What it Looks Like || The Well Water Journey

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A peaceful scene from a recent evening drive spent in prayer/freaking out.

Most days, I feel certifiably insane. I’m a twenty-year-old ex-pastor’s daughter virgin who felt called to start an outreach to women dancing at the local strip club called Well Water Fargo. It doesn’t make sense. Despite years leading up to this and training received, I often feel completely clueless and in over my head.

I’ve compared this process to having a baby – if you really thought about the pain, years, money, and hard work that it takes to give and sustain the life, there’s no way you’d agree to take on the challenge. So you just go for it. Not knowing exactly what this thing will look like, where it will take you, or even if you’re doing things right.

I want to be transparent about where I am at and how this unfolds. Maybe it’s not the best marketing strategy and there’s this nasty pride in me that wants to pretend that it’s all easy and wonderful and I have this extra helping of faith that makes the whole world look like a magic fairy dream land. The truth is, it’s hard. Chasing dreams is hard. Starting new things is hard. Having faith is hard. If opening up to you, dear internet readers, about the hard parts means that you are encouraged to press in to the dreams and desires God has placed in your own heart, then it’s totally worth risking looking weak. His power is made perfect in our weakness – which is why He gives us callings so far beyond our perceived abilities. This thing is beyond me. It scares me.

And this is what it looks like:

It looks like endless cups of coffee – those brewed in my own home and those sipped over conversations about vision with people wanting to get involved.

It looks like monthly lunch with the women’s ministry ladies, most of them decades older than me, but filled with more wisdom, encouragement, and Holy Spirit than I can express.

It looks like books being read – autobiographies about women in the sex industry and insightful quick reads on prayer and nonprofit management.

It looks like spending a lot of time praying – not always in bold intercessory moments, but more often in my spirit talking to God and saying a whole lot of “what is the world did you get me into?” sort of prayers. It looks like freaking out and letting go. It looks like doubt and questions and moments of fear.

It looks like God saying to me once again, “have I not commanded you be strong and courageous?” It’s almost like He is saying, “c’mon Liv, how many times do I have to tell you this? I.Have.It.Under.Control.”

It looks like me sitting at the keyboard in my living room and just worshiping God because He’s worth it. In return, He quiets my spirit and brings peace in it all.

It looks like returning to the stories of the Israelites coming into the promise land and how freaking faithful God was even though they were total butt-heads. I can relate in many ways.

It looks like seeing my community come out and support me and every time I think about it, I want to cry. Like I’ll never ever be able to express the fullness of my gratitude for the friends who were there for the first Well Water meeting. These beginning stages are so emotional and seeing which people prioritize standing beside me in a crucial part of my life journey is crazy humbling.

It looks like emails and newsletters and videos and prayer lists and strategizing and all the administrative hoopla.

It looks like starting to set foot on the ground around the club and just trust that Holy Spirit is making a way even now through simple things like praying as I walk around the block.

It looks like trying to balance the rest of my life as a student, small group leader, mentor, photographer, and general human stuff like family member and friend. That looks like days of putting Well Water on the back burner because other things just need to get done.

It looks like a mess sometimes.

It looks like a beautiful adventure.

It looks like a move of God.

I’m somehow standing in the middle as God reminds me to lift my eyes above the craziness. It’s so easy to be overwhelmed, but my Jesus is right there – asking for my gaze, my heart, and trust. He’s so dang beautiful that no chaos could rival for my attention.

That’s what it comes down to at the end of the day – not the craziness or the mess or the hardness or the fear – it comes down to the fact that following God’s call on my life is worth it. Not because of success or anything on this earth, but because my God is just that good. He’s worth extravagance beyond my wildest imagination. He’s worth every single dream and plan and desire. He’s worth the largest sacrifice. He’s worth lavishing my life at His feet.

The best part is, we could never out-lavish Him. For every time we say that He’s worth it, we are only grasping a glimpse of how He feels towards us. He says that we are worth it. Absolutely insane, but absolutely true.

Well Water Fargo

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In the Bible, there’s this beautiful story about Jesus’ interaction with a woman at a well. This woman was ostracized by traditional religion, she was promiscuous and deemed immoral, lacking respect from society. Yet Jesus met her right where she was at and he offered her life. He offered her living water. He engaged her in meaningful conversation. He revealed Himself to her and changed her entire life.

This story is one that sets an example to people following Jesus as to how we are to interact with people, especially those who are outside of the normal confines of church. As I embark on a new chapter of loving people within my community, this story serves as a template for how to do outreach.

Three years ago, I was introduced to the concept of a strip club ministry and instantly, something in my heart jumped at the thought. In Duluth, there was a group that went in and brought pizza to the girls working and built friendships. They would pray over their friends, bring gifts on holidays, and became a support system. There’s something really beautiful about going to people exactly where they are at and loving them in the messy moments of real life.

If you’ve talked to me since then, you may have heard me say that “the dream” is to be a soccer mom by day and run a strip club ministry by night. And while most of my future is unknown, the big thing that I’ve been praying into for three years is a strip club outreach. Part of me has been waiting for someone else to do it, to just be able to join in with someone else or move to another city with an existing outreach, but that hasn’t been the path God has led me on.

The time and opportunity has come to launch Well Water Fargo, a strip club outreach in Fargo, North Dakota.

I’ve been approved with Strip Church, a national ministry network that provides training, support, and guidance for outreaches. That’s step one in a process that’s going to be a whole adventure ahead. There’s a lot of praying, planning, and working to come. In the next few months, I’ll be assembling a team that has a heart to see women in the sex industry loved by Jesus.

The plan is that in January 2016, we will start meeting once a month for prayer, worship, and training. Anyone is welcome to come, check this out, and partner with us in setting the groundwork for God to move. (Location is still TBA.) If God gives the go ahead, we will be starting the physical club outreach in the fall of 2016. One thing that I’m really excited about as a ministry distinctive is that each outreach will be covered in prayer and worship.

Well Water Fargo will have two teams as a part of the outreach – a small team of women who are going to be in the clubs and building the relationships, but also a larger team that will partner in prayer and worship. This allows for anyone to get involved, but a high level of dedication, accountability, and intentionality to be present in the small team that conducts outreach.

If you have any desire to get involved, please contact me at wellwaterfargo@gmail.com! We are going to need people of different ages, skill sets, and giftings. It would also be amazing to get churches in the Fargo-Moorhead area involved and engaged in this outreach! The requirement for being a part of this ministry at the base level, is a love for Jesus and a love for people. There must be a belief that God has the power to change cities, prayer works, and no one is ever too far gone.

Women in the sex industry are real people with stories and families and futures. We want to see God come into their lives and display His love and mercy. And we are here to partner with what God is doing in this city and their own lives already. It may be hard and messy, but I’m pretty sure that it’s going to be one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever witnessed. I’d love for you to witness it with me.