Whew! Life has been a flurry of activity over the past few weeks since the release of my latest book Your Life Still Counts. God has certainly opened doors for this message to reach the hearts of many broken women, and men. I’ve been working with a lot of awesome bloggers and guest posting on their blogs – thus I’ve been a little quiet on my own!
But no more quiet. 🙂 For the next couple months, I want to do something really special and I’m super excited about it.
Today is the first post in my Past Into Purpose Story Series where I will be sharing interviews with the 20 women who contributed their powerful, transparent and life changing stories to Your Life Still Counts. Their stories are more than just inspirational. They are stories of how God turned their past into their purpose. How He took what the devil meant for evil, and turned it into good. Stories of past pain, turned triumphant victory, in Christ. So if you haven’t yet purchased Your Life Still Counts, or had a chance to read all the stories yet, I’m giving you a sneak peek!
The first YLSC Contributor that I want to introduce to you is Kelly Master. Kelly’s heart to help women who are trapped in the bondage of the sex industry is phenomenal. God has laid a very unique and special passion and calling on her life, and I am amazed at all she does and all God is doing through her in an industry that most of us don’t even want to think about. It inspires me so much, and I know it will you too.
PLEASE MEET KELLY
Kelly Master lives in Collingswood, New Jersey, and is a dynamic public speaker who has a heart for the sexually broken. Her ministry, Dining for Dignity, reaches out to women in the adult sex industry and advocates on behalf of sex-trafficking victims. She trains and leads teams to minister in strip clubs, at porn conventions, and adult bookstores with the goal of bringing God’s light and His message of hope into these very dark places. Her past paved the way for her to deeply love women who are lost and hurting, many of whom grew up in toxic, sexually abusive households like hers. You can learn more about her ministry at www.diningfordignity.org and www.emergeladies.org
MY INTERVIEW WITH KELLY
Me: Kelly, you have such a unique calling from God, and I know your whole story shared in the book will inspire so many women. But just out of curiosity, what made you want to contribute your story to my new book when I first invited people to do so about 18 months ago?
Kelly: I just really wanted to share the reality that God restores shattered souls (Psalm 23:3) and gives beauty for ashes.
Me: I know people will be inspired to read your story in the book and how God has transformed your life and given you great purpose based on the painful experiences of your own childhood and young adulthood. Can you share an example, if you have one, of how God has used your story recently to impact someone’s heart or life?
Kelly: Last Sunday night I was the guest speaker at a church and I interwove my broken past into the reality that “nothing is impossible for God.” I spoke about being healed from paralyzing fear, addictions, having DYFS (Division of Youth and Family Services) called on me, not having any money to pay my bills, depression, etc. and several people came up for prayer. The pastor called me a couple days later and told me one lady showed up at his house and because of my story, she was sober three days and that everything I spoke on was exactly what she was going through. She wanted God to do in her life what He had done in mine and the pastors are mentoring her now.
Me: Wow – that is an inspiring encounter! What a praise that God used you to speak truth and healing into many hearts, but especially for one specific woman desperate for freedom from addition. So you’ve been doing this type of ministry for a while now, and I’m sure it never gets easier. But I’m wondering if God has laid anything new lately on your spirit, like a new ministry endeavor, project or goal?
Kelly: I really believe the Lord is calling me to write a book. I have felt this for years, but feel now is the timing. I also believe the Lord is broadening my speaking platform in order for me to share my testimony to many more. I believe I will be going into prisons to speak to women as well. On a broader scale, I have a great desire to have a building where women in the sex industry can transition into a regular job. Due to the crazy culture of the sex industry, they need a transitional place where they can safely heal, be empowered by truth, receive counseling, job training / skills, childcare, resume help, website help, etc. Big vision, but we have a big God!
Me: What an incredible goal and awesome idea. If God has planted that dream in your heart then I have faith He will bring it to fruition in His timing. You’ve certainly already stepped out in obedience to God in so many ways – do you feel He has blessed you in a particular way as a result? Or how might God have blessed your obedience by sharing your story in Your Life Still Counts?
Kelly: Personally, just the fact that you reached out to me and my story was highlighted in your book was HUGE. It was a sweet whisper, a beautiful reminder that God has not forgotten me and He is going to continue to write His love story through not only my broken past but also others. I have had the honor of sharing with hundreds of women how my story is in the book and it has been an encouragement to them that God is in control and still about healing His children.
Me: Well that definitely blesses my heart. Smiles. So, what are you most passionate about right now?
Kelly: I am extremely passionate about offering hope to people! Through the ministries I run Dining for Dignity and Emerge, I have the opportunity to reach out to hundreds of ladies every month in the sex industry. In addition since I partner with XXX Church on missions trips, I have an opportunity to offer hope to a larger concentrated group twice a year at conventions. I am extremely passionate about public speaking and having the opportunity to share my story in hopes to see others set free from the lies that held me down for so long.
I am also in the process of bringing former sex traffickers and sex trafficking victims to a large gathering to share their testimonies of God’s healing, love and power at a community meeting. Also, God has uniquely opened doors into the gay community of our state plus the women’s lib community and bridges are being built to help those who are being sexually exploited.
Me: Has God ever called you out of your comfort zone?
Kelly: Everything I do in ministry is outside of my comfort zone! Just returned from a weekend at Exxxotica, which is the largest sex convention in America. I partner with a Christian organization to share the love, hope & grace of Christ in the middle of a sex trade show. It sounds utterly insane, but the Word of God works when you work it! We pray up, and show up shining our light, not wielding condemnation. We share the reality with thousands that Jesus Christ loves them and that His grace is extended to them. We have the opportunity to hand out thousands of small bibles and books of hope, pray for people and enter into meaningful conversation with people. I led two teams into ten new strip clubs in Central Jersey, where I have never gone previously and took in hundreds of gift bags to ladies working the clubs. He has given me a fierce love, a fierce conviction and a fierce confidence that He goes before me and walks in with me. The verses I stand on for the ministry are Isaiah 45:1-3! I believe the God we love and serve radically loves His children. He says He will leave the 99 and go after the 1. I know by reading the story of the woman caught in adultery that although the religious folk were parading the woman around, highlighting her sin and calling for her death, the Word says that My God knelt down in the dirt with her. I serve a God who gets down in the dirt and so will I.
Me: How might people pray for you at this time in your life?
Kelly: For open doors, provision, wisdom & direction for the ministry, and for sharing my testimony. Prayers of protection over my marriage and family.
Me: What are you most excited about regarding how God has turned your past into your purpose?
Kelly: I am most excited that God could take a shattered mess, breathe life into it and send me out to share His love! I am deeply honored to offer God’s beautiful hope and amazing love to others who don’t comprehend their worth and value.
If you’d like to learn more about Kelly, be sure to read her story in Your Life Still Counts, Chapter One, in the ‘Her Story’ section. You can also visit her website at www.diningfordignity.org and watch her inspiring video about the Emerge Ministry by clicking here. If you’d like more information about this ministry, or feel called to contribute or get involved in some way, you can email Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org .
You can purchase a copy of Your Life Still Counts: How God Uses Your Past To Create A Beautiful Future through Proverbs 31 Ministries or any major retailer. Be sure to check out all the free gifts you’ll receive with your purchase, including study guides, leader guides, bible study videos, graphics, and more!
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