Twice a week, NightLight staff go into the red light areas in small teams.
What often happens when we go into a gogo club/bar/prostitution venue is this: we find a seat and ask the Lord to highlight a woman to us. If He does, we call her over, buy her a drink, and talk with her. When she comes back with her drink, we toast. Don’t ask me why. I don’t feel like toasting or celebrating in that environment, but the women always initiate the toast, so… what the heck. 🙂
In our conversations on outreach, we build friendships with these women. We learn about their families, their life stories, their dreams and aspirations. We hear how they came to work there – the broken marriages, abusive relationships, insurmountable debt, the pressure from family members to support them – and some nights they talk of wanting to leave that work. If NightLight can help them, we offer what we have.
Last night we returned to a bar we had visited three weeks ago. We were thrilled to learn that two teenage girls at risk stopped working at that bar after their first night. Annie leaned over, grinning, to tell me the news, and raised her glass. Yeah! Now – that’s worth a toast. 🙂
Later on, I talked to another teenage girl, a brand new dancer in the bar who described to me that she was afraid of the men and didn’t want to be there. I pulled my phone from my purse and asked for her phone number to contact her about other job possibilities. She motioned for me to put my phone back. “I’m not allowed to give my phone number. If the boss sees that, she’ll get angry,” she explained. So, I asked her what she thought we should do. “You tell me your number and I’ll memorize it. Then, I’ll tell you mine, and you’ll memorize it,” she said with a twinkle of sedition in her eye. We repeated each other’s phone numbers back to each other over and over until we had them memorized. We were grinning and laughing, momentarily unaware of the scene playing out in the room. Then, with the phone numbers committed to memory, we toasted. Yep. I’ll drink to that!