Another incredible Midnight Outreach last night... it's so amazing to watch God lead!
You know, it was cold and rainy and I was thinking, "Hmmm... will anyone even be out tonight?"
Our first stop was at a local strip club and as we walked in taking roses to the girls, I couldn't help but notice the difference from the last time we came to this same club. Before, we could hardly walk through the crowd due to the throng of patrons, and before, every stage was in use. Last night, the club was almost empty (well, compared to before). We quickly passed out roses and went back to the van, but Pastor Alliece remained behind for a few minutes talking to the girl working the door. She knows Alliece from previous encounters and last night, she really needed someone to talk to. She is dealing with all kinds of health and financial issues and is desperately looking for a new job. Alliece prayed with her (discreetly) and then we were on our way. I couldn't help but think SHE was the reason we entered that club last night.
Fast forward about an hour... We are driving around trying to find someone, anyone, working the streets. They have apparently been run off from their old territory, but (like Alliece said), it's not like they all made a career change just because the cops showed up. So we drove around desperately praying for God to show us something -- to open our eyes to their new locations.
Driving down a dark, residential street in northern Baton Rouge, we spotted a woman walking in the rain. We pulled up beside her and offered her a rose. She asked if she could have 2 more for some other ladies who were in the house, so Alliece stepped out of the van and came around to talk with her. The woman (aged in her 50's or 60's?) had just been thrown out of the house by her daughter (again) and had nowhere to go.
A homeless grandmother.
As Pastor Alliece told her about the nearby Dream Center and how we could help her, the woman began to cry. She told Pastor Alliece that after her daughter had kicked her out, she had been trying to drink herself to death.
She was literally trying to kill herself with alcohol. Alliece and Charity held her and prayed with her for some time and got her name and information. I hope she comes to the Dream Center so that we can minister to her more!
We found a few more people to give roses to -- and a new idea for our midnight outreaches: Hospital emergency rooms!
But the majority of our evening was spent looking for any sign of the elusive prostitutes and especially the underage ones who we so desperately want to get off the streets.
As we drove around, I kept remembering Alliece's words regarding their similar ministry in another state: in the beginning they just prayed for FAVOR and for God to lead them to where the people were. And they thanked God for the day that would come when they would be able to make a connection with these women and when they would be allowed to enter those clubs... and when that day finally came, they were just in awe.
I thought about that and all I could see, staring out the dark, rain-splattered windows was the possibility of what could be.
I can hardly wait.
If you are wondering what it is we do, exactly, you can read my first MIDNIGHT post here: MIDNIGHT OUTREACH
God bless Healing Place Church for allowing us to do this important ministry. We truly want to be a HEALING place for a hurting world.