Jesus is so good. Tonight Julia and I (Laurie) went out on the track to hand out gift bags... We saw a number of pimps driving around in their Cadillacs, Chargers, Mercedes etc. with bling bling rims, but only two girls. After praying and driving around a bit, we parked.
A young lady walked by our car - she looked like a newby - she pretty much stood out like a sore thumb. At least to us. We could tell that she hadn't been out on the track for very long.
We walked up to her and introduced ourselves and told her that we wanted to give her a gift bag. She thanked us... I pretty bluntly told her that she was very "obvious" and that she'd better be careful because she would get busted if the cops saw her.
I can't remember everything we talked to her about but I do remember asking her how long she had been turning tricks (only a couple of months) why and what she needed the money for, if she had a pimp (no), if she wanted to do what she was doing (of course not, none of us ever do - unless we lie to ourselves)... and let her know that she still had a chance to get out now - because the longer she continued to prostitute, the harder it would be for her to stop. I shared with her that I used to prostitute and that after four years I couldn't believe that I was STILL turning tricks. I told her that if she didn't like it now, that it was only going to get worse, she'd get hardened, calloused and raped (if not worse) at one point if she didn't stop.
She started crying and we asked if we could pray for her. She said "Yes, please." After praying for her I felt led to ask her if she knew Jesus as her Lord and Savior and she said that she's "tried" - and I explained that it wasn't about trying, that Jesus WANTS a RELATIONSHIP with her. I explained a bit about the difference between religion and RELATIONSHIP. I don't remember all the details of what I shared with her but eventually asked her if she wanted to ask Jesus into her heart to be her Lord and Savior.
She said she didn't know how but she wanted to, so I led her in a prayer. She was crying and we prayed as cars were stopping and cruising by, three guys walked by us "Hey girls" and it was a bit distracting but we made it through. :-)
Let me just make the point that it is not usual for us to pray with a prostitute on the street to receive Jesus - we aren't trying to create "Christian Hookers" - leading these women to Jesus, giving them assurance that they are going to heaven while they can continue to turn tricks and the only difference in their lives is that they are 'saved' yet still living the same. We want to be able to disciple the women, pour into their lives... the only time I pray with a woman to receive Jesus is if we feel led by the Holy Spirit - sometimes an "urgency" - who knows, maybe the next car the woman gets into may be her last... otherwise we want to build relationships with them.
Anyway, we asked the girl, J****** what her practical needs were - she pretty much 'couch hopped' and didn't really have a stable place to stay. I told her about the some good programs we know and gave her their numbers, as well as my number. I got hers as well so I can follow up with her.
She told us some of her immediate needs and we were able to give her $30 of Target gift cards to help her out. She was very grateful and shared that she just wanted to make some money so she could save up (she starts college in June) and after talking to us she was just going to turn in for the night. She had a friend who lived down the street from where she was working the track and who was letting her stay the night.
We hugged her goodbye and after we parted ways - Julia and I spotted a cop car, spot lights and three people up against the way about a block away from where we were. Perfect timing. :-) J****** got off the street just in time.
What a good God we serve. Please pray for J******, she is only 19 years old. I pray that she will go to a program.