Sunday, April 16, 2006
It's Three A.M. Do You Know Where Your Pimp Is?
A little controversial title...I know, I know. If it offends you, sorry, but my aim is to make the rest of this post worth your discomfort.
At Furman, I remember the sororities and fraternities used to get together and have a 'pimp and ho' party. The girls would dress in as little as possible, and cake on the make up. The guys would show up in fake fur coats, big sunglasses, and Gucci shoes. They'd carry canes and hug up on the ladies. It was pretty raunchy if you ask me, and no, I never participated by dressing up like a prostitute. Everyone would laugh and joke around and think they were so cool. A bunch of rich white kids whose Mommies and Daddies were paying their way through a $30,000/year school so they could all grow up to be doctors or lawyers or business people. We all had no idea what it was really like.
Now, I'm not saying that I'm some expert on the ways and lives of ladies who walk the street selling their bodies for money and the men who have trapped them in that lifestyle. Honestly, until this morning at about 3am I had never seen a real prostitute...Julia Roberts was as close as I had come (in Pretty Woman, of course). But, this experience really opened my eyes to see it differently.
We hit the streets around 3:45 am...it was prime time for what was happening. Arriving on Sunset Blvd after getting prayed up, we donned roses and cards which had information for these girls to contact the church if there was ever a situation in which they wanted to get out of the lifestyle. We would have the opportunity to talk with the girls, give them a rose, tell them how the rose represents God's love for them...that He cares for them and that He sees them as a beautiful, delicate rose.
I couldn't imagine hearing that if I were in that situation. No one has cared for them lately. These girls, sometimes too young to have a driver's license, have been thrown away, scared, and have seen and experienced more trauma than anyone should. They don't want to do this with their lives. They had dreams when they were little just like I did, I bet. But they haven't been given the same opportunities that I have and maybe that's why they're walking the streets after midnight, and I'm working on my Master's Degree homework after midnight.
There was, for the most part, a pretty good response to us asking them if we could pray for them...for safety that night and for hope in their lives. We then gave them a hug, told them how beautiful they are, and went on our way.
After the time walking the streets...after the roses were all given out. We went to the donut shop. There we saw the epitomy of pimp...the expensive SUVs with the rims and the bass pumping. We saw some guys with fur coats, Gucci shoes and gold plates/diamond studed teeth. That was what I expected...
What I didn't expect was to have some sort of good conversation with them. But that's what happened. Through the people who were leading the outreach (they have built trusting realationships with these guys over the years), we met and talked easily to about 10 pimps at that donut shop. I was surprised to see how genuine, how well spoken, and how driven these guys are. I was impressed at their listening skills, too. They'd ask us questions, and really want to know the answer. We asked them questions, too...questions about their lives, and they were pretty open to answering.
The interesting, but not surprising thing that I found was that these guys, too, have lived hard lives. They were abused, saw a lot of hardships growing up, and sometimes thrown away by their families and society. Getting out of jail, it's hard to get a job sometimes, and so one thing led to another, and some of them have been managing these girls for 15-20 years. They really are pretty good business men, y'all! Think about it...they know how to market a product, provide a need, and get payment/results. They have strong drive, and for the most part, are pretty successful.
That's why they are the ones we need to be praying for and encouraging towards salvation! If they get saved, they'll be able to free the girls under them. Not only that, but think about the great ways they could impact the world for the Kingdom in ministry and the business world.
They have heard the gospel, and some of them are really counting the cost of following God. One guy said, 'I'd like to be a Christian, but I'd have to give everything up. What would I do, then?" Hey...I'd rather him be there, thinking in that way than not at all and just jumping into it without knowing what he's getting himself into.
So, please keep praying for some of the ladies of the night and the men who control them. God is doing something and it was a privelige to be out there where He's already working. He is molding and making us as He leads us to and fro.