  • Lila is in collision school (auto body repair) and asked for prayer to get through school and get a job.
  • Nicole asked why we do this. Vicky told her because we love her. Vicky also let her know we're no different than she is.
Two things I'm excited about (Go, God!):
  • Misty (waitress) quit and is staying at home with her daughter. I met her the night she interviewed for the job.
  • A manager got off crack. He was addicted for 18 months. He's been clean and sober for 2 months.
On a sad note:
I've been wondering where a certain manager is. His club burned down, and I've been unable to find out if he bought another one. (He's the Muslim club owner who gave us money in the past because he believed in what we're doing.) I found out his 20-year daughter died recently of an overdose. They told me which club he bought, and I'm trying to get in contact with him to see if he needs anything. I was told he's not doing well. Please keep him and his family in prayer.

Thank you for your continued support and prayers!

Drenda and the PTD team

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving C U @ the Pole Dinner

Thanksgiving evening we took Thanksgiving dinner (turkey, ham, dressing, cranberry sauce, gravy, various sides, desserts, bread & tea) to 5 strip clubs. Earlier in the day we took plates of food to several modeling studios, massage parlors, and hourly motels. Thank you, Barbara and BacktoBasics Ministries for those plates. I feel like we made some in-roads in to a couple of clubs. Time will tell.

Only one club had a lot of girls. The other clubs were getting a later start so we didn't see too many girls. Ineke talked to a dancer who works at a law firm during the day. She has 2 pre-teen children and dances at night to make ends meet. She says the evening job is temporary.

James said he and another manager are tired of working in this industry and want to get out.

Another girl told Amanda she knows what she is doing is wrong, but she chooses to do it anyway. She doesn't want to be like her mother whom the girl called "a hypocritical christian."

A waitress talked to Staci for a long time. She has a child with a serious illness and is working in the club for quick cash. Staci prayed with her about her situation.

The owner of a club told Staci we are welcome in his club anytime & all drinks (alcohol & non-alcohol) are on him. He thanked us for what we do and said the girls need all the help we can give them. He asked if he could give us a donation or help us in any way.

Our t-shirts were a big hit. Several managers and patrons asked for one. They are black & have our JesusLovesDancers logo on the front in silver metallic print and "C u @ the Pole" on the back. I've attached our logo in case you haven't seen it. I'll also be posting pics of the t-shirt at a later date in case you'd like to order one.

I want to thank the PTD team for cooking, bringing food & spending time away from their family on this holiday night. Thanks to Spring First for providing the meat and utensils. You guys are incredible! We appreciate the guy who cut up the turkeys for us. Vicky, you & your Bible study groups are awesome! Thanks for providing so many dishes. Mom, thanks for buying all the stuff & cooking the turkeys at the last moment. We also thank the spouses who showed up and pitched in wherever needed -- including washing dishes & slicing turkeys in the strip club kitchen.

It was a fun night. We are looking forward to next year!

Drenda & the PTD team

Friday, November 20, 2009

Last night (11/17/09)

Last night we went to the strip clubs and took gift bags to the dancers. Each bag contained lip gloss, really cool scripture cards made by 3 Sisters (thank you Vicky & sisters!), invitations to church, a New Testament (thanks Barbara!) and chocolate candy.

It was Porshe’s first night to dance at the Castle though she has worked at other clubs before. She just moved here from New Orleans and said she just wanted prayer for herself “in general” and couldn’t think of specific needs. She seemed very nervous & uncomfortable.

We were able to collect diapers and gave them to one of the girls. We're still collecting clothes and toys for her kids for Christmas.

On Thanksgiving Day we will be serving Thanksgiving dinner in 5 clubs and several modeling studios and massage parlors. We are looking forward to spending time with the girls, management and patrons. We appreciate Spring First, The Crossing, women's bible study groups at The Woodlands United Methodist Church and PTD team members for providing the food and utensils to make this possible!

One manager told me he appreciates everything we do for the girls, and we are welcome in his club any time he is there. Go, God!

Drenda and the PTD team

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Last night (11/3/09)

Last night we went to the strip clubs and took cupcakes to the girls. We had a lot of good conversations and prayed with several girls. One of the bartenders said it was slow earlier in the day, and she was wishing we would come in and talk to her. She wants us to come during the day, if possible. We'll see about making that happen.

