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Opinion | Sexuality

A New Message at the Strip Club-Church Showdown

What happened when two Christian women entered the Fox Hole strip club in Warsaw, Ohio.

"I can't make out what you're saying to me. Please have someone call me so I'll know what you're saying."

Sitting in her car, Anny Donewald prayed these instructions to God last month.

Founder of Eve's Angels, Donewald ministers to women in the adult entertainment industry in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She'd been mulling over the news that dancers from a strip club in Warsaw, Ohio, were picketing the local nondenominational church that for years had picketed them.

When Donewald's phone rang moments later, it was her friend Sheri Brown, who co-leads JC's Girls, a ministry to women in San Diego. She'd called to talk about the news. Donewald says she knew immediately that "God was telling me to go to Ohio."

As quick as you can say holy irony, both were bound for Warsaw. There the two women would do what they did every week: get a table at a strip club, spend time with the dancers, bring them pizza, offer them gift bags—and tell them, "God loves you, and we love you."

For Brown and Donewald, pizza and goodies are about more than pizza and goodies. "It's all about relationship," says Donewald. She tells the women, "Anytime you want to hang out or need something, call me." The beautiful thing is, they do.

What made this outing different, of course, were all the church folks in the parking lot waving placards.

What Donewald and Brown would share that Saturday night, first with dancers in the club and then with church members outside, was, "What you've been hearing isn't quite right."

Donewald ...

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