Beauty From Ashes Videos


Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Reformation Day!

As the world celebrates Halloween, it is sad to see how many Christians are joining in, participating in this decidedly un-Christian observance. Merely looking at the decorations and activities which are inspired by it should be enough to tell a follower of Christ that they are not to partake. The holiday is a celebration of death, darkness and horror, with central symbols being tombstones, witches and the undead. Some of the more outrageous celebrants will even have fun with the imagery of serial killers, cannibalism and other abominations to God and society at large. Certain theme parks even have special events that are so graphic and intense that they warn that children shouldn't come to them during this time. Truly this is a dark time of year.

This should not really surprise us, as the origin of Halloween was the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, the last day of the year for that culture. The belief was that Samhain, the Lord of Death, gathered the souls of the evil dead at this time and the veil between the spirit world and our world became thin, allowing spirits to pass between them. They marked it with ritual sacrifices and disguising themselves with masks. The druids who presided over these religious festivals are recorded in ancient writings as performing human sacrifices, observing the manner in which the body fell and the blood flowed for the purpose of divining the future. The divination of the future was a central part of the ancient festival of Samhain, and the whole history of the holiday is pagan at best and at worst, satanic.

The practice of divination alone, much less human sacrifice is clearly forbidden all through the scripture, but what is not a widely known is Ezekiel 13:18 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Woe to the women who sew magic charms on their sleeves and make veils for the heads of people of every height to hunt souls! Will you hunt the souls of My people, and keep yourselves alive? Veils for the people of every height, that sort of sounds like masks for children and adults alike, doesn't it? And what is the purpose? For the hunting of souls. By willingly participating in the activities of Halloween, Christian parents are not only exposing their children to a celebration of all things dark and demonic, but they are actually opening doors to invite these influences, ideas and even the spirits behind them into their homes, their lives and even their souls. Please, don't let your child be one of the victims of this powerful tool of satanic propaganda and compromise.

Well then, what should a Christian do on Halloween? Well, God is so amazingly good that He has graciously given us something else to celebrate on this day. Several centuries ago, on October 31, something important, no, something essential to all of Christianity happened. It was on this date in 1517 that Martin Luther took the Catholic Church to task for its unbiblical practices. He had been appalled and disgusted by the practice of selling indulgences (basically paying for your sins in advance, but with real money) and the lifeless religion he saw. He knew the Bible and he saw in it that it was not gold that gets you to heaven, it's not belonging to a church, and it is not even regular confession of your sins to a priest. No, he saw that salvation comes by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone and His shed blood on the cross of Calvary. He was moved by God to nail his famous 95 theses to the door of the castle in Wittenburg, Germany and it just happened to be on October 31.

So, what do you do when someone says 'Happy Halloween'? Well, you could tell them that there is nothing happy about a day celebrating devils, demons, death, destruction and everything that is evil and unholy. But at the very least, you can tell them that you don't celebrate Halloween, because something much more important happened on this day in history. This is the day that God chose to return His church to the truth of His word and the simple Gospel of Jesus Christ. That He loves them and gave His life for them and if they will simply believe and repent then they will be saved. Then wish them a Happy Reformation Day. FREEdom™ is calling.

Steve Shematz
President of Beauty From Ashes

Beauty From Ashes will be presenting the Hands that Heal Anti-trafficking & Caregivers Training November 14, 21 & 28th from 9am - 3pm at Word of Life Church, on the campus of the New Life Dream Center. Registration & cost of materials required. For more information: CLICK HERE

Beauty From Ashes is in need of assistance in the following areas: bookkeeping, administration, websites/social networking, picking up & inventorying beauty supply donations, meal preparation & gift assembly for outreaches. Join our FREEdom™ Team and become a sex slavery abolitionist! Contact Julie for details.

WATCH THE 10/12/09 91.5 Kingdom FM JULIE SHEMATZ & PASTOR GASPAR ANASTASI INTERVIEW for the God Has the Answer Today Show: CLICK HERE
Pastor Gaspar Anastasi, founder of the New Life Dream Center & Word of Life Ministries, interviews Julie Shematz, founder of Beauty From Ashes Ministries. Julie shares her dynamic testimony of how she was rescued out of the sex industry and they discuss how they work together to abolish modern day slavery. BFA has been working to reach, rescue, restore and advocate for victims of human trafficking for 5 years and the New Life Dream Center has been doing it for 26+ years. This interview was taped for the God Has The Answer Today Radio Program on October 6, 2009, the 7th anniversary of Julie's public re-dedication to Christ after she left the commercial sex industry.

Thank you for your continued support, prayers & encouragement. Together we are better & are making a difference! Please agree with us that the captives be set free & prisoners released in the name of Jesus. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed! May they receive the revelation of who God is, how much He loves them & who they are in Him in order that they may walk in the fullness of all He destined them to be!

