Kristofer Rios of the Miami Herald interviewed our team today and posted an article that can be read here: I love the title of this article: "Volunteers share Gospel at adult entertainment convention".
Every year there's a couple protestors that come in the name of Jesus to preach condemnation on the industry stars and consumers of pornography (Craig Gross in an interview with him and the lead protestor here. Team member, Tim Savage, met a man named Dominic (pictured far left) and shared with him about the love of Jesus. Dominic became so radically fired up about that love, his first reaction was to go the protestor outside and give him a XXXChurch Bible.
Every year we build relationships with industry girls through giving away XXXChurch t-shirts, bottled water, candy and care bags. Today our female team members met many women in the industry and gave out the care bags.
This year for the first time we had Miami's Senior Sales Director for Mary Kay, Yoly Leon, on the team with us to help apply makeup to women at the show and use that as a chance to build relationships with them and talk about Jesus. It's been cool to see what has been started in all the women's lives that she impacted today.
Here is a great recap of Miami Exxxotica brought to you through the eyes of those on the floor. Thank you Tommy and Kristin Parke for the article.
This was our fourth year serving with XXXChurch at eXXXotica Miami Beach- every year gets better; let us share with you why.
This year we had a 16-member team: 12 women/ 4 men from: Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm, Texas, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and New York. We could brag about them until next year’s outreach, but one thing we will mention is how God used each of them so mightily and purposefully. It was so cool to see how God used each of us, with our own experiences, backgrounds, church preferences, and personalities. It seemed at times that He handpicked and placed a person at the convention with the perfect team member to talk to. We were both so honored to be back serving at eXXXotica with XXXChurch and felt so blessed to be serving alongside such an incredible group of men and women that love the Lord so much and want to make His name known- for His glory, not ours!
The Church came together and God used us to speak to the consumers, the dancers, strippers, those working as venders, and the porn stars at eXXXotica.
When we first arrived inside eXXXotica this year to set-up, we realized very quickly that God had a plan for one particular porn star- as He put her booth directly across from ours! That in itself is not a shocker, but to understand God’s approach, you have to know that for the last four years, this lady has not warmed up to ANY XXXChurch team member and although very polite, she would usually not welcome any gifts from us. She wanted nothing to do with XXXChurch and it just happened that every other year she was on the opposite end of the convention room.
As a team, we prayed specifically for her daily and all throughout the time we were across from her- we prayed all sorts of specific prayers quietly to ourselves as we spoke to hundreds of people throughout the weekend. Slowly but surely we saw that she was opening up to our consistent and loving (not judgmental or forceful) approach to others. Read what team member @Francella Perez wrote about this (too good to re-word):
After team member @Abegail De La Fuente went to visit her, to give her a bag of gifts ("Jesus Loves Porn Stars" shirt & Bible, nail polishes and other girly fun, and her favorite candy), she told Abby that the man at the booth with her was her boyfriend and that it was actually his birthday that day. I did speak to him for a little, he turned 41 the day of the show, and lives in Broward. They have been together for 13 years. He asked me how the day was going for us, he asked me how people reacted to what we do. He even asked if I was local and if there was a church locally that I assisted, and I got to show him the flyer and point out my church. Team members: @Tim Savage and @Sandra Savage thought it would be really cool for us to get him a gift. So we collected $40 from the group, and we bought him a gift. I was able to get a cupcake and a group of us sang Happy Birthday to him and gave him his gift. He was so surprised and overwhelmed; you could see it in his face. She got so excited that she was jumping and dancing, and we saw her eyes go watery. I felt so much joy within me that I was trembling of excitement. It was really amazing!!!
There was a bridge that was built that day. It took years of planting the right kind of seeds to get to that moment. Please continue to pray that both of them come to know Christ! God is so good!
Porn stars heard of Jesus’ love, were given Bibles and “Jesus Loves Porn Stars” tees, and shared their lives with us (and ours with them!). We had a couple different porn stars that shared really difficult events that happened in their lives and one difficult event in particular since last year’s show. As we continue to pray for them by name throughout the year, we see our relationships with them growing stronger at the following year’s outreach. We do not always see from our viewpoint how God is actively working in their life but we know that God is actively pursuing them and we count it a blessing to be part of that story in their life. And that is enough of a reason for us to go.
This year our team also consisted of make-up artist @Yoly Maria Leon. She came to offer to do makeup on any of the go-go dancers that would be working the floor of the convention. She and another team member were in their dressing room offering makeup and snacks and sharing with the girls. Read what @Camila Nascimento wrote about this:
On the second day we brought in a professional makeup artist and that opened the doors for us to go into the backroom and help do the makeup and touchups for all the go-go dancers that were working at the convention. We were there for hours and we got to talk to them and as we built relationships with many of them, we were also able to minister to them. One of the ladies is a very known dancer in the club scene in Miami. She was actually the manager for all the girls that were working at eXXXotica and she was a little hesitant when we started to talk to her. Eventually, she started opening up to us. She shared how she works a lot and she is very tired. She just lost her dad and hasn't been able to mourn. Her mom lives in a nursing home and suffers from Alzheimer's and she's able to pay for everything with her go-go dancing job…(By the end of the following day, she had) accepted Jesus as her Savior and I will follow up and maintain contact with her.
*(names taken out of recaps to give honor and provide protection)
Praise God! There are many more stories but we can say that lives were impacted for the glory of God and we would not have been able to be share God’s love in a creative, loving, and consistent way without the support of those who gave and prayed for the XXXChurch Miami Team.
With more churches in South Florida and team members and supporters (from all over the world!) on board ready and willing to join God in the work he is already doing in the lives of those in the porn industry, how can each year not get better?!
Tommy and Kristin Parke
-Miami Area Leaders, XXXchurch