Beauty From Ashes Videos


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

eNewsletter: Theatre Documentary, OutREACH Report, Training, Events, & More!

SEARCHING FOR THE TRUTH: HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN OUR COMMUNITY - Friday, May 18th 8pm and  Sunday, May 18th 2pm in Sarasota, Florida. As part of Asolo Repertory Theatre’s Lend Us Your Voice program, a group of  teens came together to explore the issue of human trafficking. This group, known as Performing for Purpose (P4P), have developed an original piece of theatre on the topic.  P4P interviewed community members with various degrees of knowledge around and experience discussing the topic, including Beauty From Ashes' (BFA) founder and human trafficking overcomer, Julie Shematz. The documentary is an original piece of theatre using the words from those interviews.  Address is  5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34243. Tickets are $5. For more information, call 941.351.9010 ext. 3306.

STR*P CLUB OUTREACH REPORT:  One word describes our May outREACH: AWESOME!  Seeing women that were once resistant to our presence in the club visit, on their night off, to ask for prayer, share with us how God is moving in their lives, and be loved on, is exceedingly, above, and beyond what we've dreamed or imagined!  Ending the evening with another former employee stopping by to share with us about her NEW job, ask if we're proud of her for getting out, and thank us, was even greater!  Huge thanks to all who donate of their time, talent and resources.  Consistency and building relationships is our goal with these outREACHes.  Thanks to YOU, we've been able to to be at our "adopted" strip club every 2nd Saturday for over 3 years now!  Hearing how the employees look forward to seeing us, because they know they can depend on us, makes every sacrifice worthwhile.  The team served up a delicious Italian meal prepared by Awaken Ministries, gave out fabulous gift bags that included beauty supplies, human trafficking information and resources, and laughed, cried, and prayed with numerous employees in last Saturday's outREACH. Additionally, we were astounded to get requests for women's devotional, STUDY bibles!  (See Current Needs for details of requested bibles).  For pics of outREACH, CLICK HERE.

AT THE STRIP CLUB:  Reflections on outREACH by Sharon Aldrich. "An assumption about a woman dancing in a strip club could be that she chooses this line of work and could walk away and do something else at any time.  Another assumption could be that she would never want to talk about God . . . At the strip club I have found more people open to discussing God then anywhere else."  READ MORE

NATIONAL S*X INDUSTRY OUTREACH & AFTERCARE TRAINING:  July 26-28th at Barry University in Fort Myers, FL.

Since 2005, we've been presenting National Str*p Club OutREACH Training. We were the 1st to develop such training and after receiving a capacity building grant from the Dept. of HHS in 2010, we expanded it & made it even more comprehensive!

• Do you want to know how to get started reaching sex workers in your city?

• Have you been trying to get started, but don’t know where to begin?

• Have you started doing outREACH and realize you need to know more?

• Are you recognizing that this populous has complex issues and you need help in providing effective services?

Whether you have already started an outREACH, or are planning to, our seasoned, comprehensive training will better equip you to professionally and holistically reach, rescue, and restore the marginalized populous of sex workers and trafficking victims.

We have registrations from Texas, Iowa, North & South Carolina, Colorado, Florida & Canada! Seats are filling FAST. Sign up TODAY and learn everything you need to know from seasoned experts about this unique type of ministry!  Registration is required. Limited Seating. For more information and to register, CLICK HERE or call (239) 939-9218.

BREAKING FREE:  Breaking Free is a support and life skills group, is being held at Grace Church in Fort Myers, on Tuesdays from 7-8:30pm.  If you or someone you know is in need of a safe place to begin working towards freedom from s*x work, the adult entertainment industry, or s*xual exploitation please CLICK HERE and find out more about this closed women's group.  Confidentiality guaranteed.

A BETTER U: A Better U is a strong personal foundation Coaching program developed by author, speaker, Life Coach, and inspirational writer, Karen Zeigler. By embarking on the Better U program you are starting a deliberate process to strengthen every part of your personal and professional life. CHECK IT OUT

  Want to partner with Florida's leading, Human Trafficking, survivor-led, community service agency?  We are in need of bibles, outREACH sponsors, food preparers, babysitter/childcare workers, frequent flyer miles, etc.  For details, please check out our Current Needs. 

STAFF SEARCH:  We are seeking an administrative assistant/secretary. Position is above minimum wage and up to 30 hours a week.  For more information, CLICK HERE

PAST EVENTS:  In an effort to raise awareness and implement interventions, presentations on human trafficking and sex trafficking were given at the Fort Myers' Lifeline Pregnancy center to residents and staff.  Additionally, we were honored to present on human trafficking to a group of nearly 100 nurses from the Florida Nurses' Association in Naples, Florida. 

FUTURE EVENTS:  We will be presenting on human trafficking to the Nursing Program at the Immokalee Technical Institute on May 22, 2012.