Happy Reformation Day!

In His love & passion to see victims become over-comers,

Julie Shematz & the FREEdom™ Team
Founder & CEO
Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries
Where Victims Become Over-Comers
877.4BFA SOS (423.2767) International Toll Free Help Line

Friday, October 30, 2009

Slavery Abolitionists: Gaspar Anastasi & Julie Shematz

Become a Sex Slavery Abolitionist

We at Beauty From Ashes are sex slavery abolitionists. Human trafficking is human slavery. At the peak of the slavery trade, 80,000 people a year were being transported. In 2009, an estimated 800,000 a year are being considered slaves. 80% of that human trafficking is sex trafficking.

In an effort to restore these victims, we have placed them and have been providing basic care items to women & a pregnant teen in the New Life Dream Center, a safe/recovery home here in Fort Myers, FL. Currently, none of these residents we placed are able to provide the monthly cost of $760 for their care & there are approximately 40+ women & teens living there, not to mention around 80 men in a separate facility. Overall, less than 10% have financial support to pay for their living expenses, however, no one is ever turned away due to an inability to pay.

We established the Rahab's Hope Fund to provide financial assistance to qualified applicants & all recipients have been sex trafficking or commercialized sexual exploitation victims. Below is a list of items we have provided to New Life Dream Center residents in the past month and/or need to provide in the near future:

Toiletries: soap, tooth brushes, tooth paste, lotion, deodorant, razors, etc.
Hair products; shampoo, conditioner, hair spray, styling products, etc.
Mini pads
Make up

Topical ointments
Over the counter STD treatments

Underwear (no thongs; sizes 7 - 14)
Maternity: Size 14 pants, 42D bra
House slippers
Shoes: Sizes 7.5 - 10

Pencils, markers & pens
Pencil sharpener
Text books ($10 - $18)
Work books ($10 - $23)
Sketch pads
Play Money Kit ($18)

Adolescent Bible ($30)
Life Application NLT Study Bibles ($40 a piece)

PACE Curriculum Grades 1-4 ($100)
ABEKA Home School Curriculum ($1045 a grade level)

Calling Cards
Walmart Gift Cards
Twin Bed Sheets
Drinking Glasses

We do this in addition to facilitating doctor appointments, working with probation, immigration, law enforcement, the county school system, judges, home schooling, coordinating with attorneys and other non governmental agencies in order to provide recovery assistance to these victims. We also provide support to family members of victims and by means of our website & social networking reach thousands daily. We also do weekly & monthly outreaches on the streets & in strip clubs of Fort Myers, which also costs money. We distribute gift bags that include the Word of God either written, spoken or in video & contact information, in addition to beauty supplies, gift items, etc. Monthly, we deliver & serve meals to the employees of our local adopted club, which typically costs around $100 an outreach.

In the past week, between the street & club outreaches, 34 people received Christ as their Lord & Savior and many other were prayed for in the following areas; finances, deliverance, healing, restoration, strength, courage, faith, etc.

Beauty From Ashes is also presenting the Hands that Heal Anti-trafficking & Caregivers Training November 14, 21 & 28th from 9am - 3pm at Word of Life Church, on the campus of the New Life Dream Center. Registration & cost of materials required. For more information: CLICK HERE

We need your help financially to replenish the funds used in order for us to continue to reach, rescue, restore, advocate, raise awareness & educate on commercialized sexual exploitation & trafficking. Will you please consider giving what you can today & help make the difference in a precious child's or woman's life?

We can all talk, read books, tweet, attend seminars, workshops & conferences on human trafficking until we are blue in the face, but until we are willing to take action, nothing is getting done. Fact is, most action takes money & restoration costs a lot of money! Beauty From Ashes has been working to reach, rescue & restore these victims for over 5 years & the New Life Dream Center been providing restoration services for over 26. Please consider becoming a slavery abolitionist (doesn't that sound cool?!) by giving a tax deductible donation today and/or become a Purpose Partner by committing to Beauty From Ashes by giving monthly. For every dollar you give, we'll give 10% to the New Life Dream Center directly, in addition to the items/services we provide for the victims recovering there!

To give securely online, CLICK HERE or send check, money order or cash to 5100 S. Cleveland Avenue, Suite 318-148, Fort Myers, FL 33907. For gift-in-kind donations, please contact me. Thank you for your generous giving! We can abolish slavery & restore lives one at a time.

Together we are better & are slavery abolitionists!

In His love & passion to see victims become over-comers,
Julie Shematz & the FREEdom™ Team
Co-Founder & CEO
Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries
Where Victims Become Over-Comers
877.4BFA SOS (423.2767) International Toll Free Help Line