Beauty From Ashes Videos


Saturday, September 15, 2012

E-Newsletter: Equine Programs, Non Profit Consultant, OutREACHes, Internship & More!

EQUINE ASSISTED LEARNING & HORSEMANSHIP MENTORING PROGRAMS LAUNCHED:  Equine assisted learning is an evidence based treatment for many of the struggles survivors of abuse face.  Horsemanship builds trust, self confidence, communication, self-concept, perspective, self-acceptance, impulse control, social skills, boundaries, and spiritual connection. Over the past 6 weeks we've had 15 participants ranging from 11 years old to adults in our equine assisted/mentoring programs.  Some are having sessions every week and others every couple of weeks.  Last weekend, two teen survivors of s*x trafficking participated.  We are planning group sessions with our life skills/support group and the staff and residents of a local faith based, residential rehabilitation program.  "There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of man,"  -Winston Churchill.  Find out more about our new prevention and restoration programs and view pictures by CLICKING HERE.   

NON PROFIT CONSULTANT HIRED:  Thanks to the generous giving of one of our donors, we've hired Donald Miltner, as a non-profit consultant for the next year.  Mr. Miltner has a Master's of Business Administration from Harvard University.  He has provided consulting to World Vision, the Navigators, Columbia University, University of Missouri, Regent University, Billy Graham Association, World Relief, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and Presidents Reagan, Bush, Carter, and Nixon programs at the White House. We are very grateful to have him working with us and excited about a new season at Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries. 

STRIP CLUB OUTREACH REPORT:  On Saturday, September 8th, a team of 3 mental health counselors, an RN, and an intern delivered and served up a delicious home cooked meal in the locker room of our "adopted" strip club in Fort Myers, FL.  They also distributed gift bags of beauty supplies, toiletries, information about human trafficking and the services Beauty From Ashes™ provides. Additionally, each woman received a journal and the Freedom From Worry book by inspirational writer, speaker, and life coach, Karen Zeigler.  For pictures and more  CLICK HERE.  Since 2008, we've done this type of monthly outREACH into this particular club.  We've assisted numerous women and men we've met in this club to build new lives and lifestyles.  

INNER CITY OUTREACH REPORT:  Every Wednesday evening 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 call this our "Grace OutREACH" because this particular area is known for its 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 in doing these outREACHes.  Watching women we've met and served sing in the worship team this past week was a blessing to everyone.   

LIFE SKILLS & SUPPORT GROUP:  Every Tuesday evening from 7-8:30 in central Fort Myers, we provide a 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 40 individuals we serve on average weekly, we need your help.  CLICK HERE for our current needs. 

MY INTERNSHIP AT BEAUTY FROM ASHES:  "Over the last two years of my life and even more so since I began working with Beauty From Ashes™ I have come to recognize the seriousness involved when your 'job' is people. " READ MORE & "after two weeks interning, I can easily say I really had no idea of the amount of work Beauty From Ashes™ (BFA) does. "  READ MORE -Natasha Hurt, Hadassah Intern.  To find out more about Beauty From Ashes™ college and non-college internships, CLICK HERE

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

SCOPE OF SERVICES:  Mental Health Counseling, Social Services, Spiritual Counseling, Career, Crisis, and Addiction Counseling, Case Management, Mentoring, Medical Services, Relocation, Short-term, Long-term residential program placement, Consulting and Referral for governmental and non-governmental agencies, support system to loved ones of s*x workers, Trainings, outREACHes, and more.  For full list of services, CLICK HERE.  All services are provided free of charge.  

FUND RAISING: If you're passionate to do 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 $35 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 CLICK HERE or send your financial gift to 13300 S. Cleveland Avenue, Suite 56, Fort Myers, FL 33907. 

MONTHLY PRAYER ALERT:  For details of how to pray for us in the month of September, CLICK HERE.

PRAYER REQUESTS:  Send them to

WEEKLY GLOBAL PRAYER:  To meet with intercessors locally, call (239) 939-9218 for location.  To join us in spirit from wherever you are and for a prayer guide, CLICK HERE.

Stay up to date with the day to day operations of Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries and latest news on domestic s*x trafficking by following us on twitter & like us on our facebook fanpage.

I cannot thank you enough for your continued support and encouragement.  As we move into a new season, myself, the board, staff and volunteers are anticipating great and mighty things as we continue to partner in preventing, reaching, rescuing and restoring victims of s*xual exploitation, abuse, and trafficking. 

Committed to the cause,

Julie Shematz
Where Victims Become Over-comers
239.939.9218 | 877.4BFA SOS (877.423.2767) Toll Free Help Line 

Seriously Called

I love to laugh.  I have what can be described as a goofball sense of humor and cheesy jokes can make me smile so much my cheeks hurt.  I believe that circumstances happen every day where we have the option of laughing or crying, and I always opt for laughing at myself (example – last year on a mission trip my teammates and I were running to catch a bus and my pants almost fell down ).  I still find myself wading in the realm of clumsiness and though most people grow out of that around age 15, I for whatever reason, never did.  I think instead that as I get older I just find new ways of tripping over things, spilling food or beverages, or running into inanimate objects.  It is what it is.

I try to not take myself too seriously.  And I try to shake situations off when I know the only outcome of holding onto something beyond my control is worry and anxiety.  However, over the last two years of my life and even more so since I began working with Beauty From Ashes™ I have come to recognize the seriousness involved when your “job” is people.  Earlier this year I attended a Christian Leadership Academy and one of the instructors always said “we must stop playing games!  These are people’s lives we’re dealing with!”  What a true statement.  Everything, and I mean everything, Beauty From Ashes™ Beauty From Ashes™ is involved in has to do with people.  These are God’s kids, and to not take their lives and situations seriously means to not take His family seriously.

Every Wednesday, Beauty From Ashes™’ staff and volunteers attend a weekly outREACH service at Grace Church, an inner-city church located in an area where prostitution and drug usage is the highest in the county. The outREACH and church service is designed for people who are overcoming many life-controlling issues in order to build relationships.  Beauty From Ashes™ offers assistance to females  seeking help.  They also lead support & life skills group called Breaking Free at the church on Tuesday evenings.  The worship at the outREACH is awesome; people freely pouring out their hearts to the Lord and rejoicing in the healing and restoration He has lavished upon them.  After the service, a free dinner is served and it gives people time to chat, laugh, and even sometimes cry with one another.  It’s a time for fellowship and a time to offer a listening ear and encouraging words when needed.  I really enjoy going and am starting to get to know some people.  It’s fun seeing the same faces week-to-week.

Another part of ministry Beauty From Ashes™ is involved in is meeting those caught in the sex industry right where they’re at: work.  Beauty From Ashes™ does strip club outREACH the second Saturday of every month.  For several years now, BFA has taken a warm, home-cooked meal and gift bags to a club near Fort Myers Beach.  Setting up inside the locker room, BFA spends the next three to four hours serving food to both the women and the staff of the club, engaging in conversations, and praying for the women when invited to.  It is an incredible time to really get to know the women, hear their stories, and have the opportunity to show we truly love and care about each person.    

What a privilege and honor it is to be a part of the divine appointments the Lord orchestrates each day.  He knows every person I am going to influence and every person who is going to influence me.  And how utterly astounding that the Lord not only allows us to be His light and love in the darkness, He actually trusts us with this calling.  Our actions and our words resonate Who lives in us, and even a 10-second interaction can let someone encounter Hope and Love, possibly for the first time.  The enemy has caused nothing but chaos and brokenness through the sex industry; the Lord is saying He wants His family back and we are called to let His love shine.  I have never taken anything more seriously than now.  

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.