The show was great. Incredible team all around. Here are some of recaps from the team and the video below.
Serving with XXXChurch at EXXXotica Miami 2010 has been one of the best experiences of my life. This ministry in the porn industry has built a bridge to share the love of Jesus to those who may not have heard that message. The most powerful part of this trip was doing this in my city, Miami. If you want to reach your city by ministering to men and women who struggle with pornography with the hope of Jesus, partnering with XXXChurch is the best way. –Tommy Parke
On the day the porn show opened in MIami Beach, I opened my Bible, and the first scripture I read was this: “….and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom”. (2Cor 3:17b NIV). That really got me going that day. Freedom for the Christians to share the Gospel in the dark places, and freedom for those who are in the dark. Volunteers from all across the U.S. came to Miami Beach to bring the Light of Jesus into the darkness. We did not know each other….but Jesus knows each one of us. In Christ, our friendships developed quickly, and I had the privilege of serving with a mighty team of warriors. When I got to the show, I felt kind of smacked in the face by all of the images and sounds, but that faded very quickly when I started to hand out the Bibles. The conversations with the performers, vendors, and attendees were great. So many were glad that we were there. Many would be puzzled by the Bible covers and ask “Jesus loves porn?”. I would follow up with “No! No! Jesus loves porn stars!!!”. It was so cool to watch the smiles that grew on their faces as they realized the difference…..that the message is uncompromised love, and not condemnation. I was so glad be a part of it. –Chet Beers
I was utterly amazed at how responsive all the people were at the convention. So many seeds planted over 3000 bibles distributed already and people came back and asked for more. Jesus said he would go out to the highways and byways and bring those not invited in to the wedding feast of the Lamb. I think that in these days we are living in we will see the Kingdom of God open up to those we would never of ever dreamed of and the angels in heaven will look into this matter in awe just as I am sitting here right now and say Ah Father your word never returns void and what you have told us is surely coming to pass. I mean after all who would of ever thought I could be rescued out of this lifestyle be set free and made one with my Creator. Only Jesus can do what no man could ever do. Thank you XXXChurch.com for being faithful to what God has called you to do. XOXO Love you! –Michele
I was so incredibly moved into a place of awesomeness. In my minds eye I had preconceived ideas and thoughts could something like this really be profitable for the Kingdom of God and could men and woman go into such an environment and not be tempted, and swayed by the things they encounter even as believers. I myself was a stripper, escort and involved deeply in the Porn industry for over 21 yrs. and from my own thoughts I would think “no way”. I know how us women could entice and we could even lead the strongest men astray. I mean think of Samson in the Bible and beautiful Delilah and the power she had cast over on him. Well I will be truthful in my minds eye I was wrong. The weekend outreach and the sharing of bibles to the woman and men consumers at the convention was more than amazing. The openness the people had to receiving the bibles and the men coming to the booth and asking questions to the men left me in a state of awe. You see, I myself coming out of this lifestyle 6 yrs. ago was also not sure how it would effect me. It had to be God, the prayers of the body going up for us but I felt nothing, not even a lure to engage. It was not appealing the least bit rather opposite of course. However, I was also wondering if I would encounter alot of boozing and drug induced people and I did not. The woman I did encounter and speak with were so open to taking the bible with big smiles and thank you’s and you could see in there faces they meant it. Yes, it was an amazing weekend and I felt utterly blessed to be able to be a part. I thank my Father for rescuing me from that horrible life and that I am restored alive and able to go back and share my love, compassion and mercy with my sisters still lost and trapped by the god of pornography that is not truly not a god at all but only an imposter of evil. Thank you so much Ryan and Craig your beautiful wife and families for obeying the call God has put on your life for going out into the deepest of the pit to pluck out those Jesus was sent to rescue. When some Churches come against you for what you are doing I would like to stand up before them and tell them would it of been better for me to be left back there rotting and going to hell. Because if God could rescue such a lost woman like myself he can surly rescue all of them if He wants to. He tells us in the end he will go out to the highways and byways to those that were thought of not to be called and bring them in to the wedding feast and the ones that thought they were going to be there well we know the ending of that story right. Thanks you from deepest part of my heart and please continue to do the work. –Shelly Lanz
This weekend was my first time serving with xxxchurch at a porn show. I could write about all the unusual first-time experiences I had this weekend. Like being mistaken for Craig Gross twice. Or talking with Ron Jeremy. Or the time I was taking a picture of someone and I was hit in the behind by a convention dancer, with a whip! However, the surprising thing for me was how natural I felt in this unique setting. It must have been a God-thing, but I felt sharing the love of Jesus fit so well into our surroundings. Why wouldn’t handing out Bibles to porn fans, and joking with porn stars, and telling people that Jesus loves everyone be unusual? Sure, a lot of people were shocked that we were there, but almost everyone LOVED that we were there! Jesus’ love is so natural at places where people are hurting. One part of the trip that surprised me were the Bibles we handed out. I always assumed xxxchurch handed out these giant New Testament bibles to everyone at the porn shows. The actual Bibles were the size of a thin wallet (perfect for someone’s “goodie-bag,” or for a guy’s back pocket without a bag). The Bible only had the Book of John in it, but without the little verse numbers that make you think you are reading a religious text. There were also about 20 colored pages with stories about a porn star, escort, and stripper who found Jesus, the story of Craig and Ron Jeremy, and some extra resources for the attenders. I talked to several people who took the Bible home on Friday or Saturday, who came back to tell us on Sunday how much they loved the Bibles and if they could have some for their friends and families. The Bibles we handed out were awesome (both in design and in the fact that we were giving people the living word of God). I believe we handed out 3,000 Bibles, although next year we should bring 5,000, because we can definitely hand out more! The best part of the trip was the conversations I had with the people who didn’t walk immediately past our booth. One guy looked at his Bible with