Beauty From Ashes Videos


Saturday, February 2, 2013

February ePrayer Alert

Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries (BFA) exists to bring the Lord's love, hope and truth to the world, specifically women and children who have endured sexual exploitation, abuse and/or trafficking, and we are absolutely honored and grateful for every prayer said on the organization's behalf.  We continue to see His work both within the women we serve and within ourselves, and it is a privilege to be an advocate of His redemptive plans and purposes for every one of us.  Thank you so much for your commitment to pray for the staff, interns, volunteers and clients of BFA!

CLIENTS:  It is so challenging and difficult to rebuild life after having been subjected to abuse, exploitation, turmoil and chaos for years, but we are so proud of the way many of the women we serve have met these challenges head-on.  They know the work is worth it, both for themselves and their families, and we are grateful to walk alongside them as the begin believing in who the Lord has identified them as: beautiful, precious, beloved daughters of the Most High!  Please continue to pray for their hearts to not only receive healing, but to let go of any unhealthy thoughts and behaviors from the past, whether it be unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, hurt or anything keeping them from complete freedom in Christ.  Please pray their every need will be met, and for a greater awakening of the depths of the Lord's love for them.  Pray their friends and families not only see the difference in their lives, but then become drawn to the presence of the Lord.  Please pray against any attack of the enemy to try and draw the women back into a life of heartache and pain.  

OUTREACHES:  We love how the Lord draws women to BFA; sometimes they come across the website or Facebook page, or they hear of us from friends.  And other times it is through our strip club and low income area outREACHes, where we are given the opportunity to share Christ's love through words, deeds and even food.  Every one of our outREACHes is meant to bring glory to the Lord and to bring Truth to His children.  Please continue praying for discernment and wisdom, so that everything we do is led by the Holy Spirit.  Pray for new doors to open in His timing, for relationships to be built through His divine appointments and for His power to continuously go before us in order for His light to shatter the darkness.  Pray every heart and mind we encounter not only becomes aware of the Lord, but desires a life fully and wholly devoted to Him.  
PROGRAMS & SERVICES:  Our desire is that every program and service offered by BFA is rooted and grounded in the love of the Lord, allowing us the privilege of serving His children to the best of our abilities.  We want to constantly ask the Holy Spirit to lead, in order to offer programs and services that will best meet the needs of the women and children that we serve, while also trusting the Lord to introduce new services in His time.  Please pray for supernatural strength and wisdom, equipping the staff, interns and volunteers of BFA for every moment of every day.  

CURRENT NEEDS:  Please pray that our daily and monthly operational costs are met.  Everyday we are assisting numerous local and national victims in becoming overcomers through over 30 programs and services that we don't charge fees for.

EQUINE FACILITY:  It is a tremendous joy for BFA to have the ability to offer equine-assisted learning and horsemanship mentorship to not only the women we serve, but also their children.  The facility now has four horses, as Morning Star Spirit has been added to the team, joining Candy Man, Murphy and Handsome.  Please pray that under the instruction of our Equine Specialists in Mental Health and Learning, Julie Shematz and Marie Shelli, children and adults alike will be able to experience internal healing through experiences with the horses, allowing the Lord to move and work in ways often unexplained but done through His creation.  Pray for safety, good health and protection for all involved, and that these services are offered and directed the way the Lord desires. 

FUNDING:  The Lord is always faithful.  We continue to be amazed by His provisions and we are honored by every one of our supporters.  Please pray we always trust His plans, we direct His funds in the way He wants them to go and that He will continue to bring in every cent needed to operate BFA according to His will.

PARTNERSHIPS:  Just as the body of Christ has many members, it is through partnerships where multiple agencies and organizations come together to serve and love as many people as possible.  BFA is privileged to have established partnerships with other organizations and people, bringing greater effectiveness to the programs and services we are able to offer.  Please pray for additional partnerships when and how the Lord sees fit and for relationships built on trust, integrity and honor.  

EVENTS: Please pray for the many events we have scheduled for the month of February.  We have events ranging from our weekly support groups to speaking engagements at universities, churches, and community groups.  

VOLUNTEERS & INTERNS:  Only the Lord knows all that will happen this year, and we believe and are thankful that He is already raising up additional women to offer their time, talents and services to the work of BFA.  We are very grateful for the intern and volunteers we currently have, and it is their work that allows BFA to offer as much as we do, even with a small number of staff members. Agree with us that their lives be richly blessed.

