Who could have predicted the impact home-cooked meals and conversation would have on a group of at-risk women? In 2000, a group of women began the simple task of cooking meals and bringing dinner into one of Lexington, Kentucky’s local strip clubs.
That was the beginning of the “Bruised Reed” ministry. Strong relationships developed, allowing team members to reach hurting, abused, and exploited women. Because of the positive impact in women’s lives, doors began to open to other clubs. To this day, team members serve weekly in several clubs—consistently offering home-cooked meals and unconditional love.
Throughout the years, our team has hosted wedding and baby showers, birthday parties, and other special events as new opportunities for the Club Ministry have emerged.
In 2011, team members began to feel God had more in store for the ministry.
Team leaders began to pray, having no idea what was next. On January 1, 2012, one of the ladies the team had often served in the clubs (and who had since moved to escort services and prostitution) was murdered by a man who was her “boyfriend”/pimp. Her name was Natalie. With the news of her death, it became clear outreach efforts were to expand to women in prostitution.
The Lexington Police Department partnered with this new Street Ministry, bringing security and knowledge of the industry to their efforts. Realizing Natalie represented the full scope of the women they now served, the name “Natalie’s Sisters” was adopted in her honor. The street side of the ministry now includes:
A Drop-In Center offering food, personal items, and a place to take a nap
Street sack meal drop-off
Community resource referrals
In 2016, Natalie’s Sisters became a nonprofit organization and now partners with numerous churches and organizations to reach at-risk women. The faithfulness of hundreds of team members creates life change opportunities by extending hope, support, and God’s unconditional love.
Women have seen God’s hand at work as he meets them right where they are. Dozens have made the life-changing decision to get out of the industry and start a new life.
The logo for Natalie's Sisters features a red cord, which is a reference to the biblical story of Rahab from the book of Joshua. Rahab was a prostitute in the city of Jericho; when Joshua sent spies to Jericho before the Israelites overtook the city, Rahab housed the men and hid them when the king got word that they were in town. She believed the men were on a mission from God, and she asked them to spare her and her family when they came to take the city. The men told her to hang a red cord from her window to show that the people in her house were to be spared. Through her faith in God, Rahab was redeemed, and the scripture tells us she lives with the Israelites to this day.
"But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho—and she lives among the Israelites to this day." Joshua 6:25 (NIV)