Ladies of Value: Serving Local Adult Entertainers
by Frank Brazell
Sharyn has been on staff at Manna U since 2010, and has not only made an impact within the college, but also brings a level of determination to loving the ladies in the local adult entertainment industry. Sharyn is one of the original people that began to go into the adult entertainment clubs with a small group from Manna Church six years ago. She was invited into the group because she had an earring making small group, and the other small group leader wanted to include earrings in the bags they planned to bring the ladies every month at the clubs. The Ladies of Value small group was formed because there was a desire to reach these ladies in adult entertainment, who are not likely going to leave the clubs and come to church on Sundays.
“Unless we go and visit them, how are they going to hear about Jesus?” – Sharyn
This small group, entirely made up of women, goes into the dressing rooms to pray, talk, and just be there with the dancers. When Sharyn first began going and talking with these ladies, she was nervous and spoke superficially with them–she talked about their shoes, their make-up and tattoos, but now she is able to go in and really talk with them and pray for them to the point where they expect her and lovingly call her and the small group, “the church ladies” (a title which in the beginning wasn’t so loving, but has become endearing).
The Ladies of Value group prays for these ladies, talk about life, and sometimes talk about what the “church ladies” want to hear, the process of getting out of adult entertainment. However, for some that is more difficult, going from making up to $1,000 a night, it can be hard to move on.
Several of the dancers have told Sharyn the only way they could dance was if they were high on something. Even though drug use is prohibited, it is still prevalent. This small group still prays for them, goes with them to a church service; they have taken phone calls to give advice; they have gone to the local jail to pray for a spouse; they have helped write a job resume; they have been that shoulder to cry on and that person to call when they feel alone and will not be judged for it, but rather will be welcomed with love.
“We have many opportunities to show love in a very, very practical way.”
“They’re ladies of value and their value is above rubies and diamonds, they’re precious, they’re God’s children, and a lot of these ladies have come from a religious, finger-wagging background…they’ve been hurt by the church, the church–their daddies, their mamas, their previous boyfriends, their baby daddys have all said ‘you’re never going to amount to anything, you’re not worth it.’” These ladies have value. Sharyn and others in this small group have been part of true life change in the lives of these women. Since beginning six years ago the Ladies of Value small group visits anywhere from 8-12 clubs once a month and have led 6-10 ladies to Christ!