4 years and I am still amazed every time we do this. Every year we run out of Bibles. Every year there are amazing, only God could do, connections with people. Every year we are blessed by willing people who give of their prayers, time and money to have this outreach happen. I will say that this year I was surprised by how many Christians were at the show. There seemed to be a lot more than I met in years past, and I mean people who could identify a church they regularly attended, some even serving in ministry. Makes me think we need to talk about this more in our churches and identify the connection between porn, addiction and human trafficking.
Here are some snippets of conversations we had at the show: “I don’t exist in the real world, no one pays attention to me otherwise” – girl involved with porn “I think I may be addicted to porn, what do I do now?” – a guy who initially was joking about a porn addiction but then identified many of his behaviors in the telltale signs of addcition Some of the thoughts we are able to use to challenge people were: We love people and we use things – what does it really mean to love someone?
Two of our team members have blogged a bit about their time with us and I highly recommend reading them:
Elizabeth’s Blog: http://ourjourneywithporn.blogspot.ca/
Thank you for your support of this outreach.
Read below about the experiences of some of the Vancouver 2013 team at the Vancouver Taboo Show:
It was a great opportunity to challenge people, in a friendly way, on their beliefs and reasons for being at the show. I feel like a lot of people were really impacted by our being there.
I was surprised at the variety of people that showed up, definitely from all walks in life. I had a lot of people say they used to go to church, but left because they were hurt from the church. It actually stunned me on how many experienced that. But I loved that we were down there as the church, giving a new light and praying that perspectives would be changed. The church is not a building; it’s the body of Christ. It was awesome seeing people come out and say “Wow, this is really cool that you guys are here.” Overall, I am so blessed that I was able to share in this outreach. Despite the things that I saw, I KNOW God is ALL over it. I know He used every single one of us in some form or another. I will never forget this experience, and I do not intend for this to be the last time I will do something like this.
This experience was life changing. I found the more real I was with my personal story, the more receptive the attendees of the show became. I cannot wait to see the different areas that I can reach those in the industry in my own hometown as well as this experience re-ignited my passion to help teens as they figure out dating and sex throughout high school. The highlight of the trip for me was after I spent about 20-30 minutes with an atheist and his girlfriend, he asked for a Bible. I could tell the wheels were spinning and God was working. I will never be the same again.
This was a definite step outside my comfort zone, but I think it was really important that someone be at the sex show to speak truth and life into the lives of people who are following a dead end road to frustration and broken relationships.
I loved my experience at the show! I was blown away by how receptive people were to us and how curious they were about who we were. It was overwhelming how positive the response was. Over and over people shared how they loved what we were about and how needed our ministry was. My heart broke for the people caught in addiction and they were shocked at the statistics and even how women can get addicted too. Another thing I saw was how people enthusiastically agreed when I said that I felt that the church has not done a very good job of loving those in this industry. They would often share a story of judgment, hurt and deep rejection which I know hurts the heart of Jesus. It was incredible to be able to share with a pornographer my own story and hear his. He supported our ministry and even asked for a Bible. I loved when a guy, after suspecting he might have a porn addiction after asking what the characteristics were, earnestly asked me, “What do I do now?” I saw the emotion in a porn performer’s eyes as I told her, “You matter. You have infinite value and Jesus loves you.” There was so much darkness but that weekend there was light and hope. One guy who passed by even commented, “Good to know Jesus is here,” and I agreed. Our God, He is all about redemption and restoration and it was amazing to be used by Him is such a unique way!