Meet "Winona"

Below, you'll find a story from our friend Shauna Storey, with NightLight International, about a recent victory through their work with women in the sex industry.

Dear Friends,

On April 24, we saw our first NightLight girl come to know Jesus! We'll call her "Winona." Let me share a little story.

We met Winona last fall at a local strip club. We actually met her by accident. A couple of us dropped by this club on a non-outreach night to say hello to the bartender there (who is a believer and ministers to the girls who works there on a regular basis!). As we sat and talked with the bartender, this girl sitting next to us jumped in on the conversation. Turned out she was a dancer there. She was taking classes at a local college. She went to a local church. And she really wanted to hang out.

So one of our team members began to invest in her. They began texting frequently. They started spending time together. We started learning a little more about Winona. She had worked in prostitution and pornography. She has a son that she doesn't have custody of. (Her former pimp does.) Honestly, I rarely heard about the relationship, except the occasional "yeah, we're still hanging out" and "yeah, she sometimes still goes to church" from our team member.

But then in April, we invited Winona to a women's rally at a church in town. We always invite girls we're mentoring to these rallies, but this was the first time any of them came. Winona was one of them, and at the end of the rally, she went forward to surrender her life to Jesus. In fact, our team member was on altar call duty that night and got to be the one to lead her in prayer!

The following Sunday, Winona got baptized. I have to admit…any time something like this happens with someone like Winona, I'm a little cautious. A little skeptical. A little unsure of the sincerity and a little inclined to wait and see if transformation really happens.

Let me tell you…transformation is happening in Winona's life. The week after her baptism, she began searching voraciously for other work. She began reading her Bible like crazy, attending a new believer's class at her church, and just simply going for it. She's even had some conversations with our team member about the steps she might need to take to get her son back.

So here's the deal. God is working in Winona's life. In fact, God was working in her life from the first time we met her. Shoot, He was working in her life from before we met her. And He was working in her life for 6 months after we met her…even when it didn't look like He was working. It didn't look glamorous or sensational, or even all that productive. But our team member was faithful and obedient to God's call on her life to be in relationship with this girl. And wow! What a sweet reward!

So how about you and me? What relationship is God calling us to be faithful to? Intentional toward? Are we feeling unproductive? Are we not seeing any fruit?

Winona's story is a powerful encouragement to me. If we will just continue to be obedient, continue to be faithful, continue to pray and trust the Lord to work…wow! He comes through. We may not see it yet; we may never see it on this side of eternity. But He IS working.

So let's keep pressing in and pressing on. Let's continue investing and leaning in to that hunger for God to work a miracle in someone's life. In many people's lives. Because that's what God does. It's who he is. And it's what He will do.

I'm praising God for that.


Shauna Storey
NightLight International