The Christian Broadcasting Network

Browse Videos

Share Email

Teresa Richenberger: Sold to the Highest Bidder

An advertisement for a dancing job led Teresa into the sex industry. Years later, an ad for a local church helped her escape into a life with Christ. Read Transcript


CAPTURING EVERYBODY'S

ATTENTION.

YOU'RE IN THE SPOTLIGHT.

A THOUSAND DOLLARS A WEEK.

I THOUGHT I WAS ON TOP OF

THE WORLD.

YOU'RE BODY COMES ALIVE.

IT IS THE MONEY, HOW COULD I

REFUSE IT?

Reporter: EASY MONEY,

THAT'S WHAT SEDUCED

17-YEAR-OLD TERESA RICKEN

RICKENBURGER INTO TOPLESS

DANCING.

I NEEDED A HOME.

I HAD ALREADY RUN AWAY FROM

HOME, AND I LOOKED IN THE

PAPER AND IT SAID, MAKE

$1,000 A WEEK.

I THOUGHT, YOU KNOW WHAT, I

CAN DO THAT.

I WAS A LITTLE NERVOUS, BUT

AT THE SAME TIME, YOU COULD

FEEL THE SENSE OF POWER THAT

AS A WOMAN, TO CAPTURE A

MAN'S ATTENTION THAT WAY.

I DID MAKE GREAT MONEY.

BUT I NEVER HAD ANYTHING TO

SHOW FOR IT.

I SPENT IT LIKE CRAZY.

AS FAST AS I COULD MAKE IT

IN ONE HAND, IT WAS GONE IN

THE OTHER.

Reporter: TERESA

QUICKLY FOUND THAT THE SENSE

OF POWER WAS FLEETING, TOO.

YOU START ACTUALLY HATING

MEN BECAUSE YOU FEEL LIKE

THEY'RE USING YOU.

YOU WANT TO USE THEM AND

HURT THEM BEFORE THEY CAN DO

THAT TO YOU.

SO INSIDE, I WAS HARD.

Reporter: SHE TOOK THE

EDGE OFF WITH DRUGS AND

ALCOHOL.

I COULDN'T TAKE LIFE

ANYMORE.

I COULDN'T DEAL WITH LOOKING

IN THE MIRROR AND SEEING

MYSELF.

I WOULD HAVE TO DO SHOTS OF

TEQUILA AND STUFF IN ORDER

JUST TO GO INTO THE CLUBS

JUST TO START WORKING AFTER

A WHILE.

Reporter: THE PROMISE

OF MORE MONEY DREW TERESA

INTO PROSTITUTION.

I HAD LEARNED THE GAME.

I HAD MASTERED IT.

I MEAN, I COULD NAME MY OWN

PRICE AND HOW MUCH I WANTED

TO CHARGE FOR MY BODY, NOT

ANYONE ELSE.

HOW MUCH I WANTED TO

CHARGE.

I STARTED DRINKING MORE

BECAUSE EVEN THOUGH I

THOUGHT I HAD ALL OF THIS

MONEY, CONTROL, AND POWER,

THERE WAS ALWAYS SOMETHING

MISSING.

I HAD A HOLE INSIDE THAT WAS

ACHING.

I HIT ROCK BOTTOM IN MY LATE

20s.

I HAD THROWN A PARTY AT MY

HOUSE AND I HAD BEEN

DRINKING FOR A COUPLE OF

DAYS STRAIGHT.

I WAS DOING DRUGS ON TOP OF

THAT, PLUS ALSO TAKING

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS.

I COULDN'T KEEP UP WITH

EVERYTHING.

I COULDN'T KEEP UP WITH THE

GAME THAT MY LIFE WAS

PLAYING.

Reporter: TERESA

OVERDOSED IN A NEAR LETHAL

COMBINATION OF DRUGS,

ALCOHOL, AND MEDICATION.

AND I CAN REMEMBER THE

DOCTOR LOOKING TO ME AND

SAYING, WHAT MADE YOU DO

THAT?

WHAT IS SO BAD IN YOUR LIFE?

