I went on outreach with Pimps and Prostitutes again this weekend– and it was great…again. Laurie always does such great write-up’s of our evenings out. I should just copy and paste her summaries…I practically do that anyway…but I do make a few changes, add some of my thoughts – put in some thoughts from my point of view. So, here’s the happenings of this weekend ☺
This weekend it was just myself, Ty, Daryl and Laurie. The evening started out with a stop at the 7-11 for some coffee…and I got BLUEBERRY! That’s right. I didn’t even know they made blueberry coffee but they do. Laurie and I both got it and it was actually goooood!
We went to Compton again - and when we got there, we once again saw several cops patrolling (never a good sign for outreach) so the streets were pretty barren. As we pulled over we saw one highway patrol car pulled over talking to girl on a street corner. Once they had finished talking the girl disappeared down the street.
We parked anyway, grabbed some gift bags and started down the street...right away we saw two girls. Laurie and I walked up to chat with them - their names were 'P' and 'A'. A said she'd been prostituting for about 2 years – she didn’t have a pimp because she has a 10 year old son at home and can’t afford to have any of her money going to a dude. She ran into some 'bad times' a couple years back so she moved out her to LA and started prostituting. A is beautiful!!
P asked us what church we were from – I told her that we weren’t really out here representing any particular church but that I go to Ecclesia. She then proceeded to say, "You go to church and you have a piercing?" pointing at my nose ring. I laughed and proceeded to tell her about my tattoos and the fact that Laurie had even more piercings and tattoos then I have!! P seemed surprised. As Laurie said, I wish we would have had more of an opportunity to share the difference between religion and relationship but the girls were in a hurry to leave after one of them got a phone call. They thanked us for the purses and goodies we gave them.
After walking down the street a bit more Laurie began to turn a corner and I could not figure out why but then we saw another girl…sometimes I was so BAD at spotting people late at night ☺ “D” was hesitant to take anything from us or really talk to us much - and then her pimp drove by us and she said, "Oh no - my daddy just drove by - he's gonna kick my ass." She said that she had to go - and we let her go - and just prayed after she left - that her pimp wouldn't harm her. I am going to be honest that it still really frustrates me and I don’t really get it why pimps won’t let their girls talk to other people on the street. I mean…I guess when I really think about it the whole reason we are out there is to give these girls a way OUT – so I guess the pimps would not really want them talking to us. But that just seems so oppressive and constraining. It really frustrates me.
We got back in the car and decided to drive up and down the strip a bit more trying to see if we could find any more girls. After driving only a little while I spotted Y – the 17-year-old girl I told you about last time! So we pulled over and parked. We went to talk to Y and another girl but hardly got a few words out before a black SUV with nice rims turned the corner, parked and two guys got out. By the looks of it - Laurie assumed that the guys were pimps (I am still so new at this, I had no clue! – I could just tell that Y and her friend were NOT excited to see them!) As they got closer, however, Laurie thought they might be gangbangers…She got excited – she has a real heart for gangbangers. So we went across the street – partly because we wanted to talk to these guys and find out what they were all about, but also because we wanted to intercept (distract) them before they started meeting with Y and her friend who were now trying to dart across traffic in their heels to get away from them.
Laurie and I went over and began talking to them. The rest of our evening pretty much was spent talking to them. It was actually a pretty hilarious scene. “J” as he called himself and Laurie were comparing gunshot scars. J kept insisting that he believed in “God, Jesus Christ and the virgin Mary and prayed to them in the shower, driving, taking a shit, all the time – you don’t even know” J was pretty drunk and kept repeating himself. He also could not figure out why we were out there. He kept “hugging” Daryl which later Daryl said that he thinks that he was just patting them down - to make sure they weren't cops or something. Daryl said that he felt the small of Daryl's back and sides looking for a gun or something…
He kept asking us "Are you for real, homie? Are you for real?" He asked that probably 172893719874328170348 times. He ended up bringing Laurie $20 from his car and saying he wanted to donate that to the ministry for Bibles or whatever they needed it for. "No man - I want to give you guys this - because - are you guys for real, man? Because I mean, you guys are coming out here, to Compton - risking your lives – nobody does that - you're coming out here for nothing - I mean, not for nothing - but man - you guys are real, huh?" Haah! He said that he was being a hypocrite right then cause he was about to go and get even more drunk and he did not live a very Christian lifestyle but he thought was we were doing was great.
He finally let Laurie pray for him after a while. Afterwards he began commenting, "You guys are for real, huh - man - I need someone to check on me - to call me and talk to me..." Laurie gave him her number and after MANY tries, got his number - he was so drunk he couldn't get his number right - finally I grabbed his phone and got the number and then entered Laurie’s into his.
The rest of our time in Compton was pretty much spent with these two guys with the exception of one girl “J” that I got to talk to for just a brief moment. I saw her so I ran across the street with a couple of bags to see if she wanted one. She was hesitant to take one and in the end refused. She said she has only been prostituting for two WEEKS. Didn’t really have a good reason why and was pretty apathetic about the whole thing.
I really love doing this outreach – but it is also very difficult. It is tough having to meet up with the same girls week after week and not be able to take them out of these situations. But God is faithful – and I believe that these women need to know pure unconditional human love before they will be able to experience or truly know the love of the divine.