Beauty From Ashes Videos


Saturday, December 14, 2013

2014 National Training

Our next National Training will be held in
Fort Myers, FL
January 8th-11th

Please Register Online. Seating is limited.


January 8-11
Fort Myers, FL

April 2-5
Wichita, KS

July 16-19
Fort Myers, FL

Interested in having us present our training where you are?

Friday, December 13, 2013

December ePrayer Alert

Dear Intercessors,

While the holiday season may be very festive for some of us, it can be very lonely and depressing time for many. Suicide attempts rise around the holidays and it can be very difficult for many victims and survivors due to a number of factors. As you engage in the festivities of the holiday, please keep victims, survivors, and their families in your prayers. Agree with me that they be protected and receive the revelation of God's love and His gift of eternal life this season. Pray for reconciliation of their families, healing of deep emotional wounds, and that the joy of the Lord would be their strength. Agree with me for healthy support systems to be established and maintained, and that they receive the comprehensive services they are in need of to recover from the injustices and trauma done to them.

As we enter into the final days of 2013, I would like to personally thank each of you that have kept the ministries of Beauty From Ashes™ (BFA) lifted up. While this year came with accomplishments that were remarkable milestones, it also has been the most challenging in many aspects. Prayer has been and will continue to be the foundation upon which this ministry is built. It has enabled us to do more than I ever imagined possible.

It's amazing to think that we are getting ready to do our 10th annual CHRISTmas OutREACH at our local adopted strip club. We love going in and seeing the familiar faces, excited to see us, and even more importantly, recognizing the absence of the ones who are no longer there, whom we have had the privilege to assist in freeing from the bondages which once held them captive. Please pray for our OutREACH team and the numerous others across the nation, as we carry the light of Christ into dark places this CHRISTmas season.

We would not have been able to deliver the message of the Gospel of Christ, nor accomplished what we have, in preventing, reaching, and restoring victims of sexual abuse, exploitation, and trafficking, without God's grace and your prayers. On behalf of more than 500 individuals and over 100 agencies that received our services in 2013, the BFA Executive Board, and our amazing FREEdom™ team of over 40 volunteers, THANK YOU for your prayers.

Merry CHRISTmas & Happy New Year,

Julie Shematz, MA
Founder & President
Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries

Hug & Groom

Our next "Hug & Groom" event will be on 
Saturday,  December 21st from 9am-12 noon.

December 21st 9am - Noon

"There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man." -Winston Churchill

To view more upcoming events at Beauty From Ashes Minisries, CLICK HERE.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Volunteer of the Month

This month we are honoring graphic designer
Cynthia Vreeland
for developing our new Equine Program Logo.
She's been working on developing it for a couple of months now and we absolutely love it!
Thank you Cynthia!

To learn more about Cynthia, please check out her website.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

From Victim to Overcomer

From Victim to Overcomer was the second of two human trafficking awareness events hosted by Florida Gulf Coast University Honors Students this fall. The first event was November 21st,The Biggest Little Secret. It featured an interactive carnival on the campus lawn.
The focus of the second event, held on November 25th was on a survivor's journey from captivity to freedom, as well as the role of law enforcement in investigating. Lieutenant Brad Hamilton from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries founder, Julie Shematz were guest speakers.
  To read more about what BFA is doing, CLICK HERE and check out this Month's eNewsletter      

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Julie Shematz Announced As A 2014 MAKERS: Women Who Make Southwest Florida

WGCU Public Media
2014 MAKERS: Women Who Make Southwest Florida

December 3, 2013….The MAKERS: Women Who Make Southwest Florida for 2014 were announced today by WGCU Public Media. Fourteen women were selected from 121 nominees. Nominations were received from the Southwest Florida community from Aug. 1 through Oct. 25. A community selection committee reviewed each of the nominees in the categories of arts, business, education, environment, health & wellness, politics and social justice activism.

             In its second year honoring women who are leaving a legacy and making a significant impact in our region, WGCU will produce video and audio portraits of the MAKERS that will air in April 2014 on WGCU TV and radio. The portraits will also be posted at to inspire generations to come.                        
            The 2014 MAKERS are listed below.  This year’s MAKERS are not listed by category.  The selection committee determined that several of the selected MAKERS are leaving a legacy in more than one category.

