Two weeks ago we wrapped up our second outreach to the Atlantic City Exxxotica convention. It may sound expected or cliche’, but the truth is we had another phenomenal team of volunteers who came from the local region as well as Florida, Denver, Texas, and the Seattle area. It’s always very cool to see such a diverse mix of individuals come together and pull off such a great effort.
This show was the first one where we debuted our brand new booth space which really stood out and attracted quite a bit of interest. Conversations were popping all over the floor all weekend and thousands of people, I believe, walked away with a new and refreshing perspective on Jesus.
Highlights of the weekend included printing and giving out over 1,000 T-shirts, handing out over 2,000 books, two trips to the legendary Tony Boloney’s, and having a guy named Crazy Mike swallowing fire at our booth! Honestly, I could go on relaying all of the great interactions we witnessed but I think the best thing to do is let the team speak for themselves.
“Attending the conventions each year with XXXchurch affords me the opportunity to build relationships with people I have met prior years. On day one, I had a conversation with a nearby vendor that continued the whole weekend. He informed me that he and his buddy were up all night discussing the ‘Book of Hope.” He was so impressed with XXXchurch’s vision that he committed to making a donation. One young lady from the hotties room lives nearby and we are going to have lunch soon. She also invited me to her graduation and wrote on my FB wall how awesome XXXchurch is. Another girl from the hotties room wrote on my wall that we are the greatest group of women she knows! It’s awesome to connect with people in this environment and choose to serve them instead of judge them. I am so honored to partner with XXXchurch and walk out the gospel in it’s simplest terms – Love.”
– Kelly M. (Team Leader)
“I loved getting to know people I had never seen at conventions before and chatting with some regular attenders who I had met before. The message that Jesus loves everyone as they are was spread and some people even opened up to me about beliefs as far as Jesus goes. In those times, I was able to share some deeper things like there being no condemnation for those who are in Christ with someone who was struggling with feeling condemned. I was able to let someone know that I would pray that God meets their needs as this person felt as though some big needs weren’t being met. To me, this trip was the best yet.”
– Natalia I.
“This was my third porn show with XXXchurch and I couldn’t be more convinced of the need for what we do and why we need to continue doing it and doing it well. The team this year was fantastic and full of volunteers with a love for Jesus and a heart for people. Once again, we were well received and made connections with people. It’s incredible to be in the environment that exists at porn shows and be able to share such a simple and yet profound message: everyone matters and is loved by Jesus.”
– Mandy I.
“This was my second trip with XXXchurch and I have to say it went great. Most of the time I was on the convention floor I was working the t-shirt press but I still found time to engage in some good conversation with visitors and industry people alike. I honestly don’t know how many people will go home and get serious about porn addiction but if I helped just one move in the right direction, towards Christ, it was all worth it.”
– David D.
“This was my second porn convention with XXXchurch. It was awesome handing out Bibles and t-shirts on Palm Sunday. What a great place to be loving people as Jesus did entering this important time in our Christian faith. I met many teachers (my profession) who I was able to engage with in conversations on why I was there. The simple message that Jesus loves you right where you are seemed to take many of them by surprised. I am so thankful for this ministry.”
– Katie T.
“From the moment our team met the night before the trip I knew we were in for an amazing experience. I felt a sense of unity and genuine love to share Jesus among everyone. Since this was my first outreach the meeting also helped me in my expectations going into the porn convention. I felt like the team was very well equipped which led to some really fruitful conversations with people at Exxxotica. I had an opportunity to share the love of Jesus w/ so many different types of people and backgrounds. I truly believe that seeds were planted and that XXXchurch left an amazing impression of what being Christian is really about in these people’s minds and hearts. I had a conversation with one man who was vulnerable enough to share about his porn addiction. He reached out to me right there in the middle of the porn show in desperation because he felt like he had nowhere to turn for help. Immediately I connected him with our leader Carl Thomas who was able to have a more in depth conversation and direct him to some tangible ways to get the help he needed. All around I feel amazingly blessed to be a part of such a truly impactful ministry.”
– Jessica T.
“Everyone I met at the convention, be it employees, vendors, or patrons was nice, polite, and courteous unlike many people I run into at the grocery store when I am food shopping! When we told people how Jesus loves them, the message was so greatly appreciated. People I spoke with commented how it was so refreshing and awesome to hear words of love instead of condemnation and thanked us for what XXXchurch was doing. People are genuinely touched by the message Jesus loves Porn Stars and that’s what sticks with me. XXXchurch is definitely impacting lives.”
– Irene S.
“This outreach was definitely a beautiful reflection of the character of Jesus Christ: Going into dark areas and pursuing those that the world looks down on with his unconditional love. It was freeing to be in that environment and doing what we did. It was not forced or cheesy; it was real life. It is what the church truly should be, the hands and feet of Jesus, a visual representation of what Jesus and his love looks like!”
– Jasmine R.
“I will be honest, on my second outreach to the AC Exxxotica convention with XXXchurch, I was nervous. So much had changed in my life since my last trip. My life was completely altered and I was relearning how to do it again. What did I have to say to anyone? Was I going to even be an asset to this team? If it weren’t for the team leadership and encouragement I would have missed an amazing opportunity to see God reveal himself. Not only to me (again), but to the hundreds of people I smiled to, laughed with, and even got seriously deep with.
Hearts were touched, including mine. Seeds were planted, and hard questions were asked…and answered! I met people I would never forget and was reminded how genuinely people respond to Jesus’ love. A week later and I am still in awe of the power of simply going to people, where THEY are. Going in love. With the mission to build relationships based on the love of Jesus Christ. God did not need me to be ‘perfect’, just willing.”
– Anna P.
“Atlantic City 2014 was an awesome experience because it’s all about bringing the love and hope of Christ to people exactly where they’re at. I primarily worked in the dressing room for women who were hired as dancers for the weekend, and I got to connect with five women working who I had met at previous conventions. Building relationships is crucial and having the honor of meeting, serving and loving people is humbling. People need to know they’re unfathomably loved by Love Himself, and it’s a huge privilege to get to partner with XXXchurch this way.”
– Natasha H.
“Joining XXXchurch for the Atlantic City Exxxotica convention was an amazing experience! It was challenging in all the right ways. It demands that you come outside of yourself and start conversations with people that you wouldn’t regularly interact with, which in some ways is very refreshing because people aren’t exactly worried about looking religiously clean and polished at a porn convention, so you hear people’s unfiltered thoughts. This mission also causes you to lean on Jesus more intensely in order to maintain purity of mind, and the accountability that is built into the team’s approach creates a kind of unspoken bond that says “you’re not in this alone and we’ve got your back.” And most importantly, you quickly realize how much you need the empowerment of the Holy Spirit if you’re ever going to minister to the lost without using words or phrases that are religious or “christianize.” Overall this was one of the most rewarding missions experiences we have ever been a part of. It is not for the weak of heart or weak of flesh, as it is a dark environment, but if you’re willing to come under personal submission to the Holy Spirit as well as XXXchurch leadership, and if your heart is open and wiling to be moved with compassion, we would highly recommend this outreach!
God bless XXXchurch for your unconventional out-of-the-box love. We’re sure this organization is making a huge difference. WE LOVE XXXCHURCH 🙂”
– Ernesto and Vanessa A.
“Going into a porn show was really eye opening for me. I never realized just how much love is needed in the sex industry until I was right in there with them – not only in the industry but also with the consumers.
It was so radical to be able to be there with the heartbeat of God building non-religious relationships and letting people know that Jesus loves them regardless of where they are at in their life or what they have done. My trip was life changing for me.”
– Katie W.