What I saw on outreach yesterday was a lot of women desperately in need of respect and love. One woman in particular broke my heart, and I know my partner was moved by her, too.
We have had a breakthrough at a parlor we visit. For quite a while, no one would talk to us. Whoever answered the door would just politely "push" us away, and we got nowhere very quickly. We decided to just do dead drops: for maybe four or five months, we quietly entered the lobby, placed our gift by the door, rang the doorbell, and left. We did wonder at the seeming passivity of our approach, but we really didn't know what else to do. Neither one of us was willing to just let this parlor go, so we continued the dead drops.
A few months ago (admittedly my memory is fuzzy on exactly when we changed our approach, but it was probably sometime last summer), we started ringing the doorbell to just see what would happen. What a change! Women began speaking to us. We were so happy to see this parlor open up to us a little. Ironically, we have had some of our best connections to women at this parlor.
Yesterday, this new trend continued. We met a new woman who we immediately sensed was very beat down by life. She asked us if we were from a church; we aren't officially, of course, but that is a very common question. She accepted our gift (the fall leaves candle holder, Halloween card, and affirmation mini-poster in Korean and English) and seemed so happy to see us. We showed her the card we have of things she might need prayer for, which is also in Korean and English, and she said she needed all of them. The card actually has thirteen potential problems on it, so she was clearly feeling down that day.
She allowed us to hold her hands as my partner prayed for her, and what struck me was how tightly she gripped my hand. My partner later said the same thing. She really latched on to us, and when my partner finished praying, she didn't seem to want to let go or let us leave.
I have thought a lot about her since yesterday, about her pain and loneliness and apparent relief that someone cared about her. God, of course, does not want me or my partner to forget about her. He continues to show us women who need us and who need the unconditional love He is channeling for them through us.
This month, we are planning to start our prayer/ encouragement text line in Korean and English. I don't know what to expect, to be honest. There is most definitely a need for this. Women definitely need us. I don't, however, know how emboldened they will feel to text us. Will we get one text a week? Ten? Twenty? Zero? There's no way to know.
I am the founder of The Flashlight Project, and one of my dreams for women in Dallas' erotic massage parlors is for them to know their true worth. No matter what society tells them, no matter what customers tell them, no matter what they may tell themselves, I want them to know one thing, if nothing else: they are loved.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!