We got to see James. He's looking good even though he was just released from the hospital after being treated for pneumonia. James said he's been praying -- something he doesn't normally do.

The club where James works gave us permission to bring Thanksgiving dinner to them on Thanksgiving evening. We're waiting on permission from another club to bring Thanksgiving dinner to them. I can't wait to spend Thanksgiving with the girls and the others who work in the clubs.

Drenda and the PTD team

Friday, October 30, 2009

Last night (10/27/09)

Last night we went to the strip clubs and modeling studios and took gift bags to the girls. The Crossing church in The Woodlands donated all of the items including the blue trick or treat pumpkins we used as bags. Each bag contained an ankle bracelet, encouraging scripture, invitation to church and chocolate candy.

We had a lot of time in almost every club to visit with the girls. One girl has been dancing for 8 years, has saved up a lot of money and says she doesn't know why she is still there. She said she doesn't know what else to do. Staci encouraged her to use her gifts and talents in a different industry.

One girl moved here from Ft. Worth to get away from her drug addict husband. She has 4 kids and is waitressing to support them.

Misty got an office job in another state and will be moving soon.

We will be taking Thanksgiving dinner to the girls on Thanksgiving day. Usually the clubs provide some type of meal, but we want to do that for them this year.

With colder weather approaching, we asked the girls if any of their kids need coats. Several stated they did. We will be collecting new and gently used coats for them.

We look forward to spending time with the girls on Thanksgiving. Several cried when we told them we want to spend Thanksgiving with them.

If you would like to donate food, clothes or money, please contact me at Piercing the Darkness is a non-profit 501(c)(3) ministry. Any contributions are considered charitable donations (tax deductions) by the IRS.

Thank you for your prayers and support.

Piercing the Darkness,

Drenda and the PTD Team

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Last night (9/8/09)

Last night we went to the strip clubs and took gift bags to the dancers. We had a lot of interesting conversations and several requests to pray for their children. Below are a few highlights:
  • Jada's sister overdosed and died 16 days ago. Her mom died one year ago and that's when another sister started cutting herself. She was interested in the Day of Decision flyers we had in the bags.
  • A lawyer handed us his card and said if any of the girls needed legal help to give him a call. He didn't appear to be talking with any girls.
  • The door girl called our recruiter friend who helped her with her resume.
  • Monica's 3 month-old baby has several health problems including asthma and bronchitis.
  • Ann Marie's house was burglarized several days in a row. She moved her 4 kids out for their safety but still has to pay the electric bill, etc. She wants to move back home.
  • Ava has 3 kids (ages 2, 3, and 6 years) and says she's working on getting visas for them.
  • Mr. Friendly no longer works at the club. We've had full access again the past 2 months since he's been gone.
  • Melanie has been dancing for one week and says it isn't going well. She has 13 hours left to receive her Medical Assistant certification.
  • Rosie, Melanie, Melanie's mother, and 2 guys are living together and things aren't going well. Rosie goes to Lakewood on Wednesday nights.
  • One girl says she is working on her associate degree. She said she knows working there isn't the right thing and wants to get out when she can.
  • Sandy's 3 month-old baby was taken 3 weeks ago by the baby's father who told Sandy she had to pay thousands of dollar to get the baby back. Sandy started dancing to get the money.
  • Nyla has a court date because she broke probation.
  • A door girl's best friend (who is a dancer) has advanced stage cervical cancer.
  • Sheri is going to school to become a crime scene investigator.
  • Jess said she had heard of the church ladies and was happy to finally meet us. When asked if we could pray for her, she replied, "You can pray for the other girls. They really need it. Things aren't so good for them. I have someone to take care of me."
  • Lindsey is a believer and asked for prayer for guidance and faith.
  • Casey's baby's daddy (Xavier) has a baby with another baby momma and there is a lot of conflict.
  • Ali told his wife about the church ladies. They both think what we do is a "beautiful thing".
One girl, Abbey (name changed), quit dancing 3 weeks ago. She's taking classes at a community job and is looking for part-time work. She's been to church several times. She's asked us to contact a friend of hers who wants to get out and is 4 months pregnant. We will be following up with her friend.

