Beauty From Ashes Videos


Friday, April 12, 2013

Matched Giving, Less than 5 to 170+ 

Strip Club Ministries,

Art & Horse Summer Camp, & More!

Thanks to the generosity of a long time donor of Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries, all giving of $25 up to $10,000 will be matched!  This means your financial gift's impact is doubled!  Would you consider partnering with us today as we continue to educate the community about human trafficking, assist other organizations in reaching and restoring victims of commercialized s*xual exploitation, s*xual abuse, and trafficking, and develop evidence based therapeutic interventions to assist victims in becoming overcomers?  For secure online giving, CLICK HERE

In 2002, when I did my first strip club outREACH in Indianapolis, IN, there were fewer than 5 ministries worldwide doing this unique type of ministry and the words human or s*x trafficking were rarely spoken of.  Recognizing the need for training churches and ministries, I developed a Strip Club outREACH training in 2004 and began presenting it to laypersons and ministers nationwide.  In 2010, due to a capacity building grant from the United States Department of Health and Human Resources, with the help of a professional 
curriculum writer, we were able to raise the training to the next level by developing it into an 18 module, best practices, faith based, comprehensive curriculum.  We launched the curriculum in 2012, training ministries nationally and internationally, sharing our model of operations, teaching them and equipping them to successfully prevent, reach, rescue, restore, advocate, and develop professional services and programs for victims.  Today, there are over 170 faith based strip club outREACHes world wide, and an enormous amount of organizations educating and serving the marginalized population of the s*xually trafficked, abused, and exploited.  Together, we have made a difference!  Our next National S*x Industry OutREACH and AfterCARE training is July 17-20th in Fort Myers, FL at Barry University.  Sign up today.  Limited seating.  For more information, CLICK HERE

I am so excited to have finished up a 3 month, 300+ hour, internship with one of the world's leading psychologists in the field of equine psychotherapy, Dr. Sandra Wise.  Having been a full time gradaute student since May of 2010 in the Mental Health Counseling Program at Florida Gulf Coast University, I am very much looking forward to graduating August 4th of this year and further developing interventions using equines and art!  Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Art Therapy are evidence-based treatment for many of the symptoms survivors battle.  The use of both therapies are coming soon to BFA!

I personally know what second hand trauma (when a caregiver vicariously experiences the trauma of the person they are helping) and care taker burn out is like, (it served as a catalyst to get me into graduate school.)  Unfortunately, we live in a society that applauds being a workaholic and many times this "serve til I drop," and "if I don't do it, no one will" mentality gets carried over into the Church.  It's the source of many people ending up with depression, loss of interest in things they used to like doing, broken and strained relationships, people walking away from ministry not wanting to serve anymore, and worse yet, turning their backs on God. Recognizing that there are a lot of people either bordering on this or trying to recover from it, we've developed an intervention program for ministry workers using our therapy horses to help overcome the stress, hopelessness, and compassion fatigue which caretakers often experience.   Research tells us that simply spending time in natural settings is beneficial to all of us!  We're now offering an escape for individuals or groups that need to slow down, take a deep breath, spend some quality time away from the office/ministry, and experience the benefits of being in the country and with our therapy horses.  Come spend time with us, enjoy the getaway, be ministered to, refresh, and renew yourself.  Schedule an individual or group session today.  For more information, 

Since Beauty From Ashes™ (BFA) launched our Equine-Assisted Learning and Mentoring programs, in August of 2012, we've had over 70 participants ranging from 8-years-old to 86-year-olds, including teen survivors of s*x trafficking, take part in the programs.  From individual to group and family sessions, with the assistance of our horse therapists and equine specialists, effective outcomes have been produced with all participants.  Horsemanship and Equine Assisted Learning builds trust, self-confidence, communication, self-concept, perspective, self-acceptance, impulse control, social skills, boundaries and spiritual connection.  Find out more about our Equine Programs.

Many of you may remember that I am an artist who has taught art lessons to all ages and skill levels for over 20 years.  I stepped back from my teaching and art production when I entered into graduate school in 2010.  I am so very pleased that as my graduate school days FINALLY come to an end, we will be launching another program very dear to my heart, Art & Horse Summer Camp, for ages 7 through 17!  We are only taking 6 individuals per one week session, July 22 - 26 and August 12 - 16.  Camp will run Monday through Friday 8:30am - 1:00pm.  Attendees will learn about art and produce it through discipline based art education, as well as be taught basic equine care and handling.  On Friday, we'll have an art and horse show where students can show their creations and skills to parents and loved ones.  All proceeds will go to our Art & Equine Therapeutic Programs. For more information and to register, CLICK HERE.

