EROTICA LA RECAP
Erotica LA was this past weekend. We had two booths this year. Our first booth featured Wally and we were asking people to give up porn for 7 days by taking Wally’s 7-Day Porn Challenge. The second booth had the” Jesus Loves Porn Stars" t-shirts and a huge display and cards telling the public that Jesus loves them. We had three girls working the “Jesus Loves” booth and JR from Gate Creative came along to help Mike and myself out. My wife Jeanette and Nolan were along for the trip as well although they hung back at the hotel and just helped with errands and stuff. God worked in a huge way! This is our 3rd trip to Erotica LA and I would say it was the best. We signed 213 people up for the porn challenge and the girls gave away over 250 free T-shirts to girls that work in the porn industry. The girls also made several contacts with some of the porn stars and have been in touch with some of them already this week. Thanks to Integrity Online who gave us 200 copies of their filter to give out to people at the porn show and to www.flickerrecords.com for hooking us up with hundreds of CD’s and DVDS to give away to those who took the challenge.
Here are some recaps told by the people who worked the show. READ THIS WHOLE THING.
To be a light to this world is what we are called to be. Jesus worked along the sides of prostitutes. I felt as though I was in his place this weekend. The place where I felt Christ called me to be was the porn convention. My heart broke to see how the girls had no respect for there bodies. Or guys to that matter. Our body is a temple of Christ and so many temples where exposed. I wanted to go cover everyone up. I offered my jacket to a girl that said she was cold but I knew she probably wouldn't take it. The girls where like a machine. People can come up and grab touch and take a picture with. Underneath that machine is a person. I have so many thoughts on how this weekend went. I don't even know where to start. I guess I can say I left knowing that God used me to touch a couple of girl’s lives. I know I will contact a couple of them that I built relationships with and my hope is they will respond. I trust God had me there for a purpose. I feel as though I was called to let people know just how much Jesus loves them. I’m no better then anyone I met there. We all fall short of the glory of GOD.HE IS GOD THOUGH AND HIS GRACE IS AMAZING! From now I will pray that the images I saw will erase from my mind. With going to this convention I feel I did pay a price. The images I can picture in my mind now are disturbing and sad. I know and trust that God can take them away. I’m thankful I got to go and be apart of this. God can use us now to reach people back at home.
From JR (My top 10 porn show moments)
It’s funny… I found myself answering the critics in my head before I started writing this. Then it occurred to me. The critics of XXXchurch.com were not at a porn show over the weekend. If you don’t get that, You’re probably a critic.
1. Sonny, the 25 year old x-professional skater now porn star, who told me “All I want is fame, money and God is ok with how I’m doing it.“ 2. James, a paraplegic who said, "If you want to help me don’t pray for me, give me money so I can buy a prostitute to touch me… no one will touch me.“ 3. The hundreds of people who told me I can’t get enough porn. 4. The guy in the red shirt who just got out of rehab for booze and was filling his bag with porn until he came to our booth. We talked and prayed, I’m pretty sure I ruined his porn show. 5. The guy in the blue shirt who told me he’s so addicted to porn he has no friends. 6. Donna who works for the LA convention center who thanks God she is no longer in the porn business. 7. Craig and Mike’s push to see healing and recovery in the name of Christ. 8. The 213 people who took the Wally Porn Free Challenge. 9. The young porn producer who admitted his industry is destroying people, after he told me XXXchurch is stupid. 10. My walk back to the hotel on Saturday night… I took an 8 block look at my life given the days events. I felt remorse, joy, disappointment, sorrow and peace. God wants us in the trenches. I will no longer be comfortable sitting in a pew, and if you don’t get that… your probably a critic. Thanks Craig, thanks Mike for getting it.
This weekend was by far the best and most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done in my entire life! It was weird because I’m the type of person that worries about everything, but I was not worried or nervous at all for this weekend; I was completely at peace... even excited. It was so awesome to be able to share the Truth with all the people at the show, and most of all the porn stars. They were all so sweet and so excited about what our T-shirts had to say. It was weird because even though I didn't know any of these girls, I loved them all so much. It gave me so much energy and excitement when the girls would come to our booth on their breaks just to get the shirt. Then they would bring their friends that were also involved in the business over to our booth. There were definitely some times of frustration, but the girls' grateful and excited attitudes made it all worth it. By the end I felt completely drained (emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually), but I can't wait until the next one! I am so anxious to get even one email. I know at least that they were left with (even if it was just in the back of their mind) "Jesus Loves Porn Stars" and they are porn stars, therefore Jesus loves them. That’s all they need to know... at least for now.
