We have a great booth down the center aisle of the show. The booth is 20X10 and we also have a full page ad in the show directory and 20,000 cards inside the bags of the attendees.
For those of you new to the site. XXXchurch got it’s start at the AVN show back in January of 2002. Eight years later it is great to think what has happened since then.
Joining us on the trip was an amazing group of people from Seattle. The church we partnered with is Eastlake Church who brought a team last year and wanted to come back for round two. Here are some stories.
With an experience like this its hard to know where to start. In order to understand the perspective I have on this trip I’ll start 5 years ago before I knew Jesus. 5 years ago I was cocktailing at a strip club in lake city. I was mc-ing shower shows and making tips while “cleaning” the stage. 5 years ago I would have told you I loved what I did. 5 years ago I would have told you I was happy. 5 years ago I would have told you I knew what love was. It wasn’t until two years ago I realized I had no idea. I didn’t stay in the industry too long, but self destructive choices that continued to pull me down followed. I believed in God, even Jesus. At times I would even say I was a Christian. But I hated church and the Bible and other Christians. I thought everyone was hypocritical and thought the Bible was full of outdated laws and judgement.
> It was the morning of my 23rd birthday that all the emotions I had been running from for the past several years finally hit me. I woke up knowing i had a choice..take my life or give it to Jesus. As much as I hated church I knew I needed to be there. I started going to a small church in Bellevue and within one month my entire life changed.
> 5 years ago I was working at a strip club. 5 years ago I was broken. 5 years ago my identity was in what I could offer with my body. Today I’m working on getting my masters of divinity so I can be a jail chaplain. Today I stand as a woman restored and redeemed by the blood of Jesus. Today my identity is found in Christ.
> There are so many amazing interactions God has orchestrated in Vegas. But what He’s really put on my heart to share right now is 2 cor 5:17, therefore if anyones in Christ he is a new creation. The old has passed away, behold the new has come. Even writing this makes me break open and cry. I am amazed and completly in awe of God and His redeeming love. Since giving my life to Jesus I’ve known this verse to be true and believed it in my heart. But to stand in an atmosphere like AVN makes me feel it like never before.
> I look at these women and know that God created them with a purpose. He created them for beauty and purity and chastity. No matter what labels they cling to or others plaster on them God looks at them and sees His daughters. He sees the faces He saw 2000 years ago when He took the cross, freeing them of their pain, their sin, their suffering. I look at them and am so certain of the love and grace God wants to lavish upon them. But to have the Lord stop me in the midst of everything and remind me that that’s how He loves me too…literally takes the words from my mouth and fills my spirit like I’ve never felt before. Its a whole new experience with grace. I wasn’t looking for God and did NOTHING to deserve His love. But He met me in my mess and pulled me out, sanctified me and gave me a new identity. Psalms 103:12 says He will cast our sins as far as east is to the west. Being here God has really demonstrated that powerful reality. It seems like every moment I am just falling more and more in love with Jesus. Finding words to fully explain what God is doing is impossible but I hope this is an encouragement.
I came to the AVN show expecting to hear and see all kinds of things I never have before. I knew people would be taking pictures of beautiful naked women. I knew that there would be images coming at me from all around that would be hard to ignore. I had all kinds of family and friends praying for me as I was walking into this situation. Without them, the XXXChurch Team, and our incredible volunteers, I never would have been able to handle it. There are some great stories, but also some that aren’t so great and I’m a believer in sharing the good along with the bad.
There was something that happened that really shocked me and made me incredibly angry. I was dressed up as Rex the Rabbit and walked around the floor getting all kinds of pictures with people having a great time and starting some good conversations. As I was walking back towards the booth, I overheard a DJ talking to the crowd as a lady was dancing on a pole. I heard him say to someone (I have no idea who because I couldn’t see anyting wearing the Rex outfit) “Hey, you really look like you want to %*#@ my wife.” And then he went on the say something to infer that for $1000.00 he might be able to make it happen for the guy. Rex almost turned around and decked the guy. All I can say is that I am glad Jesus loves him because I absolutely could not. I wanted to share this to just let people know how broken and hurt these people are and how it is only by God’s incredible grace that we are able to share his love, hope, and peace with people.
It’s been four days at a porn convention and I am exhausted. Its been an amazing four days and totally worth it. I had one experience in particular that I wanted to share. By 2:00 in the afternoon on the second day I got a major headache from lack of caffeine. I headed over to the food stand to get a Coke and was in line next to a guy from Singapore. I was on a break and was resisting trying to talk to him. But in the end, I turned towards him and asked him how he was doing. Turning around and saying hi started a 45 minute conversation. He was telling me all about his family and his philosophy about life. It was a very open conversation, both of us laughing a lot the whole time. He seemed to be conflicted about what he was doing and was asking all kinds of great questions. This conversation really showed me that you never really know when God is going to open up a door for us, and we just have to take one step through it, and He’ll guide us the rest of the way. I’ve learned a ton this week about how to be open to all conversations with all kinds of people. I am really looking forward to getting back home and continuing to practice what I learned this week.
Well, I’m feeling quite beat physically and emotionally. This is my 4th Porn convention that I’ve volunteered at and I can honestly say that you don’t get used to it. I pray to God that I will never get used to it.
Today was the hardest day to attend. We passed out a lot of bibles and conversations were still going but something had changed in my mind about the whole show. I don’t know if my filters were weakened or if the whole show ramped up to a new level or both? I was more affected by what was going on around me. It could of been the continuous line of men taking pictures and videos of the girls across from us, or the dancers to our left that where showing and doing a bit too much, or the continuous barrage of Video screens playing the same tracts over and over. All I know is I had to take more breaks and take my focus elsewhere and pray a lot more.
I’m praying that our work here will not be in vain. That we will have moved someone’s thinking a bit closer to God.
One of the best moments was when a Pornstar was walking quickly past our booth and then turned and stopped. She asked us for a bandaid and all the ladies at our booth said sorry don’t have one. Me being the good dad went into his wallet and gave her a bandaid. She was so thankful and explained one of her dancers had a bad blister. She then quickly walked off. This reminded me of the verse in Mark: When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor – sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” Mark 2:17
It’s a question that I never really thought about. Armed with a video camera, I walked the floor to get some insight. For the most part, the guys that I asked tended to merely answer “why not?” with a few specifics of the female anatomy mixed in. However, the most interesting to me were the couples. Some married, some dating, they walked the floor hand in hand taking things in and getting autographs from their favorite porn stars. When asked “why porn”, they consistently came back with the answer that it made their relationship better. It was amazing to me to see people so willingly bring something so dangerous into their most intimate relationship. The porn industry has so skewed how we view sex, completely twisting God’s original design. Seeing it first hand breaks my heart.