Keeping with our 10 year theme, I wanted to share with you something that Michelle Truax wrote. In case you have missed some of the 10 year post here is the last one Shellie wrote.
Michelle has been a member of our staff for 5 years. I say that all the time and in reality she just reminded me that it is now 8 years. She is irreplaceable on our team. She was hired to manage and coordinate all our speaking events but does so much more. She has a huge heart for the women in the industry and the spouses who have been hurt because of this issue. Here is what she writes:
In 2002 long before people were talking about sex industry ministries, XXXchurch went on the first sex industry mission field at a porn show convention.
Not knowing what to expect or what would come of it two pastors along with their wives headed out to one of the darkest places in the earth to share the light of the gospel. (“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation”- Mark 16:15)
They handed out bibles and told anyone that would listen that Jesus loved them. Some of what followed was amazing. Not only were those addicted to pornography impacted by the outreach but those who were actually working in the industry were impacted as well. In 10 years XXXchurch has been to many conventions doing these outreaches. We’ve had so many women (and men) from the sex industry contact us for us emotional and spiritual support but they were also in need of financial support to help them leave the industry that they were employed by. These women are broken, they are full of shame and they want to believe that they can still be genuinely loved and accepted.
I (Michelle) have been blessed with many roles here at XXXchurch over the last 8 years. It is no secret that the one I am most passionate about is working closely with women who are in the sex industry. I have journeyed with many of the women who have asked us for help. What does that mentorship look like for those willing to partake?
- Discipleship: I listen to them pour out their hearts and together we turn to the word of God for the answers. This includes regular bible study.
- Continuous prayer: Sometimes girls want you to pray with them and sometimes they just want to be reassured that they’re being prayed for.
- Life plan: Setting goals, rediscovering themselves- their dreams and passions whether that is going back to school, establishing a new career path, volunteering, taking up a hobby etc.
- Care packages: Regular notes in the mail and packages that include encouragement and offer hope.
- Resources: Providing various forms of local resources for assistance (counseling/ food pantries/residential centers) as well as getting them connected to a local church where they can build real relationships that will foster real discipleship and encourage healing both spiritually and emotionally.
It is my goal in 2012 to eliminate a waiting list for financial assistance by bringing more awareness to the Esther Fund, a fund we’ve designated to help meet real needs of the girls when they leave their employment in the industry. This is temporary support to help them keep their lights on, food on the table etc. as they transition out of the old and into the new. We can't help these women without financial support.
You can read many stories and updates here: http://www.xxxchurch.com/theindustry/girls.html