I'm so sad right now, so broken, so burdened. The tears are flowing inside me but I cannot let them out. Why do people want to do this? Why do they think so little of themselves that they would take something so precious, so special, something that God wants to save for one person he has brought you. Why have I disrespected myself? How can God who gives us our every breath love us after taking his very creation and making it something so ugly and using it for only selfish gain. As I am at this show I see all types of girls and guys that are full of potential to grow as people and in future relationships with God. As I sit in this room empty and quiet I think about going back in there, and I can’t. I can’t go back yet. It’s just too hard to look at. The hurt I have inside for these people is too great. While walking through the show my soul is being suffocated slowly and the only way to breath is to step away from the beautiful facade of the porn industry. A life of complete emptiness and abandonment is awaiting these young girls. I want to hold them and convince them somehow that they are so special and precious and don't need to be used. They don't' need to be grabbed and disrespected by disgusting guys. They are amazing women that God wants to love and hold close. You should see the hurt after some guy puts his hands on them for a picture. They smile for the camera and cry in their hearts. How can I, through my Jesus, help someone that has no understanding of love. By example right? But I am only here three days. All I can do is pray that God will become so real and His amazing grace will heal their broken hearts and minds. As for the guys... pray without ceasing. To talk to them as they look in my eyes is like talking to a video camera with no sound. They memorize what I look like and the way I move my lips, but hear nothing I am saying. Their thoughts are wicked and it is obvious by their empty "compliments" that hurt more than they feel good. I am the hundredth girl they have asked out that day and yet they think I should feel special for giving me attention. Their eyes only see what fulfills them physically and they too are as empty as the girls. The thing that's funny is both men and women are here feeding off of each other. They are all here to satisfy themselves financially and or sexually. No one here actually cares about another person. They just want to take what each other offers. Not one fulfilling, positive things comes from this industry... Not one! The "porn stars" become so addicted to drugs that they cant feel anything anymore. Their hearts are hardened and they don't understand the concept of love other than in the physical sense. But to sell themselves, they act as if their world couldn't be better. Lives and relationships are ruined... Do we not know we only have one life? One life, and we chose to degrade ourselves to a level of absolute self-mutilation, physically, mentally and emotionally. But God is and always will be Bigger. He will always give us grace if we run to him. Seeking the Lord has been the most incredible and fulfilling experience of my life. He has turned me into a woman that has been so hurt by past relationships that have been destroyed by the porn industry to a woman that has a love for these people and wants the very best for them. I pray that soon I will see the loving eyes of my God and He will take away the hurt of my heart and give unending grace to the people that have undoubtedly mocked and shamed his name. One-day things will change and we will stop destroying ourselves. In this moment of weakness I was so so sad. My heart literally ached because of the sin and selfishness that was going on. Thousands upon thousands of people lined up to pay up to $30 for a weekend filled with lust and physical desires only to go out of the show and think that what they saw is how sex and relationships should be. God taught me that I need to love these people even more, and that Sin is sin and I am no different than them. I too have made compromises that have hurt me, and just like me, God can heal them. Also I realized just how disrespectful we all are to each other. How can we ever have true relationships with friends or significant others if we only care about ourselves. Christ gave his everything for us to the point of being beaten for hours and mocked and embarrassed and yet we still live only for ourselves. Why? The only way to live is for Christ and others. Then we will be fulfilled in a way that in UN-explainable. My thoughts on going to this porn show are that I am so glad I had the opportunity to be there and to hopefully touch someone’s life. But they in turn touched mine and my thoughts and prayers are with them in hopes for a better, fulfilling life without drugs or the feeling of being used and disrespected.
Final words from Mike
It’s rare in life when you get to lay it all on the line. To find out truly who you are, what you believe, and what is ultimately important. Erotica LA is a refining fire. To be submersed in that type of environment for 3 days and to come out the other side unscathed is a miracle. It's not something I want to do every week, but a very important experience. I think about the radical things we do at XXXchurch. Many of them controversial and over the top. People have pointed their finger at Craig and myself and told us we have gone too far. But I believe there isn’t a single person who would say that if they stood beside us in a 10ft X 10ft booth at Erotica LA. You would get it. You would see it. It would make perfect sense. We met a guy at the show named Randal who told us that Jesus wants us moving. If were moving forward we are pleasing God. XXXchurch is moving forward. No doubt in my mind. I struggle to really convey all the stories, all the revelations, all the moments. It’s still way too fresh and raw. Much of it too disturbing to mention. I’m still processing and figuring it all out. I promise I will tell more details as soon as it makes sense. I just know that as I stood in that booth, I knew that God had our back and I think he was smiling. You have just read everyone’s account of the show; I now encourage you to move. Move forward. Get out of your comfort zone. Stretch your faith muscle a little. It’s a beautiful thing.