SparrowFly

Strip Church Training Update May 26, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 7:03 pm

“You’re gonna LOVE Las Vegas!”

That’s what the lady I sat next to on the plane said to me on the way here.

Well, she’s right. I do love it. But not in the way she meant. My newly found love for the broken people in this city will compel me to pray. Afterall, isn’t that the best kind of love?

 

The Strip Church training was phenomenal, to say the least. Harmony Dust, founder of Treasures ministry, was our instructor for most of the conference. And I’m going to tell you, this girl is the real deal. She’s 100% honest, transparent and incredibly wise. Not to mention, she’s a great communicator. My friend and I were so comforted to know (after listening to the basics of starting a ministry to girls in the sex trade) that we were on the right track. Without knowing any “rules” or suggestions from others in this type of ministry, we have been guided by God in the areas of prayer, accountability, authority, submission, mission statement and creativity. And on top of that, we have been challenged and inspired in how we approach ministry to the Sparrows in our local strip club.

 

Last night we went out in teams to do strip club outreach here in Las Vegas. The goal of the outreach (and the model for how Harmony does strip club outreach with Treasures) was to give small gift bags containing simple things like lip gloss,  jewelry and the Treasures website to the dancers at each club. You do this by approaching the guy at the door and asking if you can give the girls some gifts. Sometimes they invite you in to directly hand the gifts to the girls and sometimes they promise to make sure the girls get the gifts later. Of course, there are times when they reject the gifts altogether. My friend and I were on two different teams but we went out at the same time. Her team actually went into a club and she was able to have a positive interaction with a dancer. My team just stood outside and gave the gift bags to the club House Mom who promised to deliver the gifts throughout the night. Harmony wisely reminded us that this is a “seed-sowing” ministry. It’s an investment. Sometimes you see the fruit and sometimes you don’t. I was deeply satisfied to know that the girls will receive those gifts and, for at least one moment, feel like someone cares about them.

 

I will post more about what I’ve learned here as time goes on. There is much to think about.

I will say that I was especially moved to realize that human trafficking must be occurring on college campuses, especially on football weekends. This has stirred something within me, being that we live in a college town.

We have all day tomorrow to explore and relax and then we fly home on Saturday.

 

Thank you so much for praying. Please continue to pray. I only want to do what God wants us to do – nothing more and nothing less.

 

Not a sparrow falls without the Father knowing,

Janet

 

SparrowFly now has a “Mission Statement”! May 22, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 9:51 am

My friend, Lynn, has a husband and his name is Dan. Aside from having a voice that sounds eerily similar to Kevin Costner, Dan is a wise guy…not in the Three Stooges sense of the word, but he actually is a guy who is wise. (He has a rockin’ blog, too.) Through his wife, Dan urged us to come up with a Mission Statement for this ministry. A Mission Statement is a handy thing to have because it kind of acts like a filter. So, if an opportunity or idea comes along, the team can sit down and say, “Well, let’s see if it fits our mission. If it doesn’t, let’s give this opportunity to someone else. If it does, let’s pray and pursue.”

We felt our statement needed to be concise, specific and clear to anyone who reads it…and here it is:

“The desire and current mission of SparrowFly is to reflect the Creator’s love, in prayer and in action, for the men and women who participate in our local strip club.”

 

At our last SparrowFly gathering, we wrote down any gifts and abilities we have that may be of use to minister to the Sparrows. Among the talents on that list are: cooking, financial planning, mentoring, housing, compassion, babysitting, cosmetology services, encouragement, sewing, hiking, biking, empathy, love for animals, laughter, singing, ability to confront hard situations, gardening, healthy eating and the greatest of these is LOVE.

I held back tears as I listened to those lists. I could just see God taking every one of those abilities and using it like a tool in His hands to love the Sparrows. The Creator is exactly that…Creative!

 

As I said in the last blog, two of us on the team are preparing for a trip to Las Vegas. We leave on Tuesday for a training conference with The Strip Church. We’re quite curious about what’s in store for us at that conference. People keep asking, “Are you ready for your trip?” I’m not sure how you get “ready” for a trip like that, but I have to assume we are ready because God has arranged it.

So, yeah…we’re ready.

