Tonight, I made a new friend on Twitter, HookersforJesus. Yes you read that right – it is an outreach ministry named Hookers for Jesus and it was started by Annie Lobért, a former prostitute in the escort services in Las Vegas.
Reading her story struck a chord with me – her beginnings had many similarities to things I’ve experience in my own life… rejection and hurts causing you to compromise yourself so severely. One paragraph I read I had to stop and reread several times because honestly I could have written it! It so accurately describes my own life experiences:
I was always chasing just to belong, hungry for acceptance, just to be loved. When I gave my self sexually to men, for that brief moment, I felt “wanted” and “needed”… but if you told me I was beautiful, I wouldn’t believe you. I didn’t see that when I looked in the mirror. I saw a rejected tramp with a broken heart.
I have to tell you – her story is a POWERFUL one – but not for the faint of heart! I sobbed like a baby and my heart was breaking as I walked through her experiences with her… there but for the grace of God go I.
I strongly suggest giving it a read if you want a real story of what prostitution looks like rather than the Hollywood-ized Pretty Woman fable. Read her testimony here. But the real reason for reading her story though isn’t just for an engaging read (although it definitely is!) – it’s because we REALLY need to understand the hold the sex industry has in our nation and we need to both pray and rise up in action to defeat it.
I’m going to quote some startling stats to you, these are from the Hookers for Jesus website.
- Average age of entry into prostitution is 14-16 yrs old (that’s my youngest stepdaughter Ashley‘s age – 15)
- Of those that enter prostitution, 42% are younger than 18 – think about what that means, if the average is around 15 and over half are over 18, they either aren’t over by very much or there are some folks being brought in at ages you don’t even want to think about… or both.
- Most remain in prostitution for an average of 11 yrs
- While in prostitution:
- 82% will be physically assaulted
- 78% will be threatened with a weapon
- 82% will be raped
- 73% will be raped more than 5 times
- 49% will have pornography made of them
- As a child, the majority were sexually abused and 49% were hit or beaten by a caregiver until injured or bruised
- 87% want to leave prostitution, but 78% have no safe place to stay
- The impact this line of work has on them is so severe that those in prostitution are diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as much as our war veterans (69%)
These people need Jesus! Only He is able to offer the MUCH needed freedom, deliverance, and restoration they need. I strongly encourage you to pray for everyone in the industry, tell others about what you’ve learned so people will know the truth, and consider supporting Hookers for Jesus – either financially, prayerfully, or both!
God I thank You for Annie and for this bold ministry. Lord, I pray You would work through her mightily to reach these people You love so dearly. Your heart breaks for them… and if we love You, ours should too. Thank You for helping to break my heart tonight… there are some things we don’t want to know, but not knowing leaves us in ignorance and others in bondage that we should be reaching for You! Forgive us for desiring our own comfort – our own desire to only want to hear about “good” things – rather than hearing truth and being moved with compassion as You are Lord. Thank You for Your mercy God! Thank You that You long for these lost and hurting people. Help us to love with Your love and bring them home to You.