When you think about it, please say a prayer for the children mentioned and for the girls. Please pray for doors to open for Abbey.

Thanks for your prayers and support! God is FAITHFUL!

Piercing the Darkness,

Drenda and the PTD team

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Last night (8/11/09)

Last night we went to the strip clubs and took gift bags to the dancers. Each bag contained a manicure set (or lip gloss or body lotion -- I couldn't find 131 identical items), encouraging scripture, reading material, invitation to church and chocolate candy.

Here are a few highlights:

  • The cashier who is going to cosmetology school finishes in 3 weeks. We are praying for doors to open for her.
  • Amber asked who we are & why we were there. We told her we are from a church and wanted her to know Jesus loves dancers too. She said this morning she prayed and asked God to be with her even though her job is not the best of jobs. We prayed together and prayed for forgiveness, safety and prosperity and that God will always be with us, no matter where we are. Amber and the two other girls said they just really felt His presence and His energy. It was an amazing experience.
  • Keisha asked us to pray for her family. She has a daughter, Brooklyn, who is 15 months old.
  • Jasmine is pregnant and wants prayer for a good delivery and a healthy baby.
  • Kristal asked if we would pray for her in general.
  • Tashia asked us to pray for financial help.
  • Annarisha asked if we could pray she would have peace.

We also went to a new modeling studio where Roxie is working and got to spend time talking with her. She's caught up on her bills and thanked us for our prayers. She said, "Your prayers worked!" We are planning to have dinner with her and her family this Sunday.

We went to a new club last night. It is 2-3 times bigger than the clubs we usually go to, and there were at least 30-50 girls in the club. It was crazy. The cashier and manager graciously welcomed us in and showed us where the dressing room was. In the dressing room, there were people everywhere. I've never seen a dressing room so busy. I walked over to a group huddled at a table filling out applications. A lady turned around, and it was the house mom we know from another club. She hugged me and was happy to see us again. While we were talking a girl walked up who did not look happy. I stepped out of the way.

The girl told the house mom something about how dare those ladies come in here telling us that Jesus loves us.

House mom: huh?

Girl: They shouldn't be coming in here telling us Jesus loves us and forgives us.

HM: What's the problem with that?

Girl: They shouldn't do that.

HM: why not?

When the girl realized she wasn't getting anywhere with the house mom (who is a Christian), she apparently went to a manager and complained because an older man walked up to us and said, "No soliciting."

"We're not soliciting."

"I said we don't allow soliciting here."

"We're not soliciting. We're giving the girls a free gift."

"What's in the bag?"

"Lip gloss or lotion."

"What else?"

"Reading material, an invitation to church and chocolate candy. Is there a problem?"

"Yes, you offended one of the girls."

"We apologize for that. We didn't intend to offend."

"I want to see that piece of paper that says Jesus and sins and stuff."

Amanda says "yessir".

"Don't call me sir!"

Amanda begins handing him items from the bag. He reads each one and finally loudly protests, "None of these say 'Jesus forgives your sins.'" Pretty much everyone in the room heard him. Kinda funny. I explained we didn't have enough to go around so some bags might be different from others. In the background the house mom is trying to tell him she's known us for years and that we've never caused any problems. He ignores her and asks how we got in.

"The cashier and manager let us in."

"We don't have a cashier." Huh? EVERY club has a cashier.

"Yes, there was a cashier. She has dark hair. She got permission from the manager sitting in the front area to let us in."

"There is no other manager or man in the front." Okay...

About that time a girl came running in acting crazy & everyone started laughing. The manager was not amused and was trying to get control of the situation. He asked us to leave. We again apologized if we offended anyone and left. As I was leaving, the house mom waved me over. She handed me her name and phone number and told me to call her.

It was a strange and crazy experience. We purposefully went to this club because a father contacted me to let me know his daughter was dancing there, and another man called to let me know his sister-in-law is a dancer there. We didn't find either girl there last night, but the house mom is there. She can reach out to these girls. Isn't it cool how God strategically places people in dark places?

