It all started with this e-mail:
Hi my name is Darlene, but everyone in my life calls me " tiffany.” Everyone I know is in the adult industry. I’m a dancer and started dancing the day I turned 18 and I’m about to turn 22. I dance 6 to 7 nights a week. I’ve done a lot of damage to myself since I’ve been dancing. I’ve done the drugs, I’ve done pills, I've sold my soul many many times. I don’t feel like a person. I’m almost probably completely numb because of all the damage I’ve done to myself mentally and emotionally by putting myself through all of this. I don’t know how to stop or how to get out. I feel like I’m very lucky to still be alive, and I’ve actually had people tell me that many times. I want to get out of this life, but I don’t know how, and the money is very addicting. Dancing is the only job I’ve ever had. I don’t know what its like to have a " normal" job. Dancing is my life. I hate it now though because it ruins me completely, but I’m stuck in it. I don’t know anyone outside of this business and I’m close to all the girls and can’t imagine leaving them. I can’t see myself not dancing because if I stop I’ll have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING LEFT. This is all I do and all I know. I hope there is someway I can get help. I don’t really know who this email is going to but I hope I can get help. I have lost all emotions. I’m mostly numb and since I work 6 to 7 nights a week, I drink straight vodka at work all night every night, which is terrible for my body. I don’t know how I do it. I just want someone to help me. I live in New Jersey. So please get in touch with me if you can help. Thanks.
This e-mail was sent to Tim of Hard as Nails Ministries back in May. Darlene originally contacted Tim because one of his speakers spoke at her high school when she was 17 years old and she remembered him. Tim then did a Google search and found one of our ministries in New Jersey and forwarded the e-mail to the founder, Suzanne.
Read the rest of the story as suzanne tells it:
Our journey first began in June when I finally got a hold of Darlene by phone. I was bogged down with my own problems and was asking God why He would dump someone in my lap now while my life feels so upside down. The experience has changed my life and shown me that God can do amazing things with us no matter where we are.
I found out later she was planning to kill herself the following week.
We met the first part of June. I wanted to make sure to establish trust first, so we spoke over the phone several times, and then I drove up to Elizabeth, NJ about 40 minutes north of here to pick her up. Elizabeth is a hub for strip clubs and human trafficking. The first time we met up we got a bite to eat and went to a Barnes and Noble. She wanted to stay up LATE since it was always hard for her to sleep, given her schedule. She showed me all kinds of books she had read about industry girls as well as books on addictions and human trafficking. She even had Harmony's book, “Scars and Stiletto’s” at her house but hadn't read it yet. I was starting to realize this girl had something more going on than wanting to do this business the rest of her life.
She shared with me a dream she had, where God lifted her to heaven with his big, warm hand and stood her alongside him. She said it was more real than anything she had ever experienced. She felt a love she said you can never explain. God was wearing a purple robe (she didn't know this was biblical). He told her she would one day come to heaven. She had one other dream I won't go into, but it was quite significant. After these dreams she knew she needed to contact someone Christian, and she remembered the guy from "Hard as Nails Ministries."
I have had a crash course this summer on how to run a home for women. I had her come down and live with us, which seemed to be a huge mistake since bringing them into your home can only bring trouble and I broke every rule. We have been through Psych wards and out Patient programs, detox, old boyfriends and mafia characters. In the big scheme of things though it was exactly what I was supposed to do and I learned so much.
One night on June 25th, 10 minutes before her 22nd birthday, she asked to say "that prayer". (I had told her about asking Jesus into your heart). We prayed the prayer and she was shaking and crying and laughing at the same time. She said, "really, I am totally forgiven even for all the dirty things I have done?” I said “Yes, like a bucket of Clorox has been dumped on your head you are washed clean and forgiven by the blood of Jesus.” And she cried and shook and laughed some more. The next day she was already feeling peace and she could tell something was different in her spirit.
She went back to dancing 2 times after that, (the average is 7) but didn't prostitute. With the help of the team she agreed to go to The Homestead in Kansas last week, a safe home for women fresh out of the industry. So, we took a 3-day train ride to Kansas with her and all her stuff since she was terrified of flying. I spent a few days to see how things run and get some ideas for the home we will have here in NJ.
The Homestead - Manhattan, KS
Darlene at The Homestead
Deb (founder of The Homestead), Darlene, & Suzanne
God is so good!! Please pray for Darlene’s healing journey at the Homestead.