We gave out 20 copies of my book ‘Happiness: No Man Required’ to prostitutes and strippers on Bourbon Street in New Orleans last week. It was amazing how God led us to the right women and kept us safe. Every single woman took the book without hesitation and thanked me. Each one promised to read it.
On the way to the first outreach I said to my cab driver, “I know I will be okay, because the Lord is with me.” She said, “I hope so, Honey, because them pimps will kill you.” [sic] I said, “Well, I was not afraid until I got into your cab!” We both laughed. I told her that I knew God had already provided the money for me to go back to Barnes and Noble after my book signing the previous day and purchase twenty of my own paperbacks (at retail for a total of over 400.00 spent). He would make a way for us to offer them for free to the strippers and prostitutes on Bourbon Street.
Well, He did just that! We had absolutely no problem as we walked down Bourbon asking God to show us the women who needed it most. I went with another Christian, and we were silently praying as we walked for God to lead us.
We would spot a woman who looked like she needed the book, and I would approach her with a smile and say, “I have just had a Barnes and Noble book signing in Metairie, and we had some books left over. Would you like a copy of my book ‘Happiness: No Man Required–50 Tips for Single Women to be Happy With or Without a Man’ for free?” Each woman smiled and thanked me without hesitation. They high-fived me and laughed with comments like, “That’s my kind of book!”
It was as if we were the same, even though we looked so differently on the outside. Beneath the tattoos, multiple nose-rings and prostitution, they were women just like me. I knew I could be just like them and far worse off if it were not for the grace of God on my life.
On the last day we were there, God led us to a woman who had been crying. We gave the last book to her. I told her I had signed it, and she added, “But, I want you to write MY name in it.” We went in a bar to get a pen, so I could put her name in it. She said she knew it was for her. As we were walking out of the bar I asked, “Do you know if you died today you would go to heaven?” She answered, “No.” I asked, “May I pray for you now?” She said, “Yes, but I don’t want to cry anymore.” I told her that crying does not kill us but sometimes all the ways we try to avoid or numb pain can. I prayed for her–explaining the Gospel in my prayer– and for God to give her new life.
Another woman was observing us as we prayed off from the sidewalk with a look of disdain. I could tell I had said enough and could trust Jesus to do the rest in the life of the sweet, broken, young woman who took the book. She said she had a daughter and wanted the best life for her daughter, too. I could sense the Holy Spirit at work. I have never had a more fulfilling experience. There is no greater joy this side of heaven than when a Christian gets to tell someone who is hurting about Jesus. The light of the Gospel shines even brighter the darker the place, like the French Quarter of New Orleans…