“I care about the girls, I want their dreams to come true. If this could be an ice cream shop and the girls could make a living working in it, I would make this an ice cream shop, but it’s not and it’s not what we do.” There was sincerity in his voice that we couldn’t help but become enamored with this former bouncer turned owner of the club and his story. Not all club owners were as receptive to us as he was- “Leave now, I am an absolute atheist.” Let me take you back to a couple of moments before this, we had approached the club with boldness knowing that there was a very high possibility that we wouldn’t be allowed to leave the gifts. As we walked in we met Roxy* and handed her a gift, she opened it, thanked us and disappeared behind the curtain. We waited for the bouncer to give us the red or green light, suddenly more girls came, we were excited to see the girls, but then the unexpected happened. The longtime owner of the club who has refused us every time came to the front and very belligerently told us to leave. We were in a bind, we desperately wanted to leave the gifts with the girls who were on the other side of the curtain, a moment ago they were so close to us and now they might as well have been thousands of miles away from us.
We are in the midst of the Christmas season; essentially Christmas is all about hope. Hope in the simplest sense is wishful thinking. If one was looking at the situation from the outside we might have had been wishfully thinking that we would be allowed to give the gifts to the girls. But, what if I told you that there is another definition of Hope that would radically change your perspective of the aforementioned story? The biblical meaning of Hope is a confident expectation, we walked in boldly, we were able to give one gift to Roxy*, though we were not allowed to give the gifts to the other girls, the message was already given to them. Though they did not have a physical item in their hands, love and hope were manifested through an exchange of smiles and conversation. We confidently expected God to show up and do what only He could do. As we walked away unable to leave the gifts, I know that the club, the girls who met us, and those who heard about us, are not the same. The news that they are loved, valued and purposed has been sent out and we confidently expect to hear stories about what went on in the hearts and minds of the women that night.
Twelve years ago, Harmony set out with a couple of friends, leaving gifts on the women’s cars, with the message that they are loved, valued and purposed. Today that revelation has caused women to change their course in life, to seek healing and become successful in all that life throws at them. There are hundreds of stories of women who have thanked us for not giving up on them, for continuing to come out to their clubs. That is why we will continue to visit clubs even when the owners send us away. If all we are able to hand out is one gift, all the preparation, all of the prayer time, it was all worth it. One girl who may not have ever been told that she was loved beyond measure, valued far beyond rubies, and created with an amazing purpose on her life has now heard this truth about herself. Treasures exists to help women discover these things about themselves.
It’s 12 am, we are parked at the 12th gas pump, with twelve volunteers and we are about to enter the twelfth club of the night. Biblically speaking, the number 12 symbolizes God’s power and authority at work in us. Some may call the ridiculous amount of 12’s we experienced Friday night coincidence, but I venture to say that God was nodding his head in approval, that he appreciated what Treasures is doing for his daughters and he is blessing it.
*Names are changed
Article by Lindsay Hall and Monique Calderon
Photo by Harmony Grillo