By Becky Reigel
Turners mission field is filled with darkness and perversion.
The Fort Myers (Fla.) resident ministers to exotic dancers working
the citys three strip clubs, but when Turner steps into the
"dens of iniquity" as she refers to the clubs
shes covered by prayer.
Each month Turner delivers a gift to every dancer at the clubs.
The gifts contain a gospel message and an invitation to the Help
for Hurting Women Bible study at First Assembly of God in Fort Myers,
where Dan Betzer is pastor.
"As soon as I walk in the club until the time I leave, I dont
even feel my feet hitting the floor. Its like I float,"
she says. The reason, Turner says, is the prayer partner or partners
praying in the car and the ministries that support her. "I
wouldnt go without them [the women who pray]. I believe God
protects me; and when I have someone in the car interceding, I know
He will direct me."
The direction is evident, she and others involved with One Way
Out Ministries say. Turners known as "Angel Lady"
or "Church Lady" in the clubs.
"Jeanie has found favor with the owners and whoever is at
the doors," says Karen Wortman, Turners friend and prayer
partner. "They know shes going to share the gospel. You
would think those places would shut her down, but shes received
And dancers from the clubs have begun attending the Bible study
and area churches some have left the profession.
"The first many, many months were spent just sowing seed,"
says Pastor Connie Weisel, minister to women at First Assembly.
"Now we are getting reports that the seed has taken root and
we are beginning to see the results and a harvest of freedom
and life is beginning to come forth in these womens lives."
Turners ministry is "to women in life-controlling situations."
"God hasnt just called me to strippers," she says.
"If theres a woman that has a problem who needs God,
I want to help."
The burden became evident several years ago, she says. "Id
be driving down the road and when I would see a prostitute, I just
wanted to tell her about Jesus
and I would wish I had a gift
to give her."
Her own background contributes to her compassion.
"Before I got saved, I had way too many relationships,"
Turner says. "I wasnt a dancer or a prostitute, but I
looked for love in the wrong places. I didnt know the love
of God. Until I met God, I didnt know what real love was."
At the recommendation of her pastors wife, Harolene Cass
(Turner attends Revival Tabernacle in Fort Myers), Turner began
attending First Assemblys ministry to hurting women.
There she met Cathy Mehl, who began the outreach to Fort Myers
dancers. Mehl was leaving to attend the School of Ministry at Brownsville
Assembly of God in Pensacola, Fla. When Mehl made an appeal for
someone to continue the ministry, Turner volunteered.
"I just walked up to her and said, I want to be involved
in this, but I dont know if I can do it."
Nearly two years later, Turner is still delivering gifts to dancers.
"Praise the Lord, the mantle was just passed to another woman,"
Weisel says, explaining that it "takes a woman who is absolutely
appointed and anointed to do this work."
gifts Turner delivers are unique and feminine, with attention and
prayer given to every detail. Shes given white roses; teacups
with a bag of tea; white handkerchiefs embroidered with red hearts;
homemade chocolates; devotionals and audiocassettes all with
encouraging words and Scripture verses.
"They are beautiful gifts, very feminine. They always look
stunning. The gifts are ones any woman would look at and say I
want one of these, " Weisel says. "Each gift includes
a letter or article with the message We love you. We care
about you. There is absolutely no condemnation, absolutely
no criticism. It is totally a ministry of love."
Nearly every package includes something purple, Turner says, explaining,
"Whenever you see a cloth draped over the cross, its
purple it looks like the color of forgiveness."
Cindy Weber, a ministry partner who prays and helps prepare the
nearly 40 gifts each month, has made chocolate hearts and Easter
"It shows the love of Jesus," she says of the carefully
prepared gifts. "I dont think some of the women have
ever felt His love. I dont think some have felt genuine love
at all. And for a total stranger to come up and give you a gift
its all just to express Jesus love."
When Turner and her prayer partner or partners arrive at the clubs,
she has them park in an adjacent parking lot. Then, they begin praying
as she delivers the gifts.
"All the gifts are in a basket. I walk in the door and the
first thing I do is give the bartender a present and say, Im
going to give the dancers their gifts. Some of the dancers
are working. If they dont look at me, Ill lay the gifts
next to them."
Wortman says, "The blessing is watching her when she walks
out. Shes walking into a pit of darkness and sin, but when
she comes out shes glowing. When she walks in and out, theres
a confidence. She walks in the Spirit of God."
Turner has faith that therell be a harvest from the seeds
shes planting. "Every time we take something we pray
over it. It may not affect the dancers immediately, but eventually
it will. Were giving the Word of God and God says His Word
will not return void."
And Turner is preparing to help in the harvesting. Recently, she
learned of similar ministries in Texas, Arizona and other states
and has begun networking with people in those ministries.
Lisanne McMurray, a former dancer now with Lightdancers, a ministry
of Phoenix (Ariz.) First Assembly, sent Turner 50 devotionals. And
shes received information from other ministries offering former
dancers support and guidance as they leave the clubs.
"They have so many strongholds on them after theyve
involved themselves in that kind of sin, and its hard to walk
away from that kind of money," Turner says.
"God has me there to plant seeds; but if I can lead them out
by the hand, I want to. I want to be able to point them in the right
directions jobs, housing, day care for their children."
Weisel is excited by the possibilities.
"Its amazing how God has been moving all across the
nation at one time," she says. "Im really expecting
this is going to become huge."
Becky Reigel lives in Springfield, Mo.