CHOG TraffickLight: New Drop-in Center Extends Stripped Love’s Reach
By Carl Stagner
When Kimberly Majeski and a few friends from Madison Park Church of God first stepped foot onto the property of a strip club in Anderson, Indiana, they couldn’t have imagined the scope of what they were getting themselves into. Six years later, the impact of Stripped Love is reaching across the country, inspiring new ministries, and celebrating changed lives. This Church of God TraffickLight partner has now grown to the point of needing a place where women can find fellowship, refuge, resources, and counseling. In March, community and Church of God organizations and individuals came together to celebrate the grand opening of Stripped Love’s drop-in center in Anderson.
“We were just a couple of girlfriends taking cookies to a strip club,” Kimberly explains. “We had no inkling of how God would grow this effort, and even now I don’t think I can fathom all that God has in store.” But for the next six years, they kept going back. They got to know the children of the employees, family struggles, and much more. Growing relationships meant getting together off-the-clock and realizing so much more could be done. “We began to understand about after-care, about the unique needs of women who have been exploited sexually. We knew if we could find the space, we could begin to deliver services to answer some of those deep needs.”
God came through, as he always does. March’s grand opening celebration of the drop-in center at the Park Place Community Center of Park Place Church of God signaled a new season of opportunity for Stripped Love. “First, we’re able to offer free, specialized counseling for women who have been trafficked, or are being or have been exploited by the commercial sex trade,” Kimberly explains. “Most of the women who are in the ‘the life’—as we call it—suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and have been sexually abused at some point. These wounds then bleed over into their relationships with their children, shape how they see themselves, and create barriers for understanding the love of God. The drop-in center gives us a safe place to invite the women in and help them begin to heal.”
Counseling is just one service made possible by the new space. The Sunday Suppers outreach of Stripped Love is another. These gatherings for women and children offer a non-threatening environment for them to hear the gospel. Another benefit of being housed in the Park Place Community Center is the easy access to other great resources, including Safe Families and the Park Place Church of God food pantry. “We want the drop-in center to function as a safe place, somewhere the women know they are loved and can find support,” Kimberly explains. “We want them to stop in at our center before their shifts and get a cup of coffee and a warm meal, along with a hug and friendly conversation.”
Funds you’ve generously given to Church of God TraffickLight have been at work through the ministries of Stripped Love. Last year alone, Stripped Love made more than 790 contacts with women in the sex trade. Stripped Love continues to help women transition to new living arrangements, find new employment, and begin to complete their high school diplomas. They helped two women finish college. They’ve been there for the women in times of emergency. Through it all, Stripped Love has been the hands and feet of Jesus to countless lives. Your donations have enabled Stripped Love to offer training conferences across the country so that similar ministries can be launched. Sunday Suppers and Christmas gifts to bless victims of the sex trade were also funded for a time through TraffickLight.
“We believe our presence in the sex clubs of Central Indiana and our training efforts to equip others to do the same makes a difference and is standing in the way of sex trafficking one friendship at a time,” Kimberly concludes. “We are grateful for the support of TraffickLight as we continue to sit with women in the place of their trouble so they might know they are loved.”
Learn more and partner with Church of God TraffickLight at www.CHOGTraffickLight.org.