We appreciate your prayers and support! God is so cool.

Piercing the Darkness,

Drenda and the PTD Team

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Last night (7/7/09)

Last night we went to the strip clubs and took gift bags to the ladies. Each bag contained a gift (facial cleansing cloths or makeup remover cloths -- hey, it was a practical gift this time), an invitation to church, encouraging scripture, and chocolate candy. It was an interesting night...
  • Jennifer is 27 and has been dancing 10 years. She has 3 kids with the youngest being 7 months old. She wants out but feels trapped. Jennifer married young and later her husband died causing her to feel more trapped. She wants to go to nursing school and teared up as she explained why she wanted to be a nurse. Jennifer has a lot of compassion that would be useful in nursing homes -- where she wants to work.
  • We met a woman who is 47 years old who has been dancing for 22 years. She still dances but not on the main stage.
  • Jessica wants to find a better life for her and her daughter. She became teary as she talked. Her boyfriend/husband is in Afghanistan and is expected back soon.
  • Jessica, a cashier, wants out of the industry.
  • Rosa asked for prayer.
  • Misty, a waitress, has a job interview in 2 days for a secretarial position. If she gets the job, she won't have to work nights, will have benefits for her and her daughter, and will be able to get her own place to live.
  • Mr. Friendly was off. The manager on duty talked for a long time to my mom and told her how much he appreciates what we're doing. He said the girls have horrible backgrounds and that's why they do what they do. The manager said the girls look forward to us coming in.
  • Several girls mentioned Joel Osteen again and how much they like his preaching and how he makes it where they can understand. One lady showed us his new book which is translated in to Korean so she's able to fully understand. Joel, like I've said before, you have a following in the strip clubs and modeling studios in Houston.
  • We prayed for two ladies in a modeling studio who want "a better life". They kept talking about Joel Osteen. I told them if they want to go to Lakewood, to call me. We will pick them up and go with them. Their eyes lit up. Maybe they will call.
  • Lisa asked for prayer for her son, Colby, who is 18. He is having a pulmonary valve replacement on 7/22. She said she works as a hospice nurse during the week.
  • L'amor will finish cosmetology school at the end of this year.
  • Precious completed beauty school but needs to get recertified.
  • Millie was recently accepted in to beauty school. All 3 girls want out of this business.
  • LaRhonda has been working for 5 months and wants out.
  • Alexander, the son of one of the girls, is getting ear tubes put in soon. The mother is concerned because he will be under anesthesia. Kellie's son had the same procedure so she was able to talk with the girl about her fears, etc. There are also issues with Alexander's father over payment for the medical procedure.
  • An owner told me how much he appreciates what we're doing.

We had a lot of conversations last night.

When you think about it, please say a prayer for these girls. Misty has been on my heart and mind since I met her a few months ago. I'm thrilled she's trying to get out and told her if this job opportunity doesn't work out, to call me because I know a recruiter who will help her.

Thanks for your prayers, support and encouragement. We're a team and couldn't do this without you.

Piercing the Darkness,

Drenda and the PTD team

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Last night (6/16)

Last night we went to the strip clubs and took gift bags to the girls and guys. Each gift bag contained a car washing accessory (sponge, mitt, or microfiber towels), reading material, encouraging scripture, invitation to church, number to call for prayer, and chocolate candy. Below are highlights:
  • Iesha had money stolen out of her locker and wanted prayer -- not for her lost money but for general purposes
  • Sonya was new and has a daughter whose name is Nevaeh ("Heaven" spelled backwards).  Sonya and her boyfriend are students at North Harris Community College.  They attend Lakewood.
  • Shay wants a job doing anything but what she's doing now.
  • Brandy asked Tammy why we do this.  Tammy's response?  Because we know you probably won't come to us (church) so we come to you to let you know we love you and God loves you. The girl started bawling.
  • It was Lena's third day to dance.
  • One girl was dancing in the cage, and Linda placed a bag on the edge of the stage for her. Tammy later saw her sitting inside the cage going through the bag and reading the scripture.
One girl sarcastically said, "Isn't it nice the church ladies come in here?  They want us to know we're sinning."  Another girl responded, "You know they don't do that."  
"I already feel convicted enough.  I don't need them in here reminding me."

