As you drive past the various men's clubs around Houston, you may not think of them as places where ministry happens. However, a church member recently shared a story that illustrates how God is at work behind those closed doors. Her first-hand account of what transpired is provided below.
In light of the encouragement to share “our story,” I wanted to pass along something that happened Sunday, November 10, following Pastor Gregg’s sermon…
As you know, Pastor Gregg encouraged the church to pray about someone we could give a Bible to over the holidays...little did I know, God would provide the perfect opportunity so quickly.
On Sunday, I had the privilege to attend a baby shower for a woman whom I met through a prayer outreach group that visits various men’s clubs and spas throughout the Houston area. During our outreach, the Lord has given us great favor with many of the managers and as a result, we are able to talk with the girls as they share prayer requests and other concerns before we take a moment, in the club or spa, to pray for them.
It is one of the most incredible experiences to stand in the dressing room or in the lobby to pray, in the name of Jesus, even as men arrive to visit the club. I guarantee that is not what they expect to see or hear the moment they walk through the doors!
Our friend is the cashier at one of these men’s clubs and has been extremely open not only to the prayer and goodies, but also to the authentic relationship that has been consistently offered to her over the last year and the moment the group found out she was pregnant with her precious baby girl, there was no hesitation about hosting a baby shower for her at a local tea room.
Due to my hectic personal schedule, I had made plans to purchase a gift following church on my way to the shower and had been praying all week about the “perfect” gift – I wanted to give her something that she needed, but also something that was meaningful…it was during the sermon that the Lord spoke…I was to give her a Bible.
I can’t tell you how many thoughts immediately rushed in trying to distract me from listening (“this is a shower, given by Christians, don’t you think everyone will give her a Bible – let’s not be too churchy and offend/turn her away,” “I’m sure she already has a Bible – you would just be wasting your money and diapers are much more practical,” etc.), but I ignored the doubts and purchased her a beautiful leather Bible following the service.
When I arrived to the shower, the small group of ladies had arranged the most beautiful party – flowers, tea, scones, sandwiches, cake and gifts. It was perfect! I am not sure our friend has ever had a baby shower thrown for her, but the anticipation and unexplainable joy we had in celebrating her baby girl’s life and showering her with love and goodies was truly an honor. I could tell she was overwhelmed by the generosity and unconditional kindness she was being shown and didn’t want to miss a moment, so she slowly and thoughtfully unwrapped each present.
As she was handed my gift to open, I took a deep breath praying she wouldn’t receive the contents as anything other than a blessing. I watched her expression light up with excitement as she whispered, “This is my first Bible.” I couldn’t believe my ears…how is that possible?? She is 38 years old, grew up in America, has 4 children and has NEVER owned a Bible?!
As I realized what was happening and the significance of the moment, my heart was full of emotion and I was humbled that through my own assumptions, I could have missed the opportunity to give my friend the most precious gift…God’s very word.
I have spent most of this week reflecting upon God’s kindness towards my friend…the way He sought her out (a 38 year old cashier in a men’s club) and continues to pursue a relationship with her by introducing her to caring Christian women that love and accept her with no conditions…the same way He pursued, loved and accepted me.
I am thankful to attend a church that encourages you to constantly think outside of yourself towards others and to exercise my faith, trusting God to speak and provide in every situation.
Continue to pray for this group of women as they minister to ladies at clubs such as this and in other venues around the greater Houston area. Ask God to provide them with boldness and favor as they step out into dark places in His name!