the typical “What is this?” look. I explained how it was a “Jesus Loves Porn Stars Bible.” He asked me, “Is that really true?” I told him, “Sure man, Jesus loves everyone, including porn stars. That’s why we are here, just to tell people that Jesus loves everyone.” He looked straight at me and genuinely said, “You just gave this Bible to the right guy. I needed to hear that.” My whole trip was complete (on Day 1) as I saw him take the Bible. God’s going to rock that guy’s world. I can’t even begin to imagine what God is going to do with the other 2,999 Bibles that were handed out! The most convicting part of the trip was also these conversations with the attenders. I heard about judgmental co-workers, and friends, and family members. I heard about the hurtful religious community. I definitely heard about the guy outside with his huge sign and megaphone telling people they deserve to go to Hell. I’m wrecked on the inside writing this right now. How can the “church,” God’s people, be so consistently judgmental and unloving? How can I be so consistently judgmental and unloving? Why are loving Christians so uncommon? (Sure we stuck out at the convention, but we were also the sole Christians in many attendees’’ lives who were loving.) My life has definitely been messed-up by this weekend. My old religious life is ruined. I don’t know how God is going to use me yet, but I know I can’t go back to living without loving my neighbor. –Curt Himmelberger
Why did I do this exactly? God has given me a desire to reach women that are in the porn industry and those that are commercially sexually exploited- no matter their age. When XXXChurch said they were coming to Miami for EXXXotica- I knew I had to be there. 100% of the financial support was raised using my Facebook status’s and I was able to go. Serving With My Man Tommy Parke and I went from Christ Fellowship to serve together at this event. We had a great time partnering with XXXChurch and the other team members as we shared God’s redemptive message. I had so much fun serving with my best friend! A pastor I heard recently reminded me from the book of Joel in the Bible: “Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish…. I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten.” My prayer was that women and men in the porn industry and consumers of the industry would come to truly understand in their own lives the grace-filled God who sent His only Son to die for every single person- because ALL sin separates us from God= not just sexual sin. Porn stars, strippers, and hired models were walking around basically naked, posing for pictures on beds, dancing on strip poles, or advertising their company/toys; it was, however, surprisingly easy to look past all that to see the brokenness of those working and those consuming. Realistic Realities One very popular porn star explained how most of the women in this industry have syphilis and gonorrhea, “It’s ramped! It’s so expected that we routinely get treated for it.” The concern, the real issue for porn stars is avoiding HIV. Also, normal bodily functions are difficult after shooting porn videos for some porn stars due to the extreme measures they put their bodies through. This is the reality- this is what they have to put up with to market and keep their videos selling. One young woman explained that she switched to shooting only girl on girl movies because in her mind the physical risks are far less. Some have a plan/Some don’t: Another known porn star explained how she is married with a two-year-old son and flies back and forth to shoot videos, but values the time with her son and puts boundaries on the time she will be away from him to make videos. When asked when she thinks she will leave the porn industry, he explained that she was going to stay for a few more years- her agency offered her more money to stay. Men in Porn Industry “Many women in this industry are struggling with drugs, pimps, abusive boyfriends, and not sticking up for themselves in what they will and will not do,” stated a man in the industry who sells sex toys. “They are looking for love and this is not love- this is acting.” I (with a few other women from the XXXChurch Team) had an awesome conversation with this man who shares about his two separate lives. “I love my wife!” (as a huge genuine smile comes across his face) “I enjoy going home to no-where’s-ville Kentucky to our life together. When asked if each of us were married, we got to share with him our lives and God’s true love. Consumer Realities The only resistance we really received was from a couple of older self- proclaimed Catholic men coming to check out the convention. One man actually pulled out his rosaries from his pocket to prove to me he had them! What a disconnect! One woman came to the booth in pure curiosity and when given a Bible and asked why she was there, she explained that she was collecting porn for her 17 year-old son who was too young to get in the porn convention. We show God’s love by serving Over half of the XXXChurch team was men and their job was to stay posted at the booth and be there for people while the ladies main role was to serve the women at the porn convention. Our goal: to bring back their humanity. We brought water bottles, granola, and candy to women dancing and modeling for hours upon end. From 4-11p.m., everyone around these women wanted something from them- we were there to serve them. The women were very thankful and most of them knew about XXXChurch from previous conventions they had been at. The women would come to our booth when we were not walking around, to get water and candy- it was a beautiful picture of trust that went far beyond simply getting physical needs met. As we were handing a Bible to a very popular porn star, she sat straight up and with bright eyes exclaimed, “I was given one before and I actually sent it to my parents!” They disapprove of her choice to be making porn movies and have cut off a relationship with her. She asked if we had any (“Jesus Loves Porn Stars”) shirts because she “wears hers all the time and her friends make fun of her for it!” Like many women working the event, one woman who was airbrushed and basically naked, walked around as a live advertisement for a calendar for a local strip club. It saddened me to see men give her money, take pictures with her, and then she would hand the money right over to the guy next to her- in my opinion, her pimp. She was nothing more then bate in those moments. I was not able to ever continue the conversation I started to have with her due to her pimp that was watching her all the time. I did, however, make a connection with several women, two of whom have my cell phone number and I am praying they call. They are my age and are so sweet! One girl works in LA but comes to Miami often and the other girl is a MIA girl who said she would be more then willing to help me build the connection to a couple strip clubs to serve the woman there. She understood what I want to do here in Miami because she saw me all weekend serve her and her friends. I am praying they call! ☺ I am so thankful that God created us with the desire to have sex! What a wonderfully creative gift! Just like so many other parts of creation, in our sinful natures, we abuse the gift and reject our Creator/Our God. –Kristin Schein