SCHEDULE AN EVENT:   We have multi-media presentations on human trafficking for children ages 8 through high school, college age, adults, social service agencies, churches, and health care workers.  To schedule an overcomer, a presentation, and/or BFA at your event, CLICK HERE or call (239) 939-9218.

 Prayer is foundational to Beauty From Ashes™ and we greatly appreciate yours!  CLICK HERE for details on how to pray for us.

FUND RAISING: If you're passionate about doing something about the human trafficking happening right here in the United States and want to support Beauty From Ashes™, we want to hear from you.  Whether it's a bake sale, car wash, Sunday School class project, percentage of your business sales, or organizing a dinner party, 3-5K run, awareness event, etc., please contact us with your fund raising/awareness ideas today.

DONATIONS:  We rely on private donations for program and operational costs.  Please consider giving a tax deductible gift today.  For $25 we'll send you our Child of God CD as our way to say thank you for partnering with us.  For secure online giving,

CLICK HERE or send your financial gift to 13300 S. Cleveland Avenue, Suite 56, Fort Myers, FL 33907.


BFA FACEBOOK FAN PAGE & TWITTER:  Become a fan on the BFA facebook fanpage and follow us on Twitter.  Get informed and raise awareness by reposting and retweeting!

 Check our latest video by CLICKING HERE.

In collaboration with United Way, the Salvation Army, and Lee Physician's Healthcare, from one location, we provide comprehensive and integrative services (medical, mental health, social, and spiritual) to victims of commercialized s*xual exploitation. Thank you for your support.  Because of you, since 2005, we've served over 1100 clients and are weekly acquiring new ones.  TOGETHER we are making a difference!

Committed to seeing victims become over-comers,

Julie Shematz & the BFA FREEdom™ Team
Founder & Executive Director

Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries 
Where Victims Become Over-Comers
239.939.9218 | 877.4BFA SOS (877.423.2767) Toll Free Help Line
Physical Address:  The United Way House | 13279 N. Cleveland Ave. | N. Fort Myers | FL | 33903
Mailing Address:  13300 S. Cleveland Avenue, Suite 56-623 | Fort Myers | FL | 33907 | USA

"Survivors must be leaders in the development of services, shelter, and response protocols to s*x trafficking.” - National Report on Domestic Minor S*x Trafficking


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

At the Strip Club

When do people want to know about the God that created them? When their lives are going well? Do they want to hear how Jesus can save them when they don’t feel like they need a Savior? When they feel and think they have done a great job all by themselves, why would they even ask , ‘am I doing anything wrong’? After an earthquake or hurricane or tornado people are looking for answers. When people feel like they don’t have control of their lives they are looking for the ‘One’ who does have the answers.

An assumption about a woman dancing in a strip club could be that she chooses this line of work and could walk away and do something else at any time. Another assumption could be that she would never want to talk about God, and certainly not ‘AT the CLUB.’  All of these assumptions would be wrong. From an outsider, the club is like being in the pit of hell, men lusting after women and attempting to use them for their own gratification.

At the strip club I have found more people open to discussing God than anywhere else. That includes the women dancers and the managers (men) of the club. These women are desperate to find a more respectable job than dancing. But they feel trapped for many reasons. Addictions, lack of skills, boyfriends, and husbands without jobs that need to be supported. Many need to support their children but lack the skills to get a “normal job”.  Many have been abused as children and are still being abused. They don’t feel capable of doing more with their lives.  Many have dropped out of school before graduation and are unable to go back to get a GED.  They just need someone to come to their side and encourage them and believe in them.  Someone to love them right where they are and give them guidance they did not receive when growing up.

Most of the women know they need to get help but don’t know how. So, ‘there they are’ in a strip club crying out for someone to tell them about God. And most are not shy about talking about God. They want to know everything. One girl wanted to know what to do with the guilt she felt because she had accepted Jesus as her savior and when she came into work ‘at the club’ she felt very guilty. She didn’t know what to do because she felt she had to work, but the guilt was eating her up. One young woman wanted prayer for her dying brother; one woman needed assurance that God loved her even though she was a dancer. We assure them God loves them and that He can make a way when there does not seem to be one. Many of the managers of the club want to know when we will help’ them’ get out of the business. They want us to be at the club with the word of God and a loving touch for these women because these women need the love of the Savior. One woman asked if she could go to church with us and another begged for a women’s study Bible so she could learn God’s word.

During this month’s outreach, our evening was coming to an end with us in the parking lot putting everything back into our cars, but we saw a young woman walking up to Julie  [founder of Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries] to give her a hug as big as the Grand Canyon. She was a young woman who has left the business to get a job that is not stripping. We all had tears of joy when she looked at Julie and said ‘Thank you.’

Who will love them? Will you?

Sharon Aldridge
Beauty From Ashes' OutREACH Team and Mentor