The 2014 MAKERS: Women Who Make Southwest Florida are:

Rita Bertler, President, Dollars for Mammograms
Sharon Bruckman, Owner/CEO, Natural Awakenings Publishing Corporation
Myra Daniels, Founder, The Philharmonic Center for the Arts 
The Honorable Laura Safer Espinoza, Executive Director, Fair Food Standards Council 
Eve Haverfield, Founder, Turtle Time, Inc.
Martha Hill, Mailbag Editor, The News-Press
Theresa Ink, Founder, P.A.W.S. Lee County
Kimberly Leach Johnson, Firm Chair, Quarles & Brady, LLP
Nancy Lascheid, Co-Founder, Neighborhood Health Clinic
Darla Letourneau, Founding Steering Group Member, BikeWalkLee
Pam Oakes, Owner, Pam’s Motor City
Michele Valencourt, Executive Director, Visual Arts Center in Punta Gorda
Gail Williams, Chief Diversity Officer, Hodges University

            MAKERS: Women Who Make Southwest Florida selection committee members are:  2013 MAKERS: Andrea Clark Brown, Ellin Goetz and Trudi Williams; Sarah Owen, Southwest Florida Community Foundation; Brenda Tate, Women's Fund of Southwest Florida; Walter Douglas, WGCU Diversity Advisory Group member; WGCU Public Media Advisory Board members: Debra McIntyre, Maria Palacio and Mimi Gregory; WGCU staff: Valerie Alker, Toby Cooke, Barbara Linstrom, Kim Woodle, Amy Tardif and Barbara Steinhoff.

Community partners for MAKERS: Women Who Make Southwest Florida are the Southwest Florida Community Foundation and the Women's Fund of Southwest Florida. MAKERS: Women Who Make Southwest Florida is supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Corporate sponsorships are available. For sponsorship information contact Terry Brennen, at (239)590-2366 or

Beauty From Ashes™ Annual Christmas Party

 December 7th
Eagle's Landing
North Fort Myers, FL


New FREEdom™ Team Members Trained

New FREEdom™ Team Members Trained

12 new volunteers, ages 18-65, attended our monthly Volunteer Orientation this month. New team members range from Florida Gulf Coast University students to a professional grant writer. Welcome!

Our next Volunteer Orientation is December 14th, 9am-Noon, in North Fort Myers, FL. Registration Required. Limited Seating. For a list of BFA abolitionist opportunities and to register, CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

New Executive Board Members

It gives us great pleasure to announce that Attorney David C. Gibbs III and Dwayne Zeigler have joined BFA's board of Executive Directors.

Attorney David C. Gibbs III
is the President and General Counsel of the National Center for Life and Liberty, a ministry organization that defends life and personal freedoms nationwide. A regular speaker at conferences and churches, he hosts the weekly radio program Law Talk Live on the Moody Radio Network and has authored five books including Fighting for Dear Life and Understanding the Constitution.
Attorney Gibbs graduated from Duke Law School and manages the Gibbs Law Firm with offices in Dallas, Texas; St. Petersburg, Florida; and Washington, D.C. He is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court and numerous federal circuit and district courts nationwide. He has also been admitted to the State Bars of Florida, Minnesota, Colorado, North Dakota, Ohio, Texas, Tennessee, Michigan, and the District of Columbia.
Attorney Gibbs believes: “If it’s wrong, fight it. If it’s right, fight for it.” His life verse is Matthew 25:40, where Jesus said, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
Attorney Gibbs has been married to his wife, Carin, for over nineteen years. They have been blessed with four children; Heather (18), Heidi (16), David and Danielle (14-year-old twins). Their home is in the Dallas, Texas area.

Dwayne Zeigler is a the owner of Zeigler Contracting, Inc. and has been serving Christ in the Southwest Florida region since 1988.  A high school football coach and chaplain for Riverdale High School, he is also an Area Representative for Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Mr. Zeigler has a passion for being on the field where the action is and for serving youths and adults. His service roles have included the development and implementation of community and church events, teaching, and mentoring.

A high energy individual who has the gift of humor, his life verse is 1 Timothy 1:15-16, "Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life."

Mr. Zeigler has been married to his high school sweetheart, Karen, for over 30 years. They have been blessed with one daughter, Haley (18).  Their home is in North Fort Myers, Florida.

