Monday, June 11, 2012

brothels and waffles.

last night we went to grace midtown for church. as an intern at NightLight, they have encouraged us to go to at least one service in order to see where the ministry's heart is played out through the church body.

the sermon was on mark 2. jesus is being badgered by the pharisees about fasting and the sabbath. and we heard some foundational points. it was a great sermon, but specifically, one thing jumped out at me. and it was about thankfulness.

pastor said something along the lines of...

 "you cannot ask the Lord for something, if you are not thankful for what you have already been given."

so many times we pray to be granted peace or rest or freedom, however, we do not thank the Lord for the things we have been given already. 


friday night was my first outreach with NightLight. 
my thoughts were scattered all day between resting in Jesus, reading the Word, preparing for the weekend in NC with Will's family... just all sorts of things. 
i was not nervous, nor was i afraid. i was just anticipating the faces and words i was going to see and hear all night. 

here are my thoughts through the night. 

the first prayer i prayed was for freedom. i sat in the library at Grace and prayed for freedom. freedom for my words to be His words, freedom for the women... freedom for the men. i declared freedom over the night... like a blanket. 

as i asked the Lord for a word about the evening, He kept showing me something bright & pink. "well typical," i thought, "i'm going to strip clubs to talk to prostitutes." but i know i cannot underestimate the power of God. 

we go to waffle house, as is tradition before outreach, in the same area we are about to roam the streets. our waitress, full of joy, received words of power and strength. the staff of women, were all wearing pink scarves. coincidence? probably not. 

we walked from club to club praying in the parking lots, praying over the ground, praying for the women and the house moms, praying with the security. we stopped in the streets to pray and talk with women. to speak to men. to ask the Lord for deliverance and freedom. 

1,2,3 women i spoke with and prayed for. pink. 
the color pink is about innocence, restored innocence. and that is what we prayed to see. 

as the night drew on into later and later hours, we stopped to ask the Lord for restored energy to complete His plan for our evening. 

we heard from girls we had not seen in months. we saw new growth within many of the establishments... one of the brothels had been shut down! the management had a change of heart and decided to stop allowing prostitution. all from the seed which the Lord sowed, using NightLight as His vessel. restoration.

then came the tears for me. my heart started to feel like a brick inside my chest. what in the world, i did not expect to feel such hurt right now. as i stood on the corner of the street, looking out, i see cars drive into the club. i look at the faces of the men. i see my friends dad's, grandfathers, i see my cousins, i see my brother. i start to get deeply emotional. i am NOT supposed to feel pain for them, they are the ones putting these women to work. they are the demand in this transaction. yet Jesus spoke to me and said, "these are my children, called by my name... for I loved the WHOLE world, I died for them too..."
then i saw a vision, for a generation to rise up...

as we drove away, i was silent. everything i expected came true. the Lord showed us more and more of His plan for this track. there is a change taking place, small, but there is a change. a glimmer. 

as we prayed for one specific man before driving home, the Lord showered his rest. the Lord gave us words to restore this man's confidence in His power. it was truly a beautiful ending to an incredible evening. 

it was Ariel's {team member} birthday now. she laughed as we talked about how she spent her 22nd birthday eating waffles and going to brothels...


as i sat in church last night, thinking of all the things i am thankful for, i thought back on friday night. how thankful i am for rest, true rest in His arms.
how thankful i am for the freedom i have been given.
how thankful i am for the power i have through His name.

and then i prayed for those things over the women i encountered, and will continue to encounter, 
every friday night for the rest of the summer.

If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.
I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given my life.
I am yours; save me, for I have sought your precepts. 
the wicked lie in wait to destroy me, but I consider your testimonies.
psalm 119:92-95

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