I love music. There is no one who comes to know me who doesn’t leave knowing about my undying love for dope beats, masterfully executed guitar licks, skillful vocal runs and bridges that build and bring me to tears. There is something about finding a song that perfectly punctuates a moment to bond you to humanity in a way that you weren’t bound before. Music is a nod to the human condition that mere words sometimes can’t achieve. From contemporary worship music to “gangster” rap to orchestra, I am most spiritually connected when I am able to connect to the creativity and the passion that poured over every note and every word. Music is absolutely my first love language; Which is why I shouldn’t have been surprised at how God used music to lavish His love on me when I was serving on Friday.
I recently found a local ministry that does beautiful work for a vulnerable portion of our population that is often overlooked. After I returned from Kenya, my heart was changed inexplicably. Though our trip focused on serving our Teams who live in Kenya full-time, meeting and spending time with the citizens of Old Town Mombasa, and hosting a camp for the Street Boys, I found myself desperately seeking information on the street girls in Kenya. Months of research about organizations on the ground in Kenya and around the world serving this segment of the population turned up lots of answers that encouraged me to press on and seek further. In my search for vulnerable populations here in the DFW metroplex, I found an organization that immediately grabbed my attention: Jesus Said Love.
Jesus Said Love or Jesus Loves Strippers or JSL, depending on with whom you are speaking, seeks to bring the Gospel message to strippers. In short, this team serves the exotic dancer population along HWY I-35 in Texas; a notorious route for trafficking business. JSL delivers care packages and meals to the clubs, prays over the dancers, staff and clientele, & provides childcare and resources for exiting the sex-work industry. Last night, I had the privilege of spending time with the team to pray for the December trip into the clubs. The pair leading our group peppered the evening with worship music, helping to set the tone of the club team’s timeline. At one point, they started the song Cornerstone and the whole tone of the evening shifted. By the the last verse, the whole room had completely surrendered to postures that helped each of them best experience worship.
When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless stand before the throne.
That was it. JSL seeks to serve these women who work in an industry that does nothing to guard their hearts, minds, and bodies against the darkness in those clubs. Hearing the phrase “dressed in His righteousness alone” somehow bears more weight when the whole of your prayers in that moment are directed toward women who are dressed in little more than the expressions on their faces. The cry of that phrase then turns toward asking the Lord to dress these precious women in His mercy and endless grace. It’s hard not to fall on your face in worship when God meets you in the moment and reminds you that He loves you. In the middle of your mess, in the middle of your failure, in the middle of your denial; He loves you. His desire to draw us near to Him is greater than anything we could do or that the world could judge us for. Being able to stand faultlessly before the throne is a beautiful testament to how much longs to demonstrate His love for us. There is a tremendous outpouring of prayer and love for the men and women affected by this ministry. God is using JSL to soften the hearts in those clubs to be receptive to the conversations about salvation and He is moving aggressively to reconcile those who are lost.
I am blessed beyond measure to serve a God who hears my prayers and knows my heart well enough to direct me to a ministry that serves a population similar to the one my heart is connected to in Kenya. While I don’t know if God will ever lead me back to serve the women in Mombasa, He has opened my heart to these beautiful women in DFW and I am so excited to see how He is going to show up and move in each of their lives. I’m looking forward to the unexpected ways He will use music to draw me nearer and open my heart to His people. Thank you God for making these lyrics new and powerful every time I hear them. Thank you for helping them jump off the page and into my face in a way that would allow me to see your daughters how you see them. I’m endlessly humbled by the ways you pursue and challenge me to walk more in Your ways.
If you have interest in JSL, check them out: http://www.jesussaidlove.com .
” From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting us to the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be in who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” – 2 Corinthians 5: 16-21