Attorney Gibbs and Mr. Zeigler have been supportive of BFA for over 7 years combined. As leaders in their communities and men of integrity and character,  it is with great honor that we welcome them.

To read more about what BFA is doing, CLICK HERE and check out this Month's Newsletter

Monday, December 2, 2013

10th Annual Thanksgiving Strip Club OutREACH

On Saturday, November 16th, members of Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries (BFA) FREEdom™ Team gathered, after Hug & Groom, to prepare a traditional meal of turkey, sweet potato and green bean casseroles, crunchy cole slaw, cranberry and blueberry sauce, and dump cake.  As I taught college students how to cook this year's annual Thanksgiving strip club meal, I had an overwhelming sense of thankfulness.

I could hardly believe that every month for the past 5 years, following Jesus' model of regularly eating with individuals the religious community judged, that a home cooked meal has been served inside of the strip club BFA adopted 10 years ago.

As we entered the club, I was delighted to be met with expressions of excitement, squeals of joy, and embracing hugs . . . some things never change.  When BFA began doing the outREACHes, the goal was to develop relationships,  share the love of Christ, and provide resources for change to those that wanted them.

We've succeeded at sharing the Gospel and maintaining those relationships as evidenced by the number of women that have received and continue to receive ongoing services that BFA has developed and implemented. Because of YOUR support of over 30 programs and services, we have raised the standard of outREACH & afterCARE to a professional level. Because of our partners, women, children, and families have transitioned from victims to overcomers.

To read more about what BFA is doing, CLICK HERE and check out this Month's Newsletter.
When I started doing strip club outREACHes, there were less than 5 ministries nationwide doing them. Today, there are more than 180, and many of the ministries BFA has trained and provided consulting to that will be doing holiday outREACHes this season. They will be taking His light and love into dark places, serving food and delivering gift bags with the message of hope, and the truth that there is a way out.  They are continuing the model of outREACH pioneered by BFA.
Thank you for your ongoing support in Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries' (BFA) mission to prevent, reach, and restore victims of sexual abuse, exploitation, and trafficking. Together, we have and will continue to make a difference.

From the BFA FREEdom™ Team family to yours, have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Julie Shematz, MA
Founder & President
Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries

If you'd like to sponsor a monthly strip club outREACH meal, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

New Laptop

As a Hadassah intern with Beauty From Ashes Ministries (BFA), one of my main jobs is to raise awareness about domestic sex-trafficking and the role that BFA plays in helping put an end to it. I do this through social media outlets (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, etc) and writing for the BFA blog.

However, in the last two weeks, I have been unable to do so because my laptop of four years died. That said, I am in need of a new one, specifically a MacBook so that it will be compatible with the software used at Beauty From Ashes™. The cost for a refurbished one is $850.
Because my internship with Beauty From Ashes is a fundraised position and I am unable to afford this on my own, I am seeking donations towards this new laptop as well. If you feel led to give, please make a check out to 'Beauty From Ashes Ministries' and be sure to indicate that your donation is for: LaShondra Riddle.
All donations made out to Beauty From Ashes Ministries are tax deductible and are highly appreciated. Thanks you so much!!

LaShondra Riddle is an Atlanta native currently interning with Beauty From Ashes Ministries. After attending Simmons College in Boston, MA where she graduated with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Sociology, she embarked on an 11-month journey called the World Race. It was during this time that she had the opportunity to work with women and young girls in the Philippines and in Thailand who had been caught and trapped in the sex-trade. The passion to rescue these women eventually led her to Beauty From Ashes Ministries.

To donate and/or learn more about LaShondra and her heart for rescuing women, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Lord Will Fight For Us

I once heard a pastor say, “In times of crisis or trial, a person’s real theology comes to the surface.” It was in reference to the Israelites during the time when God was in the process of delivering them out of the hands of Pharaoh and freeing them from the bonds of slavery.

Exodus 14:10-12 records it this way: “As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”

They were terrified. And as a result, they began to question Moses’ motives. His intentions. His character. In the face of danger and what looked like a very dark and hopeless situation, they quickly concluded that he had, in fact, brought them out there to die. And then, all of a sudden, the bonds of slavery didn’t look so unappealing.

