Beauty From Ashes Videos


Sunday, December 23, 2012

December eNews: Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

What a joy it is to serve the Lord through serving others, and in this Christmas season we continue to see the Lord bring healing and redemption to His children.  In 2012, our base of clients increased over 350%.  Many of the women have recently found jobs, and continue to do well in pre-college or college classes!  We've also been so blessed to see continued physical and emotional healing of our clients.   As we reflect on 2012, we have much to be grateful for, including our partners who have enabled us to prevent, reach, rescue, and restore more victims than ever before.  We'll have a detailed report of services coming soon, in the mean time, please enjoy our latest eNews. 

2012 TOP RATED GREAT NONPROFIT:  We are pleased to announce that we were recognized as a top rated Great Nonprofit in 2012.  To read our reviews, submit your own, and for more information, CLICK HERE.

CHRISTMAS PARTY:  On Thursday, December 13th, we held our first annual Country Christmas Party for our clients and their families at our Equine Facility.  Jesus was born in a manger and we thought it would be ideal to celebrate His birthday in a barn!  This party was also in observance of our clients' progress and hard work in becoming overcomers.  We had over 50 attendees who enjoyed more than 3000 lights and over 300 luminaries on the 5 acre property, in addition to dinner, a campfire, games, the therapy horses, and carols sung on a hayride pulled by an antique truck.  Huge thanks to our partners who gave of their time, talent and resources to make this a memorable night!   To view the spectacular pictures, CLICK HERE.

CHRISTMAS CARE PACKAGES DISTRIBUTED:  Thanks to our generous partners, we were able to distribute over 150 Christmas Care Packages to local adult and youth shelters, as well as South Florida residential programs with which we partner.  Care packages included beauty supplies, gift items, toiletries, and educational information on human trafficking and Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries.
EQUINE ASSISTED LEARNING & HORSEMANSHIP MENTORING PROGRAMS:  We are pleased to announce that we have been provided with a certified EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association) Equine Specialist to assist in our programs.  Marie Shelli comes to us with over 3 years experience developing and implementing treatment plans, incorporating horsemanship with a therapeutic approach, for at-risk teenage girls and young adults in a residential treatment center in Wyoming. The timing is perfect as our founder, Julie Shematz, is beginning an internship in January with Dr. Sandra Wise, a leading psychologist in equine psychotherapy, which will last through April.  Since launching our equine-assisted learning and horsemanship mentoring programs, over 40 people have received individual sessions, including pre-teens, teens and adults. Equine Assisted Leaning and Horsemanship Mentoring helps to develop trust, self-confidence, communication, self-concept, perspective, self-acceptance, impulse control, social skills, boundaries, spiritual connection, and a team mentality.  to find out more about our unique prevention and restoration programs and view pictures, CLICK HERE. To schedule an individual or group, call (239) 939-9218.       

SCHOLARSHIP RECEIVED: Congratulations to our founder, Julie Shematz for being awarded a $1,200 scholarship from the Sisterhood of P.E.O. (Philanthropic Education Association). She currently maintains a 4.0 GPA in the Mental Health Counseling Program at Florida Gulf Coast University and is set to receive her Masters Degree in 2013.

VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH:  We are pleased to honor Attorney David Gibbs III as our volunteer of the month.  Dr. David Gibbs III and his associates at Gibbs Law Firm P.A.  have been providing pro bono services to us for over a year now and always respond in a timely manner to us.  Attorney Gibbs is the founder of the Christian Law Association and Homeschool Legal Advantage.  Thank you Attorney Gibbs for serving us and our clients! 

:  We have a few seats left for our January 9-12, 2013 training at Barry University.  January is the Human Trafficking Awareness month and 1/11 is the National Day of Human Trafficking Awareness.   We've been presenting these unique trainings since 2005, and in 2010, we received a grant from the Department of Health & Human Services to develop the teachings into a professional, multiple-module curriculum.   For more information and to register for the nation's most comprehensive, faith based training of this nature, CLICK HERE.   

