Monday, May 12, 2008

Celebrating the Imprint of Christ

I spent Mothers' Day driving to Dayton and spending the day with my sister-in-law, Cheryl. It was her birthday, so I drove down to surprise her - that was so fun! In addition, her husband, John, planned a small surprise dinner party with some of their closest friends. It was the coolest thing.

I had a great time getting to know Jeanne and Jaimee, two of Cheryl's very best friends. For me (since I am shy) it was a little uncomfortable at first, but then we began talking God's Kingdom...

Jeanne lives smack dab in the center of her community in Xenia and strives to develop relationships with her neighbors, people at her son's football games, and others as she volunteers at her kids' school. She is a gifted evangelist.

Cheryl's other friend, Jaimee, spends a night a week at a nearby strip club. She hangs out in the dressing room and talks with, leads, and loves the strippers. She said the owners are open to her being there because they care about these girls and they realize that stripping is not a job that you can retire doing. She takes resources with her - information about getting a ged, etc...but mostly she just loves like Jesus loves - unconditionally. She said they sometimes call her the church lady, which makes her uncomfortable, but I love it. Would that all people would associate church with someone who loves without condemnation...

We also talked about local poverty. Jaimee and Cheryl have fallen in love with the children that live in a low income area near them. They, along with their Church, Living Hope Church of the Nazarene, have done many one-time events and are now planning an ongoing after school program. Cheryl and Jaimee are leading the charge. God has broken their hearts. They have such a desire to see the injustice of poverty made right in their local area. As we talked, it was obvious that they feel insecure. They feel like they don't know what they're doing. I have every confidence in the world in them as I heard their hearts. They love with no strings attached. Small things done with love will change the world.

All in all, it has been a great trip. I think it helps sometimes to look out beyond our little, local area to see what God is doing. These moms confirmed what New Hope's Mothers' Day video was about. God is moving. He is redeeming. We are invited to be a part as we celebrate the imprint of Christ.


Anonymous said...

Wow, Vic! This is such an incredible testimony that these women have of how to just go out and love people - the exact way that Jesus would. Going to people who others shy away from, or judge, and just being there, just loving them. Awesome! Thanks so much for sharing this story about your visit. It is incredibly encouraging and inspiring.


Anonymous said...

This sounds so great! I talked so much about my trip I forgot to ask you about yours! I read an article in Relevant magazine one or two issues ago about a girl that was an ex-stripper that started a ministry in her area for strippers, you should read it , very interesting. Maybe Christies Cabaret needs someone to love the girls that work there?