I prayed throughout the month Mr. Friendly's schedule would change so we could go back in "his" club.  As we were praying prior to going out, I felt he would be there and that maybe we were to cross paths just as much for him as for the girls.   When we pulled in to the parking lot, he was standing outside talking to the valet.   We approached him, he greeted us and said we could go in but not beyond the cashier.  He called the girls to the front.  After leaving bags with the cashier, we went outside.  Mr. Friendly repeatedly apologized for not allowing us in.  He blamed the owner.  Then we began a lengthy conversation about politics, the industry, his family and more.  It was surreal.  He was articulate and entertaining.  Mr. Friendly, like other managers and owners, says he's there to help the girls, "but if they're still dancing after 5 years, he won't give them the time of day."  He says they should use the money they're making to go to school and better themselves.

On a different note, we were blessed with a special offering this month.  A friend had her 50th birthday and asked the party attenders to make a donation to Piercing the Darkness Ministries instead of buying her a gift.  She gave me an envelope filled with cash.  I was humbled.  I know God will reward her.

As always, I'm grateful for your prayers and giving.  I don't know why God chose any of us to do this.  I feel like the goofiest, most shy, unqualified team member.  Why me?  why us?  No clue. In spite of my shortcomings, I'm honored to be a part of His search and rescue team.

Piercing the Darkness,

Drenda and the PTD team

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Last night (5/19)

Last night we took the Greater Harvest group from Pasadena to the strip clubs and gave gift bags to the girls. Greater Harvest will start their ministry on the south side of town next month. Please keep them in your prayers.
Here are highlights from last night:
  • The first club I started in 9 years ago has a new manager who decided he didn't want us to come in. We chatted, cajoled and finally convinced him to at least let us leave bags at the cashier's desk. He later apologized to me for not allowing us our usual full access. It was obvious from the faces and body language of all of the workers that this new manager is not well-liked. In fact, one dancer arrived for work, asked which manager was on duty, heard it was Mr. Friendly and got back in her car and left.
  • Sandra was sitting outside Mr. Friendly's club and motioned for me to come over. She told me to come back on Mr. Friendly's day off because the other manager would let us in. Sandra is a former dancer and has 8 kids. She danced for 15 years and is now a cook at the club. A customer is putting her through nursing school.
  • The girl I saw interviewing last time got the job and is waitressing. I'm praying she gets a job in the high-end restaurant business as a hostess or waitress.
  • Julie's mother is still going for radiation treatment and has good days & bad days.
  • Caramel, Mary Jane, Dee, Leshondra want out of the business. We prayed for them in the dressing room.

We had a lot of good conversations and were able to encourage the girls.

Thanks for your prayers and support!

Drenda and the PTD team

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Last night (5/5)

Last night we went to the strip clubs and took gift bags to the dancers. Each bag contained body lotion, an encouraging scripture and other reading material, an invitation to church, and chocolate candy. Below are highlights:
  • Christina asked for prayer for her relationship with her boyfriend of 4 years.
  • Shay wants to get out of the business. She said she's had some "God moments" during the past several months and is tired of the business.
  • Several girls in one club asked prayer for "new beginnings".
  • Charles, a security guard, has been working at one of the clubs for 3 weeks and asked for prayer for protection. He also would like to get in to the police academy.
  • A girl who looked like a dark-haired Pippi Longstocking with perfectly straight teeth was interviewing to be a waitress. She has a 2-year old daughter. I pray she is able to find work outside of this industry.

As a follow-up to a previous post:

  • Chris, the waitress who called because she wants to get out of the business, got an internship which she hopes will become a permanent position in the near future.
  • Roxie is working with a recruiter who is helping her with her resume.

Go, God!

Thanks for your prayers and support!

Drenda and the PTD team

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Last night (4/21)

Last night we went to the strip clubs and took gift bags to the dancers. Each bag contained a gift (jewelry & hair accessories), an encouraging scripture, a number to call for prayer, and chocolate candy. This was a "special" trip. Greater Harvest Church in Pasadena will be starting a similar ministry on the south side of town in a few months and wanted to see first-hand how we do things. Plus, it gave their ladies a chance to determine whether or not this is a ministry they are really called to do. It's not for everyone.