We have a lot of people praying for us as we go, but if you would like to add us to your prayer list, please don’t hesitate. Also, pray for our families while we’re gone. I will blog and Tweet during our time in Vegas to keep you updated on what we experience.

 

I’m asking that God would allure the Sparrows and speak tenderly to them…turning their trouble into hope.

Not a sparrow falls without the Father knowing,

Janet

 


 

I’m a Stripper…I just don’t dance around a pole. May 13, 2011

Filed under: Pushed Out of the Nest — admin @ 10:13 am

Well, I’m sure that heading at least got my mom’s attention…

 

SparrowFly is all about my heart for a group of ladies who dance at our local strip club.

 

Have I always had  a desire for meeting the heart-needs of exotic dancers? Nope.

Have I been consumed with a burning passion to free those caught in the sex trade? Actually…no.

 

I was just sitting at a conference in July 2010 – a conference that was all about receiving hope and healing from our Creator so we can help the poor, the broken, the sick and the lost. As I sat at that conference, suddenly – like one of those Times Square digital banners, this question ran through my mind:

“Hey, Janet. What about those girls who dance up at <that strip club>?”


At first I kind of shooed away the question, like swatting at a pesky fly. But it kept playing and re-playing in my mind. That same question. Those same words.

It continued after I came home for several weeks. So one day, I thought, “Well, I have no love for those girls, but I can at least pray for them.” I went on the club’s website (with big accountability and great caution – please don’t just start skipping through strip club websites!) and easily accessed a list of the dancers’ names. 27 names.

One glance  at those 27 names and I was on the floor of my kitchen immediately consumed with compassion for them. I couldn’t stop sobbing. Not to get hokie on you, but I know they were supernatural tears. It felt like the Creator was crying through me. Suddenly I loved those girls. Really loved them and I’ve never even met them. Prayer does that.

Kay Warren calls it Dangerously Surrendered, Seriously Disturbed, Gloriously Ruined.

 

So…through a series of God-appointments, there are about 10 of us who get together to pray for these Sparrows.

Why do we call them Sparrows? Psalm 124:7 says, We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have escaped!” In the original Hebrew language, that bird mentioned is most likely a sparrow…which is exactly why I’m just like those strippers. I’m no stranger to snares. God is continually breaking traps in my life and setting me free. I feel like every day my Creator is taking His giant sledgehammer to a painful trap so I can shake it loose and freely live. People who are caught up in the sex industry may not realize it but they’re caught in a snare, and that’s not what their Creator intended for them. That’s not what He has intended for anyone.

I may not dance around a pole on a stage, but I am a woman who battles with insecurity, fear, wounds from the past and doubt about what I could do in the future. Suddenly, those ladies are not “Strippers”. They’re Sparrows – Creatures that seem small and frail but have the created ability to FLY! Just like me.

On May 24, I and another lady on the SparrowFly team are heading to Las Vegas for a training conference with The Strip Church. It’s a couple of days of learning how they love on the Sparrows in Sin City. There’s a verse in Proverbs that says, “Enthusiasm without knowledge is no good. Haste makes mistakes.” Because of that, we’re spending much time in prayer and gaining knowledge and wisdom from others who do this type of ministry. I’m hoping to video blog while we’re there. If that doesn’t work out, I’ll at least type up some entries for you.

 

A couple of important things:

-I have no desire to go into a strip club. I will never enter into a club without direction from the Creator, unity with the team, permission from my husband and the blessing of the leadership of my church. My desire is to reach those ladies and I’m asking God to get as creative as possible with that.

-The women on the SparrowFly team know that we are not about “storming the gates” of the club. It is about patience, prayer and God’s timing. We realize that God may want us to only pray for years in preparation for the next generation’s work. Our love for the Sparrows and trust in God compels us to be content with that idea, however, we don’t think that’s going to be the case. We consistently pray that our lives would cross paths with a Sparrow.

There are about a million other things I could say, but this is a blog, not “War and Peace”.

 

Check out this blog once in a while and see how God leads us on in this journey. We don’t have it all figured out but that keeps us dependent on Him, doesn’t it?

Not a sparrow falls without the Father knowing,

Janet

 

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