A few weeks ago I thought I knew. I’d participated in a three-day training with Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries and I felt I had a good grasp on all they are involved in and all they do. I knew that much of the ministry revolves around offering mental health counseling for women who want to leave, or have already left, the sex industry, as well as a once-a-month outreach to a strip club in Fort Myers, Florida where relationships and trust are being built through intentionality and consistency. And now, after two weeks interning, I can easily say I really had no idea of the amount of work Beauty From Ashes™ (BFA) does.
Investing in people from both a professional and compassionate standpoint is a journey with no formulaic set of guidelines as every person is unique; every person comes with different backgrounds, experiences and stories. Beauty From Ashes™ doesn’t just offer counseling; the staff also want to offer as much encouragement and as many resources as possible to see individuals and their families begin a new chapter in their lives, while also empowering clients to take initiative as they desire to change their situations. My second day with BFA found me transporting a client and her daughter throughout the city in hopes of finding affordable housing. The remainder of the week included moving the family into their new home, transporting the client to various administrative buildings as she transferred her children to their new schools and securing food from the Salvation Army for the rest of the week.
Aside from working with clients individually, Beauty From Ashes™ also offers a weekly group therapy and life skills session for women who desire change in their lives. Staff at Beauty From Ashes™ also attend a weekly worship service at Grace Church, an inner city church where prostitution and drug usage is the highest in the county. The outREACH and church services are designed for people who are overcoming many life controlling issues in order to build relationships and offer assistance if the individual is seeking help. An exciting addition to services offered by Beauty From Ashes™ is equine assisted learning, an evidence-based treatment for what many clients of Beauty From Ashes™ have gone through and struggle with. One of my jobs over the last two weeks has been to assist in preparing and cleaning the horse facility where 6 weeks ago they began piloting horsemanship mentoring programs to females ages 11 through adulthood.
Beauty From Ashes™ has partnerships with numerous governmental and nongovernmental organizations, locally and nationally, and collaborates with them, assisting victims to become overcomers. The unique aspect about Beauty From Ashes™ is that all their services are free of charge and they don’t receive funding for servicing clients of other agencies that acquire funding for “certified victims”. This past weekend I had the privilege and honor of transporting a minor back home, which included 29 hours of travel time, in order to be reunited with her family after having been a victim of human trafficking. This is not the first time Beauty From Ashes™ has been involved in relocating survivors and often provide services to clients of other agencies.
I haven’t covered everything; in fact, I haven’t even learned all that Beauty From Ashes™ does. But what I do know is that 3-4 full time staff cannot complete their weekly “to do” lists. Something else that I do know is that I am grateful and thankful to have the chance to work for and with them until mid-December. This organization was birthed out of love for the Lord and love for His children. Everything Beauty From Ashes™ does continues to be surrendered to His will first and foremost, and then to be His light in the darkness; to spread His hope to the hopeless. I have learned and experienced so much in just two weeks. I can’t wait to see what the next three months will hold.
Natasha Hurt was born and raised in Greeley, Colorado. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Northern Colorado. An employee of High Plains Library District in Greeley for almost 10 years, she acquired a passion for anti-human trafficking. In 2011, she went with Adventures in Missions on a 4-month, 4-countries trip, exposing her to organizations involved in anti-human trafficking work in Cambodia, Thailand, India and America. Then, in 2012 she attended the G42 Leadership Academy in Mijas, Spain, a 6-month program designed to “ignite passion, unleash freedom, go to the nations.” She currently is an intern with Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries in Fort Myers, Florida. She hopes to start an organization in Colorado similar to Beauty From Ashes™, with the desire to show people caught in the sex industry how much the Lord loves them through intentional relationships and outreaches.