STAFF:  Pray that our Founder, Julie Shematz, and Program Manager, Christa Hicks, would sustain balance and priorities as they work hard to prevent, reach, rescue, and restore victims of s*x trafficking and s*xual exploitation.  Please pray for constant strength, discernment, endurance and peace in order for them to lead BFA the way the Lord desires. 

DIRECTORS & ADVISORS Pray for a spirit of motivation, unity, and harmony among each Director and Advisor.  Continue to pray that God would pour out His blessings on each member of our executive and advisory boards.  Agree with us that their health, family, and resources be protected. 

OTHER LIKE MINISTRIES/AGENCIES:  Please be in prayer for every ministry and organization committed to following the Lord's lead into the darkness, seeing His redemption consume all shame, guilt, worldly label and pain.  Pray for unity to prevail in every circumstance, and for a greater network of like-minded people serving those affected by s*xual exploitation, abuse and/or trafficking.  Please pray for continuous protection not only for those among the organizations, but also their families and friends.   

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.  Locally, we meet in North Fort Myers at the Equine Facility.  Contact us for directions.

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.

Finally, as we enter into the season celebrated for love, agree with us that all we serve and partner with with receive a deeper revelation of the love of our God.

"But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us." Romans 5:8 AMP

On behalf of Julie Shematz, the Beauty From Ashes™ FREEdom™ Team, and clients, thank you for your continued prayers surrounding this ministry.  

With sincere appreciation,

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, January 30, 2013

New Advisor, Office, Therapy Horse, Bible Study, OutREACH Reports & More!

We are so excited to see what the Lord has in store for 2013, both for the organization and for everyone of our clients!  We continue to be grateful and thankful for the opportunity to serve over 40 women on a weekly basis, and we love seeing positive, healthy changes in each of their lives!

WELCOME DR. NAIRRUTI JANI TO BEAUTY FROM ASHES MINISTRIES:  We are pleased to announce that Dr. Nairruti Jani, Professor of Social Work at Florida Gulf Coast University has joined our Advisory Board!  Originally from India, Dr. Jani is recognized as an expert in human trafficking and has been the supervisor of one of our social work interns.  She has a passion to educate, prevent, and understands the complex dynamics involved with providing  victim/survivor centered programs.  We look forward to this new partnership for 2013.  Welcome Dr. Jani!

NEW OFFICE LOCATION:  In order to better serve the marginalized population to which we are called, we are very excited about the expansion of our offices on the campus of New Mission Systems International.  Beginning February 1st, our new office location will be 2701 Cleveland Avenue, Fort Myers, FL 33901.  We need assistance moving; if you can help, please call (239) 939-9218. 

NEW HORSE ADDED TO EQUINE ASSISTED LEARNING & HORSEMANSHIP MENTORING PROGRAMS: Morning Star Spirit, an eight-month-old, white Appaloosa colt, is the newest member of the horse therapy team used for BFA's Equine Programs.  Joining Candy Man, Handsome and Murphy, "Spirit" has already begun training with his owner, Julie Shematz, who is also the founder and Executive Director of BFA!  He traveled over 500 miles with Julie to arrive in North Ft. Myers, and has been adjusting well to his new home.  To follow Spirit's journey, "like" his fan page on facebook.

WELCOME MARIE SHELLI TO THE EQUINE ASSISTED LEARNING & HORSEMANSHIP MENTORING PROGRAMS:  We are extremely grateful the Lord is allowing the programs to continue even as our founder, Mrs. Shematz, will be participating in a four-month, mental health counseling, internship at the Eye of a Horse Equine Education Center in St. Cloud, FL.  Marie Shelli comes to us with 18+ years of horsemanship, certification from EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning) in Equine Therapy, and over four years experience as an Equine Specialist at a girls' residential program in Wyoming.  Find out more about our equine prevention and restoration programs and view pictures by CLICKING HERE.  To register individuals or a group, call (239) 939-9218 or email

SCOPE OF SERVICES:  Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries, Florida's 1st and only human trafficking, overcomer-led community service agency,  provides over 30 services and programs, free of charge.  Our services include mental health counseling, social services, spiritual counseling, career, crisis, and addiction counseling, case management, mentoring, medical services, relocation, short-term and long-term residential program placement, consulting and referral for governmental and non-governmental agencies, a support system to loved ones of s*x workers, OutREACH & AfterCARE trainings, outREACHes, and more.  For full list of programs & services, CLICK HERE.