Margarita said she read "Redeeming Love" (by Francine Rivers -- HIGHLY recommend this book) and cried all the way through. She's not the only one to experience the book in that way.

The cashier going to cosmetology school graduates in August and is excited. She's working 2 jobs right now to make ends meet and is looking forward to being able to work a day job and "get away from all of this." We are working with her to find salons who are willing to give her a start.

Stopped by a massage parlor (new place for us) and the lady was very open to us being there. She wanted us to come back tomorrow. We told her we'd be back in a couple of weeks.

Saw a prostitute on the corner and turned around to give her a bag. By the time we got back to her location, she was gone but 2 others had taken her place. We prayed with one and also for the windshield cleaner guy.

Got to pray for some girls in the dressing room. Chris felt impressed to pray for their children, and the girls were moved by this. All 5 of them have children.

Please pray for the ladies we spoke with when you think about it. Also keep Greater Harvest Church in your prayers as they begin ministering on the south side.

As always, thanks for your prayers and support!

Drenda and the PTD team

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Last night (4/14/09)

Last night we went to the strip clubs and took gift bags to the dancers.  Each bag contained a cross necklace, an encouraging scripture, an invitation to church and chocolate candy.
Here are a few highlights:
  • Sophia and Tricia are each raising 4 children.  Several other women are raising 2 children.
  • Christie, a waitress, just went through a divorce and also had her car stolen.  She asked for prayer to get a job out of this industry.
  • Melissa also asked for prayer to "get a better life than this."
  • Fanya has 2 kids and just found out her ex-husband was arrested for child molestation.  Now she's worried her kids may have been molested.
  • One girl was going to court today for drug trafficking charges.  She asked us to pray that God would make the charges go away.  Debs told her we would pray that God's will be done in this situation.
We were able to go inside one of the modeling studios and pray with the ladies.  They wanted to give us money afterwards.  I've always refused their offer.  Last night they insisted we take the sealed envelope and put it in the offering plate on Sunday.  I told her we would.  She said she knows the church spends a lot of money on these bags and wants to help.  

Please say a prayer for these women when you think about it.  Some of them are doing whatever they can to provide for their children.  We pray for doors outside of this industry to open for them.

Kevin (our favorite former manager) is working in a small town north of Houston doing construction.  Good to hear he's doing okay.  The restaurant where he previously worked shut down, and his phone number is no longer good so I've been praying someone would hear from him.

I had the privilege of meeting the lady who has been praying for the girls in the clubs up & down I-45 for the past 12 years.  She's an incredible lady with a very sweet spirit.  

Thank you for your faithfulness in praying and giving.  God is moving in the strip clubs.

Drenda and the PTD team

Friday, March 20, 2009

Last night (3/17/09)

Last night we went to the strip clubs and handed out gift bags to the dancers.  Each bag contained a picture frame, an invitation to church, an encouraging note on God's unending/unconditional love, and chocolate candy.

We were able to spend time in the dressing rooms talking to the girls.  Diamond told us she wanted out and had applied to be a flight attendant.  

Two of the modeling studios were closed.

Probably the highlight of the evening was seeing James.  If you've been reading the blog or archives on the Piercing the Darkness website, you'll know that several years ago the club owner told James (a club manager at the time) if he wanted to keep his job, he would go to our church to get help for his alcohol problem.  James has struggled with alcohol for many years, and we lost touch with him when he was fired from the club.  The club later hired him back as a janitor on the day shift.  ANYWAY, James was leaving the club as we were walking up.  He said, "This is good timing.  I need to make a change.  What I'm doing isn't working.  I'm going to call you." We made sure he had our contact info and told him how much we missed him.

Please keep James in your prayers.  He has a new girlfriend who seems to have her own alcohol/drug addiction problems.  Plus, James' brother isn't doing well either.  

We had a lot of good conversations and pray that we were an encouragement to the girls.  Many told us how much they appreciated us coming in.

Drenda and the PTD team

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Last night (2/10)

Last night we went to the strip clubs and took gift bags to the dancers. Each bag contained a cuddly teddy bear, an invitation to church, an encouraging scripture and chocolate candy.

