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Scarlet Hope is the first and only ministry in Louisville that reaches out to women in the adult entertainment industry and shares God’s hope with them.

I love how it began: one woman named Rachelle followed God into a strip club and asked, “What can I do to help?” I’m sure the bouncer and the club owner thought she was crazy.

Five years later, Scarlet Hope regularly brings home-cooked meals to 19 out of the 24 strip clubs in Louisville and simply spends time with the women. Brick by brick, Scarlet Hope women built enduring relationships because Jesus wants these women to know that they deserve honor, purity, and righteousness, even if the world refuses to do so.

I met one of these great women at our Hope Day Program, a weekly gathering where our ladies study the Gospel. J, who had been involved in the sex trafficking industry for 30 years, spoke truth when she commented on her body, “If God is my landlord, then I am an awful tenant, ripping up his house.”

I realized we are all pretty bad tenants – we drink alcohol, we don’t exercise daily, we watch pornography, we speak spiteful words and we think selfish thoughts. And yet because God is our landlord, we have the best defense system, we are never lacking in resources and we are shown grace whenever we forget to pay rent.

J knows this – she is getting baptized this week.

Within the past three weeks, I learned how to go to bed at 10 p.m., feed a family of seven on $280 and share two showers with 12 ladies. Oh, and there’s assigned reading, too.

I never imagined I would be sharing a home with 12 service-loving, God-seeking women at any point in my life, and the amount of blessing that comes with it has been so nurturing. My teammates and I quickly went from strangers to sisters – not like college freshmen aiming to enjoy the “prime of their lives,” but as a diverse assembly of women constantly ready to set our pride aside and pour into people’s lives.

When you sign up for a Christian social justice internship, you learn that you’re signing up for the people. It’s not for the money, not for the resume-building, but for the relationships and for the humility.

The people at Love Thy Neighborhood, Sojourn Community Church, and Scarlet Hope have been slowly replacing my pessimism toward transitory friendships with a refreshed sense of resolution.

This is the next chapter of my crazy life. God has already set me up to meet awe-inspiring women and to do good work here at Scarlet Hope. I’m excited to tackle what’s to come.