TUTORING & RUN 4 WELLNESS:  Monday afternoons have become a favorite for many of the women we serve, as they, along with their children, either walk or run a bridge in Ft. Myers.  Led by Christa Hicks, our Program Director and also a fitness expert, Run 4 Wellness is a weekly event where women have the chance to be physically active while also continuing to build healthy friendships with each other.  On Thursday nights, BFA continues to offer educational tutoring for any of the women's children who need assistance with school work, meeting weekly before and during the "Breaking Free" Life Skills & Support Group.

NEW BIBLE STUDY:  Led by an overcomer who recently completed the one year, residential program, Faith Farm, we will begin a 10 week Bible study at our new office on Monday, February 4th 10am to 12:30pm.  Using the Beth Moore Breaking Free curriculum, this Bible study is open to survivors of sexual exploitation, abuse and/or trafficking,  Registration required.  Call (239) 939-9218 to register.  

STRIP CLUB OUTREACH REPORT:  On Saturday, January 12th, our strip club outREACH team served up a home cooked meal and distributed gift bags that included beauty supplies, information on human trafficking and the services BFA provides to a Fort Myer's area strip club.  Every month we go into this strip club with the objective of establishing relationships with the employees in hopes that when they are ready for a lifestyle change, they will contact us. Since 2003, we've served numerous clients, met in this club, in the transition out of the sex for sale industry.

INNER CITY OUTREACH REPORT:  Grace Church in downtown Fort Myers has a wonderful heart to serve the community, evidenced by the free dinner given to 150-200 people every Wednesday night after the worship service.  The church is located in the heart of an area that is known locally as one of the most concentrated for prostitution and drugs.  One of our outREACH teams attends the service every week, allowing us the opportunity to support women we currently serve, in addition to reaching out to anyone who wants more information on the programs and services offered by BFA.  It is often a wonderful night of connecting with each other and connecting with the Lord, and we love the opportunity to continue developing relationships with women from the community.

VOLUNTEERS OF THE MONTH:  This month we want to publicly thank the staff of Cre8 Salon & Spa in Cape Coral, FL for treating 15 of our beauties & their children to a night of princess makeovers and delicious food!  For more about this exceptional salon,  the official Fox 4 News Team salon, by visiting their website.  

LIFE SKILLS & SUPPORT GROUP:  Beginning Thursday, February 7th from 7-8:30pm our Life Skills & Support group will be meeting in new office location. This closed group is 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.  The group is led by a Master's-level mental health clinician and overcomer.  Free child care is provided.  For more information and to register, call (239) 939-9218 or email

URGENT NEEDS: We are in need of individuals to transport clients and a van in which to transport them.  CLICK HERE for our current needs if you're looking for a way you can partner with Florida's 1st and only human trafficking, overcomer-led, community, service agency.

EVENT COORDINATOR NEEDED:  We are in search of an Event Coordinator whose  responsibilities will include handling all communication regarding events:  appearance contracts, riders, needs, travel, hotel accommodations, as well as updating calendars, social media communication. and public relations.  This is a volunteer position with the possibility of being paid in the future.  Approximately 3-5 hours a week is required.  Residing locally is not necessary.  Please email resume and letter of interest to  No phone calls please.

EVENTS:  In 2012, we participated in over 80 events, reaching nearly 4000 people.  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, health departments and nursing associations, Girl Scouts and country clubs.  To see our upcoming events, CLICK HERE.  To schedule an overcomer to speak at your event or to invite BFA, CLICK HERE. 

FUND RAISING:  It is through the public's support that we are able to continue our work within Florida and beyond.  We can't begin to thank our financial partners enough, and are extremely grateful for every dollar given to BFA.  If you would like to partner with us, there are many ways to raise support for BFA!  Some examples of previous fundraising efforts include organizing car washes and bake sales, donating a percentage of your business sales or offering a matching gift/grant. Your fundraising ideas and efforts can greatly help fight human trafficking in America and continue to allow us to reach, rescue and restore victims of s*x trafficking and s*xual exploitation.  Please contact us with your ideas and 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.  Thank you!

MONTHLY PRAYER ALERT:  For details of how to pray for us during the month of January , 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.

TWITTER & FACEBOOK:  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.

RECEIVE MONTHLY eNEWS:  Sign up to receive our monthly eNewsletter by CLICKING HERE

Thank you for partnering with us in making 2012 the best year ever for BFA.  If it weren't for you, we could not do what we do.  

Thank you in advance for your partnership with us in 2013.  The BEST is yet to come!  

With sincere appreciation,

Julie Shematz
Founder & Executive Director
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