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Leah’s mom died when she was thirteen from a drug overdose. Her dad remarried and Leah’s stepmom hated her and treated her terribly. Leah told me that this was the reason she left home at sixteen and just a few months later got her first job in a strip club.

Tiffany never knew her father. Although men would come and go throughout her childhood, none of them would stick around for very long. When we met Tiffany in a strip club one night, she was devastated because her boyfriend had just left her for another woman, leaving her daughter without a father, just as Tiffany’s father had abandoned her when she was a baby.

Megan has battled a drug addiction for over a decade. She’s been in and out of jail and in and out of abusive relationships. This lifestyle has resulted in many consequences, but the worst consequence, according to Megan, has been losing custody of her three children.

Many of the women we work with at Scarlet Hope do not have a healthy view of family. They don’t have memories of warm hugs, summer vacations, and a home full of stability and love. Maybe you feel the same way when you hear the word family.

Sin has completely wrecked many families in this world, and that’s really sad, depressing news. But praise God, we know that’s not where the story ends. The Good News of the gospel tells us that we now have a new family! Ephesians 1:5 says, “His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by sending Jesus Christ to die for us. And he did this because he wanted to!”

This is amazing news for all of us, but it is life-changing, mind-blowing, unbelievably great news for Leah, Tiffany, Megan, and the dozens of other women we meet in the strip clubs who feel like they don’t have a family. We have a Father who loves us fiercely and unconditionally. In fact, he loves us so much that He sacrificed His son so that we could be with Him forever.

At Scarlet Hope, not only do we have the privilege of introducing women to a loving, forgiving, sovereign Father, but we also get to show them what it looks like to be in the family of God. As sisters, we hold each other accountable to sin, pray for each other, celebrate successes together, mourn loss together.

It is our hope and prayer that God will work through our ministry to transform the meaning of the word family for the women we work with. We continuously hold scripture like this before us: “For Christ himself is our way of peace. He has made peace between us Jews and you Gentiles by making us all one family, breaking down the wall of contempt that used to separate us” (Ephesians 2:14).


*Names have been changed to protect the identities of the women we work with.

Scarlet Hope

Author Scarlet Hope

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