Stardate: 2009 AD
Actually, I can't say "no church" because I'm sure other churches have visited Bourbon Street, but probably not with the same mission we have tonight.
Tonight is Midnight Outreach Training in New Orleans with Church of the King.
We have actually done training with them before & this will be our 3rd time going to Bourbon Street. I smile when I think about my church and how lucky I am to belong to one who allows us to do this outreach. We are very blessed!
Training for this outreach is extremely important. We have rules and they are there to keep us safe as well as to protect the ministry we are trying to do.
As I've mentioned before, we don't preach at the girls or look down on them or make them feel small in any way. We don't gawk or point or act superior.
That is not our purpose.
We look them right in the eyes and smile and hand them a rose (and often, some other small gift).
The 1st time we visited the strip clubs on Bourbon Street, the ladies working there told us that no one had ever done anything like this before. They were very eager to talk to us and know why we would come down to that part of the French Quarter late at night to give them gifts.
We told them that we wanted them to know they are not forgotten. Some of them invited us to come back.
Attached to the roses and gifts are small cards that will point them back to Church of the King (a non-denominational church) and there is a phone number they can call if they need help.
Tonight, we will also be putting up posters in bathrooms for young women who are caught in the sex-trade industry. Bathrooms are sometimes the only safe havens for these young women and the posters will direct them to a hotline where they can receive immediate assistance.
I've been a part of some great churches who did good work, but I can't imagine any of them doing this.
It's time the church tore down its walls.
We are bringing the church to those who might never visit one, voluntarily.
I pray that some hurting girl will find hope tonight -- a glimpse of another life she never thought possible.
That is our mission.