Last month we took the book "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers. Ashley told us she read it in 2 days and loved it. Red, a deejay, told us he gave the book to his wife. She later texted him that she read the book and loved it. He even saved her text message to show to us.

Lenore has been dancing for 5 years and wants to get out of the business. She says she has a background in fashion design and hair. We'll give her some of our contacts who are in the hair business.

Christie has 5 boys who live with her mother in Miami. She's been dancing for at least 3-1/2 months.

Little Mama and Percy have been sick. Percy was at home because he was too sick to get out. We prayed for Little Mama outside the club.

We went to a new club. It's the same building that previously housed the club that burned. It's been renovated and looks very nice. The girls were happy to see us.

Another girl has been married for a year and has a 1-year old son. She said she's dancing to put her husband through school. She's 19.

We ran into a girl who spoke very little English. Fortunately, Laurie was with us and translated. This girl pays $80 to go to an ESL class. Laurie's church has an ESL program that is free. Laurie is providing details on time, location, etc. to her.

We had a new team member join us last night. Her name is Vicky, and she told us about a lady in her Bible study group. This woman moved to Houston 14 years ago and noticed the billboards up & down I-45 advertising the various adult-entertainment venues. She began praying that her sons would not see the billboards. She felt impressed that she should not pray that way, but instead should be praying for the girls. For the past 14 years she's been praying for the girls in the clubs up & down I-45. Her prayers paved the way for this ministry. I can't wait to meet this lady and thank her for her prayers. No telling how many lives have been touched because of her prayers (and yours).

One of the dancers showed up at Laurie and Amanda's church last month. She says she attends a church in the north Houston area, is getting baptized and is out of the business. Go, God!
As always, we couldn't do this without you!! Thanks for your prayers and support!

Drenda and the PTD team

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Last night (1/6/09)

Last night we went to the strip clubs and took gift bags to the dancers.  Each bag contained the book "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers.  If you haven't read this book, I HIGHLY recommend it.  The bags also contained an invitation to church, an encouraging scripture and candy.

It was a very interesting night, and we had a lot of long conversations with the girls and guys. One girl from a higher-end club is now working at one of the lower-end clubs.  She said the club where we first met her was "getting too crazy".  She didn't elaborate, and we didn't push it. I gave her the phone number to a recruiter in case she is ready to leave the business.

Crashawn just broke up with her abusive boyfriend, but she talks like she might get back together with him.

Keisha is a former dancer and is going to medical assistant school and graduates in July.  She was inebriated, and we encouraged her not to drive home.  She couldn't believe we were there doing what we do.

Big Bo said his son's custody issues with his baby's mamma have greatly improved.  He thanked us for our prayers.

One of the cashiers is reading Victoria Osteen's book, and I stood and listened to her, the manager and a dancer discuss how awesome Joel Osteen is and how much they like his book and his preaching. Joel, if you're reading, you have a loyal following in one Houston strip club. Go, God! 

As we were leaving a modeling studio, a man pulled up in a SUV, stared at us and drove on by.  We got in the van and didn't think much about it other than he was probably a customer who was being delayed.  After I got in the van, I heard my dad talking to a man at the back of the van.  I jumped out of the van and went to see what was going on.  The man introduced himself and said he was with Redeemed Ministries.  I said, "My pastor just met with you on Monday."  He responded, "You're the one!"  Redeemed Ministries is a ministry to victims of human trafficking.  When he saw our van, he thought we were transporting women.  We were -- just not in the way he thought.  It's okay.  We thought he was a customer.  :)  He got to meet the team, and I'm sure we will be doing outreaches together at some point.

At the last club, a couple of guys stopped Tammy and asked what we were doing.  She told them.  They thought it was the coolest thing they'd ever seen. They asked what church we were from.  Tammy told them we all go to different churches but come together to do this ministry.  They were shocked.  They couldn't believe different churches could work together.  Again, they thought that was the coolest thing ever. They asked for extra bags/books to give away to their friends.

Only God can put all of this together.  Thanks for your prayers & support.

Drenda and the PTD team