It’s funny because I think about how often I have the exact same reactions when it comes to God. How quickly I can begin doubting in times of trouble. How I have a tendency to call God’s character into question when things get really bad. When I can’t see my way out and it seems as if God is just sitting there, doing nothing. How I sometimes long for Egypt.

And it’s not that I don’t believe, because I do. It’s just that there is also this unbelief that simultaneously occupies space in my heart. Lately, I’ve been drawn to this one line in the bible, found in Mark 9:24. This father brings his son to Jesus to be healed and Jesus tells him that "everything is possible for him who believes." Immediately the father exclaims, “I do believe. Help me overcome my unbelief!”

And today, as I sit at home, months after I thought I would be able to relocate to Florida to begin an internship with Beauty From Ashes Ministries, I find myself saying the exact same thing. Lord, I believe. Please help me overcome by unbelief. Because I believe that God has a plan for my life and that it is good. I believe that He sees my life and my circumstances. I believe that He cares and that He is working everything out for good.

But when it’s one o'clock in the morning and I'm lying in the dark and everything around me is still, my fears and insecurities begin to surface, and I find myself quietly asking the Lord, “What are you doing? I don’t understand.”; “Why am I still at home?”; “Did you bring me back here to die?”

And sometimes, I am scared. Sometimes, just like the Israelites, I amterrified. Sometimes it’s really hard for me to trust the promises of God for my life. That He will show up and deliver me. That He will come through…for me.

But then, I read verse 13 of what Moses had to say to the Israelites, and I find God at work in my heart, slowly chipping away at my unbelief:

“Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The [Egyptians] you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

The Lord will fight for me. The Lord is fighting for me. And He will fight for you as well. We need only to be still. Trust and we will see the deliverance of the Lord.
La Shondra Riddle, former World Race participant, is in need of raising $2885 in order to relocate from Atlanta, GA to Fort Myers, FL to begin her one year internship with Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries.  This will cover her monthly costs ($1000) for three months. LaShondra, an overcomer who feels called to serve with BFA for a year period, hopes to be relocated by the end of the month.  

Giving is tax deductible through BFA.  For more about LaShondra, CLICK HERE. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

November ePrayer Alert

With the season of Thanksgiving upon us, it is a time to reflect with a heart of gratitude.  I am simply amazed at what God has done in the past year and indeed, since 2005, when Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries was officially established as a 501 (c) 3, public charity.  We started with strip club outREACHes at a time when they were virtually unheard of (less than 5 ministries nationwide doing them).  Today, there are more than 190 faith based organizations doing strip club outREACHes and we've served 2000+ women, men and children through over 30 programs and services designed with one mission in mind:  to prevent, reach, and restore victims of sexual abuse, exploitation, and trafficking.  Thank you Lord, for the lives that have been touched with the message of hope and the tangible means to recover from injustices and trauma that have happened to them.

Please join with me and our prayer team in praying this month for the following:

CLIENTS:  Every week we have the privilege and honor of providing professional helping services to individuals seeking lifestyle changes.  Agree with us that they be blessed with the gift of faith and the ability to embrace hope for change through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Pray for the young woman in a third world country, who was smuggled in under false pretenses and desperately wants to return to her country of origin and the adult domestic survivor who passionately wants to serve but is turned away constantly because of the reality of a criminal record when she was a victim 20+ years ago. Please pray also for a recent widow, who lost her husband less than 9 months ago.  Agree with us that each of these women, and others with facing their own daily struggles, be set totally free and healed emotionally and mentally.  Agree with us that the minds of our client''s be transformed with the truth of God that will set them free to be all that God purposed and designed them to be.  Pray that our clients' identities would be restored to who they are in Christ and all lies contrary would be removed from their thought patterns.  Agree with us for renewed and transformed minds.

OUTREACHES:  From the 190+ strip club outREACHes, to porn show outREACHes, to street,  internet, and call center outREACHes, lift all of them up and those being Christ's hands and feet on the front lines.  Agree with us that the love and grace of God saturate everything the outREACH teams do and say.  

