15 February 2008
Midnight On Bourbon Street
Where to begin?
Sleep deprivation and physical exhaustion are nothing compared to the whirlwind of thoughts and memories of last night...
Yesterday -- VALENTINE'S DAY -- was phenomenal.
Midnight Outreach -- where we show the love of Jesus to strippers and prostitutes and anyone who thinks they may be "forgotten," -- is always amazing, but last night was almost indescribable.
Our day started out in Baton Rouge where we visited some of our usual stops to give roses and chocolates to the ladies. But our "usual" route was diverted when we learned of a young woman who was in tremendous emotional pain. We drove to Scotlandville just to see her and let her know that SOMEONE does care. This woman is living in deplorable conditions with her two very young children. As my friend, Carole, said: "A 'CONDEMNED' rating would be a step up for her building." While we could not change her physical circumstances, Jesus showed up and changed her spiritual circumstances. Donna and Charity prayed with her & this morning she attended our "Ladies Thrive" weekly meeting. I can't wait to see how God moves in her life...
After visiting a couple of local strip clubs where we left boxes of chocolates and roses and balloons in the dressing rooms, we headed to New Orleans.
We partnered with a church there -- Church of the King -- and went to "train" them in the art of Midnight Ministry. I think Alliece said it best: What we are doing is taking the church to the streets. We are letting them know that someone does care; they are not forgotten.
And then we hit the streets of the Big Easy.
Talk about a field ripe for harvest!
Bourbon Street was surreal.
Surrounded by so many lights and music and smells, but also by so much pain and loneliness.
Our trepidation and hesitancy quickly disappeared when we realized that this was going to be a whole new ballgame: Here, there were no suspicious bouncers blocking our way. The only suspicion we encountered was from those who thought we were selling the roses... They couldn't believe they were FREE. It's not common to get something for nothing in this town...
Here, on Bourbon Street, the clubs WELCOMED us in! The ladies eagerly accepted our roses and chocolates and our supply of 300 roses was depleted in less than 20 minutes. So many of them told us how much they appreciated it -- how NO ONE had ever done anything like this before -- how glad they were we had come...
For some, it may have been the only "Valentine" they would receive.
For many, we may be the only Bible they ever read.
As one of our group quipped, last night we did a "Drive-By Jesus," and I can't think of a better way to spend this holiday of LOVE.
We arrived home around 2 AM -- exhausted, but ELATED -- by what God had done.
My pics were taken with my cell phone, so please forgive their quality. CAROLE has some MUCH better pictures from last night over at her blog; be sure to check them out!
For more about Midnight Outreach read here.