STRIP CLUB OUTREACH:  Since 2008, we have done monthly outREACHes into a Fort Myers strip club we refer to as our "adopted club".  On Saturday, December 8th, we arrived at the club with red and green Christmas stockings filled to the brim with beauty products, photo albums, encouragement cards, biblical materials, and information about the services BFA provides.  Ham, turkey, green bean casserole, cranberries, scalloped potatoes, salad and cake were served to everyone working at the club, and our outREACH team spent about three hours in the locker room, engaging in conversation and laughter, in addition to praying with the women working that night.  Since 2003, Beauty From Ashes™ has been sending outREACH teams to this strip club.  These outREACHes have resulted in women giving their hearts to Jesus, seeking our services outside the club, and reports of suspected human trafficking situations being made to local authorities.     

INNER CITY OUTREACHES:  Every Wednesday night, we partner with Grace Church in downtown Fort Myers where they provide free dinner, serving 150-200 people.  Our outREACH team has been able to establish relationships with women living in an area of Lee County known for the highest levels of prostitution and drugs, which has translated to them contacting us for services. 

LIFE SKILLS & SUPPORT GROUP:  Every Thursday night from 7-8:30pm in Central Fort Myers for women who have been s*xually abused, trafficked or exploited, including women who currently work in or desire to exit from the s*x-for-sale industry.  Last week we had 11 women in attendance!  Groups are led by a Master's level Mental Health Counselor and free child care is provided.  For more information and to register, call (239) 939-9218 or email

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED:  We are in desperate need of drivers to transport clients and clients' children to and from appointments, services, and meetings.  We also need child care workers for Thursday evenings 5-9pm during our support group.  Additionally, we need a math tutor, strip club outREACH food coordinator, volunteer coordinator, and an event coordinator.  If you or your group can assist us, please email and/or call (239) 939-9218.  For more information, CLICK HERE

SCOPE OF SERVICES:  We, in partnership with multiple local agencies, are able to provide over 30 services, all free of charge.  Some of the services BFA provides are: 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, a support system to loved ones of s*x workers, Trainings, outREACHes, and more.  For a full list of programs and services, CLICK HERE.       

SHOP ARBONNE & SUPPORT BFA:  Arbonne is a company specializing in beauty products and other health products free of harmful ingredients.  With every purchase made through Aroma Shea, Brazita Dancy's personalized website for Arbonne, 35% of the cost will be donated to BFA.  The goal is to have $2,000 donated before 2013.  

YEAR END DONATION:  As we finish the year and look into 2013, would you consider a year end, tax deductible gift to help us start 2013 strong?  We rely on private donations for our program and operational costs.  Please consider giving 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 56-623, Fort Myers, FL 33907.    

DECEMBER ePRAYER ALERT:  To prayer in detail for BFA, CLICK HERE

PRAYER REQUESTS:  We are honored to pray for you and your families! Please send your prayer requests 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 the latest news on domestic s*x trafficking by following us on Twitter & like us on our Facebook fanpage.

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On behalf of the entire Beauty From Ashes Ministries FREEdom™ Team, we pray you receive the revelation of the Reason for the season and greatest gift of freedom ever provided to us, a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, our Immanuel.   From our family to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Steve & Julie Shematz
Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries  
Where Victims Become Over-Comers

"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


Shop Arbonne & Support Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries

Want to shop and support the work of Beauty From Ashes™ (BFA) Ministries all at the same time?  BFA has been given the opportunity to partner with Brazita Dancy, a Consultant Area Manager for Arbonne. Arbonne is a company specializing in beauty products and other health products free of harmful ingredients.  With every purchase made through Aroma Shea, Brazita's personalized website for Arbonne, 35% of the cost will be donated to BFA.  The goal is to have $2,000 donated before 2013.

"Arbonne creates personal care and wellness products that preserve and enhance the skin, body and mind for an integrative approach to beauty."  Some of the items available include anti-aging skin care products, cosmetics, lotions, fragrances and health and wellness products.

Please visit and begin shopping for FREEdom™ today!