We are called to something much greater than ourselves: to love God and to love others. I never thought my calling would be found intertwined in the hearts and lives of marginalized women in the sex industry. Jesus Said Love began growing in my heart as I stood serving breakfast at Mission Waco to women who worked the streets. Soon a chasm began growing between my life lived in green rooms and on stages as a worship leader and the lives of the women I met. A need for them to be seen, fully known and loved—right where they stood took root in my heart and in 2004, Jesus Said Love was created. Through the work of JSL, we help awaken hope and empower change in women’s lives who lost their voice, equipping them to leave the commercial sex industry when and if they desire. As I spent time with the women, I realized it was not my job to ‘save’ them, but rather join Jesus in the work He was already doing. This realization led to the development of Lovely Enterprises which provides sustainable products through female empowerment programs and microloans to survivors of the commercial sex industry; holistic programs such as Access which trains women to regain their power and influence so that they can self-sufficiently leave the industry; the Stop Demand School which serves as an intervention and diversion program for sex buyers; and more. Spending time with the women, allowed me to see myself and my calling more clearly. It is my hope that the work of JSL demonstrates our love for God and for others as we join God already at work and simply obey Him in loving the people He has placed in our path—showing them that they, too, are loved by God and belong. Wherever your path may take you, I hope that you will connect and love the people you encounter demonstrating the greatest commandment placed upon each of our lives. Love God. Love Others.
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