Here at AGLM we have the blessing of getting to meet a lot of amazing ministries that are serving a need for women unlike any other. One such ministry is Epic Beauty. Operating out of West Palm Beach, Fl they seek to be a ministry to women in crisis. Whether it’s women in the sex/adult entertainment industry or victims of domestic violence, they strive to be a place of hope and refuge for these women. They do this by doing street outreaches and even visiting adult clubs to share the grace of Jesus to the women who work there. They even started a flower shop called Epic Arrangements as a place for these women to find healthy employment and a means of income to support the ministry.
Kim Gomez, one of the founders (and future mother-in-law to our very own Tenth Aver Brendon) shared this amazing story of how God is using Epic Beauty within their community. She writes:
For the past 18 months Epic Beauty has been visiting an establishment in West Palm Beach. I hesitate to call it a “Club” honestly I’m not sure what it was but every time we entered through the door, it felt like the pit of hell. The women that worked there were worn, beyond middle aged, outcasts, and many had numbers tattooed somewhere on their body. Those numbers identified who owned them. Hitleresqe style… We never saw anybody dance. We never even saw many customers. The oddest thing about it was that we were always welcomed in, the Lord went before us and made a way. Over time, we got to know the manager, the security guy and some of the ladies. They were working people with families, stories and dreams. Just like us. The first night we visited, the manager set up a small table with 2 chairs in a back room. As Melissa and I unpacked our gourmet cupcakes, baskets of books and Bibles, and our hot pink Epic Beauty cards, the manager sent in, one by one, the ladies. They filed in and stood before us, trying to smile and act like this was normal. They were in all states of undress, wearing barely more than tattered underwear, trying to cover themselves with their hands or cellphones. They were mostly older women, dark and unhealthy looking. Many of them were missing teeth and smoking cigarettes, their eyes constantly looking at the curtain that hung in the doorway, they were anxious to get away from us, wondering how long the manager would make them stand there, exposed.
There are so many stories being silently told in strip clubs, the tattoos are the storytellers. The tattoos quietly cry out details about the girls belief in and need for God, their regrets, their treasures, their dreams, their loves, all these messages written on their bodies, waiting for someone to notice. The one tattoo that has pierced my mind and heart and spirit, was a dark and muddy number written across a woman’s neck, she was my age (50ish) and I wondered about the grace and mercy that left me on one side of the table and left her on the other side. Someone had tattooed that number into her flesh, so that she and the world would never forget to whom she belonged, which gang owned her. That night, when I got home, I was at a loss and cried out to the Lord, “God, how do I pray for them? What do I pray for in that place? How has our city let them stay in business for so long? It’s a brothel! One must only walk in to see that! Are these women too far gone? Has the degradation erased any hope? What can we do???” I needed to hear from my Father. I felt too small, not tough enough for the task, I felt a little scared because we had been warned by so many people to stay out of this dangerous place. Should we stay away Lord? One of the women in our ministry had a dream about this place, a dream where we had walked into the front door and they locked it behind us. We considered not going any more but I knew that was not the Lord’s direction; Mark 16:15 says to go into all the world and preach the good news to everyone, everywhere. If we didn’t go, who would? So I turned to the Word of God and in my weakness I became strong. His word is my sword and the source of all knowledge and wisdom. He led me to a scripture in Ezekiel 26 where God himself sent a message to the town of Tyre. Tyre was a city in Babylon that was extremely offensive to the Lord and God sent this prophesy. Ezekiel 26: 3-6 “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am your enemy, O Tyre, and I will bring many nations against you, like the waves of the sea crashing against your shoreline. They will destroy the walls of Tyre and tear down its towers. I will scrape away its soil and make it a bare rock.
The island of Tyre will become uninhabited”
So Epic Beauty started praying this scripture over that club, this place was so dark, so sad, and so offensive. And the Lord does Reign. For the past 6 weeks I haven’t been able to reach the club by phone to schedule a visit, when we would stop by at night during an outreach, nobody was there. And yesterday, praise God, we pulled up to the door and found this sign on it…
PERMANENTLY CLOSED. The Mermaid is uninhabited! It’s permanently closed! Yes, He Reigns and I will never stop praying as long as I have breath. And the message here is this;
He calls us to call on Him for help.
If you’d like more information on Epic Beauty or would like to get involved or even start your own branch of the ministry, please visit their facebook and websites for more info.