I met Jo Lynn through my friends Ray and Susan Kelley. Ray and Susan are the amazing Christ followers behind The Daytona Outreach Center and the Messy Church. The first time I met Jo Lynn was when she became a part of The Daytona Outreach Center. See the YouTube clip below. At about 3:20 you'll see Jo Lynn tell her story of addiction and prostitution. At about 4:47 you'll see my friend Ray Kelley baptizing Jo Lynn after she accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior.
(I invite you to watch the entire clip. It's a great way to see what God is doing through Ray and Susan Kelley.)
Unfortunately Jo Lynn didn't stay with The Daytona Outreach Center. She went back to the streets and her former life of prostitution and addiction. Today I was driving home and I saw Jo Lynn. I drove past her and felt compelled to turn around and find her. I found her sitting on a street corner. The Jo Lynn you see in the video was not the Jo Lynn I saw today. Today she was extremely skinny, she was wearing a bikini, her hair was a mess and her eyes looked horrible. As I walked up to her she looked at me as if I was one of her "dates" and then she realized who I was. "Mike, I hope you're not here to preach to me," she said. I said, "Jo Lynn I'm here to tell you that you are loved and valued." I can't describe the look on her face at that very moment. Her eyes filled with tears and she said, "Mike, you don't want to get high with me and have sex? You don't want anything from me?" I said again, "Jo Lynn I am here today to tell you that you are loved and valued." She said, "Everybody wants something from me and as long as they have money I'll give it to them." Then Jo Lynn and I simply sat and talked. As I was getting ready to leave I asked her if she needed anything. "I could use a cup of ice", she said. I drove Jo Lynn to the nearby convenience store and got her a cup of ice. Before I got in my truck I told her again, "Jo Lynn you are loved and valued." She gave me the biggest hug. It was a hug that nearly split me in two and I thought she was never going to stop. I made a promise to Jo Lynn today. Every time I see her I am going to stop and tell her that she is loved and valued.
"Some, including myself, would call Jo Lynn a prostitute and an addict but I like calling her my friend."