PROGRAMS & SERVICES:  Pray with us for the consulting services with other faith based, nationally known organizations in the development of victim centered emergency, transitional, and long term housing, and comprehensive recovery services.  Agree with us that every detail of the programs be of God's perfect will.   Pray for our new Healthy Living Programs and the development of gardens for sustainable living for our clients.  Agree with us that the gardens produce an abundant ongoing harvest of organic foods.  Pray for the development of online, interactive, merchant based, training programs and the delivery of online counseling services for victims nationally and worldwide.  For a complete list of our programs and services, CLICK HERE

EQUINE PROGRAMS:  We give all the glory to the Lord that our Equine Assisted Therapy and Learning Programs are providing.  Witnessing clients gain incredible revelations and effective outcomes in a short amount of time using the horses is powerful.  Please pray that the health of the horses be sustained and for the full recovery of our therapy colt, Morning Star Spirit.  For more information on the programs and equine facility,CLICK HERE.

EAGLE'S LANDING:   We launched a new program in October called Eagle's Landing that 12 individuals (including overcomers) have already participated in.  Pray for the families participating, that their time with us would be refreshing, renewing, and peaceful.  For more information on the program, CLICK HERE.

CURRENT NEEDS:  Pray that God would raise up individuals willing to sponsor or co-sponsor our therapy horses to help offset their monthly expenses.  Agree with us for a picnic table, riding boots, and cases of bottled water.  CLICK HERE for the entire list of our needs.

FUNDING:  Please pray for the Matching Gift Challenge currently going on through November 18th. Pray that we would meet our goal of $10,000 and that God would raise up partners willing to give financially to support us preventing, reaching, and restoring individuals who have been victims of sexual exploitation, abuse and trafficking.

PARTNERSHIPS:  Partnerships are crucial to extending the work into which the Lord has led us, and we are thankful for the current partnerships, and especially the new ones that have been established.  Please pray for protection for all of our partners, and that the Lord continues to orchestrate divine interactions according to His perfect plans and purposes.

EVENTS:  Pray that every event BFA is involved in brings glory and honor to the Lord, declaring His goodness and His desire to break the chains of injustice.

VOLUNTEERS:  Thank God for the 20+ new volunteers trained in October!   Pray a blessing over each of them as they give of their time and talent.  Many of the volunteers are college students;  pray that they be able to establish excellent time management skills and their studies be blessed.  Pray for the November 9th Volunteer Orientation.  Agree with us that only those God hand picks as volunteers will attend.

STAFF:  Thank God for Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) providing employees to Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries through their Work/Study program!  Pray for our new staff as they balance their schedules with school and work.  Pray God bless FGCU, for their ongoing supportive partnership of BFA.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS & ADVISORS:  Pray that God would raise up who He wants to add to our Board of Directors and that they would actively engage themselves in the ministries of Beauty From Ashes™.   Pray God's perfect will be done.  

OTHER LIKE MINISTRIES/AGENCIES:  We praise the Lord for the numerous organizations and ministries throughout America and the world, striving to bring Christ's hope to the hopeless; to see victims of sexual exploitation, abuse and trafficking set free and restored by His wonderful love.  Pray that we are unified in our desire to spread the Gospel, and that we all serve with humility, integrity, honor and respect.  Pray for protection in all areas; that strong boundaries exist and every bit of our work is driven by Biblical priorities.  Pray, too, for the families and friends of all involved in ministry, and that every relationship is found to be Christ-centered.

WEEKLY GLOBAL PRAYER:  Please join us each Friday from 8-9am EST to intercede for victims of sexual exploitation, sex slavery, & sex trafficking, as well as the agencies servicing them.  CLICK HERE for Prayer Guide.

PRAYER REQUESTS:  Send us your prayer requests by CLICKING HERE


BFA eNEWSLETTER CLICK HERE to view our latest eNews and sign up to receive them in the future.

"In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.'" 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NASB

As we all gather around and give thanks this season, please know how very grateful we are for every single one of you, and that we are praying for you all to have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving season, full of the love of Christ and the revelation of His amazing grace.

With utmost gratitude,

Julie Shematz, MA
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


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

October eNews

From Our Founder

As I sat and listened to the complex struggles of an adult survivor of human trafficking this week, I couldn't help but think that had there been an effective intervention in her life at an early age, she might not have had to go through the ongoing struggles she faces.

As we worked together to explore solutions to her present day challenges, I resolved in my heart to work even harder to prevent, reach, and restore victims of sexual abuse, exploitation, and trafficking.

Will you partner with me to help her, her family, and the numerous other victims challenged daily to become overcomers?  

