Patty LaRoche: Beauty Salons to Boats

God delights in beauty salons. And if that isn’t true, I think it should be. After all, few places offer better therapy. Hairdressers will tell you that salons create connections. And that’s what God loves to do: Connect.

Here in Mazatlan, Mexico, I was recently in Tippy Toes, a salon owned by Debbie Rodriguez and known for its Margarita Wednesdays. You read right. Men and women book weeks in advance to be part of the mid-week fiesta for their pedicures, manicures, and haircuts. And, of course, free margaritas.

Debbie spent several years in Afghanistan establishing a beauty school for the oppressed women of that country. (I highly recommend her book Kabul Beauty School which tells her incredible story of courage and determination.) A few chapters allude to her fight against sex trafficking. I was intrigued. On my second trip to her salon, I told Debbie about my son Adam’s involvement in that field. She was intrigued. Three weeks ago, two YWAM (Youth With A Mission) missionaries came into her shop and began sharing their vision for preventing Mazatlan’s youth from being recruited by the drug cartels. The two ladies are just starting to dab into the trafficking business.

Connection #1

Debbie contacted me, and yesterday Heather and Andrea came to my condominium, and for three hours I listened as they explained their involvement in discipleship—growing young adults into a deeper walk with the Lord so they can use their talents to advance His kingdom. YWAM’s outreach in Mazatlan is exploding. They build houses for the poor, meet with state officials to teach Biblical principles to fight corruption, work to change laws that affect the youth involved in crime, offer medical assistance where there is none and share the gospel.

The ladies’ stories were uplifting, but the one that excited me most involved a couple who, sixteen years ago, was led by God to sell their house, buy a one-hundred- foot boat and raise their family on it. Their friends and relatives thought they were nuts, yet they never gave up their vision.

Last year they were in Hawaii and saw a docked YWAM medical ship. That was it! They immediately knew what God had planned—they were to donate their boat. Long story short—it was delivered to a nearby marina this past week. Dave and I were there when the missionary team welcomed it to Mazatlan. The plan is to gut it and reconstruct it to be a floating medical facility. Their prayer is for the right people to get involved.

Connection #2

Our friends George and Barbara have lived on their boat for five years, and yesterday they docked at the same marina. George is excellent at working on boats. I asked if he would be interested in helping to prepare the ship for ministry. He is.

Connection #3

God didn’t stop there. Yesterday I heard from Heather who had received an email from Debbie. Her newest salon customer is a retired attorney who worked in sex trafficking and wants to get involved. They hope to meet with Adam’s team to work together to make a difference. So, the next time you think your trip to the beauty salon is all about you, think again. If you see it as a place of connections that delights God, you will be blessed beyond a new hairstyle or a cute pedicure. Next week I will share how my connections were just the starting point for a much bigger plan.

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