"You don't wake up one morning and say, 'I want to be a drug addict, a stripper, a prostitute.' You get there one choice at a time. There are approximately 6,000 strippers in the metro Atlanta area. And there are hundreds of strip clubs where they dance," said Cindy Horneman.
Then, she added, "I am often asked, 'Who are these girls?'"
Cindy was visiting Heritage Christian Church in Fayetteville, Ga. There to talk about the Victoria's Friends Ministry, she looked out at her audience and asked, "How many of you have daughters, granddaughters, or nieces?"
Nearly every hand went up.
Then she told us, "These girls are daughters, granddaughters and nieces. They are somebody's baby, who will do just about anything to obtain love and acceptance.
Cindy knows ... because she was somebody's baby, who grew up in an environment of rules and regulations without relationships - one setting, of many, which she believes leads to rebellion.
Her personal desire for unconditional love led her down streets lined with drugs, alcohol, strip clubs, abortion clinics and many years of profound misery, until she finally came down one day from a crystal meth high to find herself near death.
She recalls being terribly paranoid and delusional at that point in her life, but somehow she made her way to a man who had formerly worked at a strip club. She'd heard that he had recently become a Christian. When she sought him out and pleaded for help, he simply asked, "Do you want to change?"
"Yes," she said.
"Then, this is how you do it," he told her, "you simply ask Jesus to come into your heart and help you."
She did, and He did, and thus began her journey hand-in-hand with the ultimate professional Redeemer.
As I listened to Cindy, I was reminded of the word "power," which comes from the Greek word "dunamis" (I believe it is the word from which we also get the word dynamite).
Dunamis means miraculous power and usually implies a miracle. Here are just a few of the places this word is used in the New Testament:
· Romans: 1: 4, 16, 20.
· Romans 9: 17.
· I Corinthians 1: 18, 24.
· I Corinthians 2: 4.
· I Corinthians 5: 4.
· I Corinthians 15: 24, 43.
· Ephesians 1: 19.
· Ephesians 3: 7, 20.
· II Thessalonians 1:11.
That is the kind of power you witness at work when you are in Cindy's presence. She is a redeemed miracle. Recently, after she told her story on The 700 Club, 678 people phoned in to ask how to receive Christ into their hearts.
They wanted to be changed the way Cindy had been changed. When you hear Cindy speak, she makes you know you are redeemable, too.
There is none among us who does not long for unconditional love. Both sexes, all races, all ages -- we desperately want to be loved. Sadly, like Cindy, many of us will do just about anything, and go almost anywhere, in search of that love.
It has been a while since I have told my readers there is only one source for that love.
Today, I tell you once more that Jesus is IT. He is The Way, The Truth, The Life, The Healer and yes, the one and only Redeemer.
All other sources that we may turn to, eventually, will fail us. Our thirst will not be quenched. Our hunger will not be satisfied. Seeds may be sown, cultivated, watered and band aids may be applied by well meaning, caring people, who cross our paths from time to time, but ultimately, it comes down to a one-on-one relationship with Jesus.
The opportunity to hear Cindy allowed me to gain confirmation about something I have struggled with in recent days. In my efforts to take my workshops into federally funded organizations, and into the public workplace, I have to try hard to keep Jesus out of them. If I do mention Him, I have to talk about other religions, too.
No more will I seek to dilute the power of Jesus Christ. I no longer want to dance around the true needs of my audience. I will never shove Jesus at anybody. Neither will I refrain from telling how He has redeemed me, and daily quenches my thirst and satisfies my hunger.
For more information about Cindy's work, check out VictoriasFriends.com..
Mary Jane Holt, an avid reader, book lover and spiritual thinker, writes an occasional column for the weekend edition of the Clayton News Daily and Henry Daily Herald. You can visit her at: www.maryjaneholt.com.