Since 2005, Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries has developed more than 30 programs and services for over 1500 survivors with one vision in mind:  that they be provided with the comprehensive services they need in order to recover from the injustices and trauma that has happened to them.

I cannot do this alone.  It's impossible and your support is priceless to accomplishing our mission and vision in helping victims become overcomers.  

Please consider partnering with us today and help support one of the nation's pioneering and grass roots, human trafficking, overcomer-led, community service agencies.

In Christ's love and service,

Julie Shematz, MA

20 New FREEdom™ Team Members!

We welcomed 20 new volunteers in September & October, from 19-60 years old!  These volunteers have already put in over 300 hours of work and there is still more to do. Find your place to serve and help fight modern slavery.

Our next Volunteer Orientation is November 9th.  Registration required.  Limited Seating.

Call (239) 939-9218 for Individual or Group Sessions






We would like to publicly thank Mr. and Mrs. Bob Eden for their countless hours of service to Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries. Every week these two do anything from researching grants and funding opportunities to mucking stalls and grooming horses.  We are blessed by having them as FREEdom™ Team leaders. They have servants' hearts and are passionate about themission of Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries:  To prevent, reach, and restore victims of sexual abuse, exploitation, and trafficking.


We love and appreciate you!


From consulting and program development, to sharing resources and providing support, we could not be more pleased with the new organizations with 
which we've begun collaborating.  Together, we are better and we are making a difference.

Art of Profiling / Brazil Anti-Trafficking Unit

Global Opportunities / Southeast Asia & Fort Myers, FL

HopeLine / Nashville, TN

Salvation Army / Tampa, FL

WorldTeam Foundation / Glendora, CA


January 8-11
Fort Myers, FL
April 2-5
Wichita, KS
July 16-19
Fort Myers, FL

Register Online  Limited Seating 

Interested in having us present our training where you are?  


"to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit—that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified." Isaiah 61:2b-4 AMP (emphasis added)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

September eNewsletter

New Season


Thank you for your support, encouragement and prayers during my post graduation sabbatical.  With my Master of Arts degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling finally under my belt, I am very excited about Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries (BFA) as we move into a brand new season.  God has opened some incredible doors and we anticipate moving through them as we continue our mission in preventing, reaching, and restoring victims of sexual abuse, exploitation, and trafficking.

As the founder and Executive Director of Florida's first and oldest, human trafficking, overcomer-led, community service agency, I am committed to the vision of victims being provided the opportunity to receive the comprehensive services they need in order to recover from the trauma and injustices done to them more than ever.  From laypersons with a passion for this marginalized population to professional helpers and first responders, this can only be accomplished through support, education, and community collaboration.  Together we are better and we can make a difference.  As a voice for the voiceless, I thank you in advance for that partnership.

I have no doubt that the best is yet to come!

Committed to the cause,

Julie Shematz, MA

Founder / Executive Director
Call (239) 939-9218 for Individual or Group Sessions


Twenty four year old, former World Race participant, La Shondra Riddle, is in need of raising $2885 in order to relocate from Atlanta, GA to Fort Myers, FL to begin her one year internship with Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries.  This will cover her monthly costs ($1000) for three months.  LaShondra, an overcomer who feels called to serve with BFA for a year period, hopes to be relocated by the end of the month.  

For more about LaShondra, CLICK HERE


Saturday, September 28th & October 12th
Social Networking
Volunteer Coordination 
Barn and/or Equine Care
Graphic Design
Public Relations
Garden and/or Grounds Care
Transportation (Clients and/or Volunteers)
Counseling (Master's Level Required)

Registration Required.  Limited Seating.


Julie Shematz presented on human trafficking and the ministries of BFA at her alma mater, Florida Gulf Coast University, on September 18th and 19th to two undergraduate Humanities classes.  Moved to respond to modern day slavery and recognizing they can help on a local level, more than 20 students (of 40) responded by signing up to volunteer!  Go Eagles!  

Registration Deadline September 27th.  For more information and to register:
Jillian Penhale
(813) 383-5630 O | (813)962-4098 F

September 28th
October 12th & 19th
1 - 5pm

Meet and love on our Therapy Horses.

If you have never participated in equine care with us in the past,Volunteer Orientation is required. If you've helped in the past, call (239) 939-9218 & let us know to expect you.