Alums’ ministry reminds us ‘Jesus Loves Strippers,’ too
The t-shirts are eye-catching: “Jesus Loves Strippers.” But it’s true, and touches on a deeper message surrounding God’s love.
Ten years ago, Baylor graduates Brett (BA ’98) and Emily (BA ’99) Mills began a ministry out of their home based on three simple words: “Jesus Said Love.” That applies to everyone — particularly the marginalized, those who don’t feel like anyone loves them. For Brett and Emily, that meant exotic dancers.
Beginning in Waco, where they stayed after graduating from Baylor, the Mills built up a network of volunteers to carry God’s love into clubs. As the latest issue of Baylor Magazine describes their work:
“They make their way to the back stages and dressing rooms to pass out everything from homemade baked goods to nail clippers and baby wash, and are met with hugs, family updates and recent photos of the dancers’ children. … Through Jesus Said Love, they have organized baby showers, attended dancers’ rehab sessions, advocated in court and hosted play dates between their children and those of the dancers. They now view these women as friends, not causes.”
Jesus Said Love aims to provide hope for the hopeless — to empower, not to enable. Over the past decade, as the ministry has grown into a network of teams in Waco, Dallas, Bryan/College Station and San Antonio, it has been able to rescue women from human trafficking and other abusive situations, to provide medical assistance, and to help several women open their hearts to Christ.
“We want to set them up not only for momentary success, but for sustainable success,” says Brett. “We’re just trying to fulfill the Great Commission by going, and loving, and connecting — and seeing God do what God does.”
Sic ’em, Jesus Said Love!
[Baylor Magazine goes out four times a year to all alumni, parents of current students, and anyone else interested in Baylor University. If you’re not already receiving it, click here to sign up for a free subscription.]