Beauty From Ashes Videos


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Overcomer Completes Graduate School, National Training & OutREACH Reports & MORE!

CONGRATULATIONS:  A huge congratulations goes out to our incredible Program Manager, Christa Hicks, on completing her Master of Art's program in Mental Health Counseling at Liberty University!  Christa is so much MORE than an overcomer, she not only plays an invaluable role as a counselor and role model, she oversees the programs, volunteers and is my right hand at Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries.  Additionally, she is a role model, dedicated wife, loving mother, servant at her local church, and health advocate.  We are very fortunate to have her and absolutely appreciate and adore her. 

NATIONAL S*X INDUSTRY OUTREACH & AFTERCARE TRAINING:  28 attendees from across the nation, Canada, and Germany converged at Barry University in Fort Myers, Florida for our 3 day training July 26-28th.  Overall the evaluations were 26 nine and ten ratings (out of 10).  Here is what attendees had to say about the experience:

"The information is absolutely crucial for this kind of ministry, coming from professionals who are also overcomers.  I am extremely thankful for this training . . . I know every bit of this information will be beneficial.  I feel much more equipped . . . " 
Natasha Hurt, Colorado

"I really enjoyed the organization and professionalism . . . everything is straight forward, easy to understand . . . " - Daycia Richey, Florida

"I appreciated the candor, the verbal case studies, lessons learned, how mistakes were overcome.  All of it was so much more valuable than just giving facts and information."  -Anonymous

"Not only was I educated, my faith was encouraged as well." - Anonymous

I liked best "when personal experiences were also talked about because then we knew that some things are normal and expected." - Carrie Schmitdt, Canada

I liked best "the personal and truthful learning experience with professionals." - Anonymous 

I liked best  "the details given with how to very practically do this type of ministry.  I also appreciate the opportunity to work with you in ministry and see the principles applied" - Anonymous 

"I love the passion!" - Anonymous

"The curriculum teaches how to best be supportive for these women, given where they may be emotionally. It revealed how this specific population has its own set of needs and characteristics." - Kelly Bolton, Florida 

"The information is helpful/honest without being overwhelming" - Anonymous, South Carolina

Our 2013 trainings will be 4 days (versus 3) and our first is scheduled for January 9-12th, 2013.  Sign up today.  Registration is required and seating is limited.  For more information on the most comprehensive, faith based, holistic, and professional model of s*x industry outREACH and afterCARE, CLICK HERE.  To view pics from training and outREACH, CLICK HERE

STRIP CLUB OUTREACH REPORT:  The training concluded with our monthly outREACH into our "adopted" strip club where we were met with hugs and appreciation from staff.  We served up a delicious comfort meal of chicken, broccoli & mushroom Alfredo, salad, rolls, and carmel brownies.  Gift bags were distributed that included Bibles, human trafficking and resource information, and many beauty supplies.  The team had the opportunity to pray with many of the employees, including the manager and concluded the outREACH with a group of employees holding hands with our team in a circle praying.  The closing prayer was requested by the employees and something we've never done before.  To God be all the glory!

INNER CITY OUTREACH REPORT:  Every Wednesday evening since the beginning of this summer, we have an outREACH team that partners with a team from Grace Church in downtown Fort Myers where 150-200 meals are served to the homeless and poor.  We're excited about the development of relationships with this community, known for high rates of prostitution and drugs.  Letting people know who we are, what services we provide, that there is hope, and that they are loved, valued, and have purpose is our objective.

MY INTERNSHIP AT BEAUTY FROM ASHES:  "I have been blessed to join Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries at a pivotal time in their development – 'For such a time as this' (Esther 4:14). Beauty From Ashes™ (BFA) has a ministry-focused, evidence-based, informed, and holistic approach to working with victims of s*x trafficking and exploitation that is Spirit-led and Christ-centered. First and foremost, BFA meets women where they are at, like Jesus, and trains and encourages others to do the same. At the core of their program model is the “Come as you are” Agape Love. I am learning much more during this internship than I originally expected."   CLICK HERE to read more from Kelly Bolton, our summer intern from Florida State University.   

EVENTS:  We've presented 60+ events to over 3500 people since January.  We truly believe that human trafficking awareness leads to prevention, intervention, and restoration!  Our multi-media presentations range from 30-90 minutes and have been presented to ages 8 through 80+.  Venues include social service agencies, churches, universities, colleges, health departments, and nursing associations, to Girl Scouts and country clubs.  To see our upcoming events, CLICK HERE.  To schedule an overcomer to speak at your event or invite BFA CLICK HERE

LIFE SKILLS & SUPPORT GROUP:  Every Tuesday evening from 7-8:30 in central Fort Myers, we provide a closed life skills and support group for women who have been s*xually exploited, abused, or trafficked. If you are a woman working in or desiring to exit from the s*x for sale industry, this group is for you.  The group is led by a master's level mental health clinician, who is an overcomer.  For more information and to register, call (239) 939-9218 or email Free child care is provided.

CURRENT NEEDS:  Looking for a way you can partner with Florida's first and only human trafficking, overcomer-led, community, service agency?  With a case load of over 70 clients, we need your help.  CLICK HERE for our current needs. 

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, contact us today.  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 or more, we'll send you our Child of God CD as our way to say thank you for partnering with us.  For secure online giving 
or send your financial gift to 13300 S. Cleveland Avenue, Suite 56, Fort Myers, FL 33907. 

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

BFA E-NEWSLETTER:    to sign up.

BFA FACEBOOK FAN PAGE & TWITTER:  Become a fan on the   and follow us on  .  Stay informed with the latest news in domestic human trafficking and help raise awareness by reposting and retweeting!  

AUGUST PRAYER ALERT:  CLICK HERE for details how to pray for our clients, us, and our partners. 

FRIDAY PRAYER:  Join us in the spirit every Friday from 8-9am EST to intercede for the victims of commercialized s*xual exploitation and s*x slavery, as well as the agencies servicing them.  CLICK HERE for Prayer Guide. 

PRAYER REQUESTS:  Send yours to and we'll pray for you. 

Thank you again for your continued support.  Together we are making a difference and without you, we would not be helping victims become overcomers and fulfilling the mission of Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries.  

"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor. 
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives 
    and release from darkness for the prisoners" - Isaiah 61:1 NLT

Committed to Christ, the Call, and the Cause,

Julie Shematz
Executive Director & Founder
Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries
Where Victims Become Overcomers