‘Wild Torch’ lights up rainy night with music, art, live storytelling

Members of the Out on a Limb Dance Company perform on Monday in front of the Waco Hippodrome as part of the Wild Torch event. Photo credit: Liesje Powers

By Joy Moton | Staff Writer

In spite of the gloomy rain that covered the streets of Waco Monday evening, members of the community gathered in the Hippodrome for a night of music, art and passionate storytelling. Wild Torch is an event designed to showcase art to convey the stories of women who have survived the horrors of the sex industry.

The name of the event came from the hope that the fire in these women’s stories will ignite a fire in people who attend to participate in the mission of Jesus Said Love, a ministry that serves to embrace marginalized women who are involved in the sex industry.

“We realized, there’s fire in all of our stories. We liked the idea of it being wild and unpredictable, and everyone has a light within them that’s burning,” Mills said.

The evening included a performance by members of Out On a Limb Dance Company, testimonies from women who were involved in the sex industry, a passionate performance by Broadway actress and Tony nominee Elizabeth A. Davis and an auction to raise funds for the ministry.

Brett Mills, co-CEO of Jesus Said Love, said the ministry is all about sharing these women’s stories and breaking myths .

“Some of our main takeaways are women are not less than, women are not objects, hyper-sexualization of marketing is weak and it’s not just a women’s issue, it’s also a men’s issue. It’s a man’s issue in order to stand for women to acknowledge that women are equal to men,” Mills said.

Emily Mills, founder of Jesus Said Love, said the event heavily incorporated the arts to share the survivors’ stories because the arts have been a powerful tool to share messages throughout history.

“More than a fundraiser, this is designed to be an experience that changes culture. We use the visual and performing arts because first of all, we’re artists, and we don’t know of another medium that can transform culture like the arts can. At every great move of history and societal transformation, the arts were at the forefront,” Emily Mills said.

Emily Mills said that in sharing these women’s stories, she hopes the event impacted people’s perspectives about women in general as well as women in the sex industry.

“Art represents the soul of man, and the passion and the movement. We’re all about story, and we’re all about God telling the greatest story of redemption through people. We’re His masterpiece, so we don’t know of another way to do it than using our bodies, our song, our talents, our dance, to offer that up and to change culture,” Emily Mills said.

For more information about Jesus Said Love,
visit www.jesussaidlove.com/.