HE WAS SAYING, I SEE A

PRETTY GIRL HERE.

Reporter: BUT ON THE

INSIDE, SHE FELT BROKEN.

THE SPIRIT THAT WAS IN ME

HAD ALREADY DIED.

THERE WAS NOTHING LEFT OF

TERESA IN THERE.

IT WAS JUST LIKE A SHELL.

Reporter: AFTER SHE GOT

OUT OF THE HOSPITAL, ANOTHER

AD CAUGHT HER ATTENTION.

A LITTLE AD IN THIS

NEWSPAPER THAT SAID

COMMUNITY CHAPEL.

AND THE PASTOR'S NAME WAS

PASTOR KENNETH SPORE.

AND HE SAID, YOU'RE INVITED

TO COME.

I REMEMBER SITTING THERE AND

ON MY SHORTEST DRESS AND MY

SPIKED HEELS, AND THINKING

THAT IS WHAT YOU WERE

SUPPOSED TO WEAR.

AND THEY DIDN'T TURN THEIR

BACKS ON ME.

OR WHAT I WAS WEARING.

OR HOW LOW MY DRESS WAS OR

HOW SHORT.

THEY DIDN'T TELL ME TO GET

OUT.

THEY STAYED WITH ME AND THEY

PRAYED WITH ME.

AND AT THE END, WHEN THEY

HAD ALTER CALL, I WENT

DOWN.

AND I INVITED JESUS INTO MY

HEART THAT NIGHT.

HE DIDN'T HAVE TO CHOOSE

ME.

AND HE DID.

Reporter: IMMEDIATELY

HER CRAVINGS FOR DRUGS AND

ALCOHOL STOPPED.

AND HE GOT OUT OF

PROSTITUTION.

AND I MADE THAT CHURCH MY

HOME CHURCH.

I WOULD GO EVERY SUNDAY

MORNING, AND I WOULD GO

WEDNESDAY NIGHTS.

BUT AT THE SAME TIME, I HAD

NOT TOTALLY SOLD OUT TO

GOD.

I'D GO BACK INTO THE CLUB

FOR A WEEK AND WORK AT

NIGHT, AND NOT TELL ANYONE,

JUST SO I COULD SAVE SOME

MONEY.

THAT'S WHAT I KEPT TELL

MYSELF.

IT'S JUST FOR A LITTLE

LONGER.

Reporter: FOR TWO YEARS

SHE STRUGGLED TO GET OUT OF

THE STRIP CLUBS.

WHEN SHE GOT A JOB ON A

RANCH, TERESA WAS FINALLY

FREE.

AFTER I REALLY STARTED

SURRENDERING EVERYTHING TO

GOD, I COULD FEEL HE WANT

WANTED ME TO DO MORE FOR

GOD.

IT WASN'T JUST ABOUT ME.

IT WAS ABOUT HELPING

OTHERSS, JUST AS I HAD BEEN

HELPED.

HE WANTED ME TO START DOING

MINISTRY FOR HIM.

HE WANTED ME TO START

TELLING OTHERS ABOUT HIM.

Reporter: TODAY TERESA

TEACHERS A WOMEN'S BIBLE

STUDY AT CHURCH AND ENJOYS

SPENDING TIME WITH HER

HUSBAND, WAYNE.

SHE TELLS EVERYONE HOW JESUS

SET HER FREE.

I AM FILLED BEYOND

BELIEF.

I HAVE JOY, PEACE, A

HUSBAND, A HOME, A

MINISTRY.

IT IS MORE THAN I COULD HAVE

EVER DREMPT UP MYSELF OR

EVEN WISHED FOR.

IF HE CAN TAKE ME AND CHANGE

ME, AND HE DID, THEN HE CAN

DO IT FOR ANYBODY.

EMBED THIS VIDEO

Related Podcasts


Log in or create an account to post a comment.  

CBN.com | Do You Know Jesus? | Privacy Notice | Prayer Requests | Support CBN | Contact Us | Feedback
© 2012 Christian Broadcasting Network