.Hope. is to Brothels as Chocolate is to Cookies

We walk into Lollilop, our favorite strip club on the coast, and immediately all heads turn. Cries ring out from around the room and whether from a pole on the stage or from the lap of John, the girls greet us with smiles and the whole room welcomes us for the night.

“Just a minute,” One of the girls says to her client and runs over to me for a hug. I hold her close, she’s perfect. A young vivacious girl with dreams that seem to slip further away from her with every lap dance.

I love hope. I love how quickly a situation can be turned when Jesus walks into the room. We laugh, we chat and we reawaken hearts that seemed frozen in time. Then we arrange coffee dates, tea times and plans for “church”- our upcoming venture for working street girls before they start their nights with clients.

I love how hope finds us. One night while sleeping in a shady hotel room, (you know the ones that make your stomach turn as you lay on it’s dirty sheets) it woke me. We were overnighting in the brothel and as most of the team worshipped in our beautiful Nevaeh Center, I slipped away to crash for a couple hours. Most find it hard to sleep here. Closing my eyes I heard at least 3 different clubs BLASTING music and I swear something was crawling on every inch of my body. But then I heard it. Between my dreams, hope called out: “Let it rain, let it rain… open the flood gates of heaven, and let it rain”

The most beautiful unexpected sound erupting through the streets and into the hourly rate rooms. And there it was. Through my exhaustion - I was reminded that I’d been found.

I love how hope pursues us. We have a million stories, from girls searching us out during Nevaeh worship sets and begging us to pray for them, to Jesus walking into rooms of women as they service clients and in an open vision he invites them to leave with him. He’s after their hearts. I’m undone. Absolutely undone time and time again at how tangible it is. How real his pursuit of them, of me, it’s perfect.

Every girl we speak to says the same thing, “I feel so unclean, how could he stop for me?” And every single time, it never gets old when they meet him and realize he sees them as flawless.

I love my busy crazy life in the brothels. It’s been such a treat to share it with a couple dozen visitors this month from Bethel students to Iris Alumni to YWAM friends and so on. It’s been a blast!

The time is quickly wrapping up for a minute and I can feel my heart shifting as I prepare for the Middle East. Only a few days now and I’ll arrive in Jordan, ready to see hope manifest itself in another war zone! My heart comes alive at the thought!!

I hadn’t had as much prep time as I would have liked, so last night I stole away to a hotel room on the beach. In the silence of crashing waves and praising palm trees, I processed our time in the red light districts and got my heart ready for the next venture. Thank you for those who gave for “me” and let me value REST and take a moment for my heart. The hotel had hot water and in my 13 hours off I took 4 showers. :) Jesus is goooood.

This blog feels rushed as I could go on forever about the beauty that’s being unveiled here. Maybe another time though. Please be watching out for posts on my time with IRIS Relief in Jordan, loving on Syrian Refugees. (April 14th-May 4th) I still can’t believe all that’s going on there and consider it the biggest honor to be apart of a small group responding to history unfolding.

(If you want to still give to the work in with Syrian Refugees see the “Contact” page or see the IRIS relief page on the Iris Global site)