We are pleased to announce that we have an event coordinator!  Rachel Swope served in the United States Army, has a degree in Social Work and is currently enrolled at Troy University's Criminal Justice graduate program.  To schedule Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries at your event, a training or presentation, or an overcomer to share their testimony, email her at   

I am very excited to be sharing my testimony and discussing s*x trafficking with over 200 female inmates at the Lowell Correctional Institute in Ocala, FL Tuesday, May 7th.  What's incredible is that a friend of the ministry spoke there a couple of months ago and mentioned me and BFA.  To her amazement, it was reported that 5-7 inmates said they knew me and had met me during strip club outREACHes!  I am very much looking forward to meeting these ladies again and encouraging them.  Additionally, they are providing a tour of their Equine Facility for Thoroughbred Horses. To watch a powerful video of this wonderful program, CLICK HERE.

We'd like to recognize a very special woman, also a single mother of six children, who has managed to take the time to serve us, our clients, and our horses.  We are pleased to announce this month's Volunteer of the Month is Lisa Turner. We are simply amazed that she finds time to help out around the barn, plant flowers, wash and feed horses, muck stalls, assist on photo shoots, manage horses, and be an incredible encourager to me personally.  Thank you, Lisa for all you've done for Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries!

We need a refrigerator, picnic table, gently used and new riding boots, and volunteers!   CLICK HERE for our current needs if you're looking for a way you can partner with Florida's 1st, human trafficking, overcomer-led, community, service agency.

There are many unique and creative ways to support Beauty From Ashes™ Whether it's a bake sale, car wash, making jewelry, a 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!

For details of how to pray for us during the month of April, CLICK HERE.

We believe in the power of prayer!  Please send your prayer requests

Fridays 8-9am EST. To meet with intercessors in the Fort Myers area,  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.

As the impact of Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries in assisting victims to become overcomers continues to expand, I have a wonderful sense of gratitude for those that have supported me, the vision God has given to me for BFA, and most importantly, remained loyal through the process of development.  I can hardly believe it's been over 10 years since I did my first strip club outREACH and am amazed at what has developed since!   I could not have done this without YOU!  Thank you for partnering with me in preventing, reaching, rescuing, and restoring victims of s*xual exploitation, abuse, and trafficking. 

With sincere appreciation,

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


"Blue Stallion" Used by Permission © Laurie Justice Pace

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(239) 939-9218 | TOLL FREE LINE: (877) 423-2767

13300 South Cleveland Avenue, Suite 56-623 | Fort Myers | 33907

Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries, Inc. has been recognized by the United States IRS as a not for profit, 501(c)3, public charity since February 2005.  Contributions are tax deductible and confidential. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Matching Grant!

Due to the generosity of a long time donor, all giving of $25 up to $10,000 will be matched!

In 2002, when the founder of Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries (BFA) started doing outREACHes into strip clubs, there were less than 5 ministries world wide doing this unique type of outREACH and the word human trafficking was rarely ever mentioned.  Recognizing the need to train and send ministries to do this type of outREACH, Julie Shematz developed the first of it's kind, a faith based strip club outREACH training in 2004. She began providing training to ministries and churches across the nation and in 2010 she was able to acquire a capacity building grant from the Department of Health and Human Services.  The grant enabled Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries to develop the original training into an best practices, faith based, 18 module curriculum that includes human trafficking, afterCARE, community collaboration, outREACH strategies, as well as the model of operations, written by a professional curriculum writer.  Today, there are more than over 170 faith based ministries world wide doing strip club outREACH and countless organizations raising awareness and providing services to victims of sex trafficking.  Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries model includes prevention, intervention, restoration, and advocacy through over 30 programs and services provided free of charge to over 1500 victims of sexual abuse, exploitation, and trafficking.  In 2012, we launched our equine programs which include equine assisted/facilitated learning and horsemanship mentoring for ages 8 through adulthood.  In 2013, recognizing the need to provide interventions for care giver burn out and care giver second hand trauma, we launched an Equine Escape for Ministry Workers.  What's amazing is that we've been able to do all this while our Founder and Executive Director, Julie Shematz, has been enrolled as a full time graduate student since May 2010.  She is set to graduate with Summa Kum Laude receiving a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Florida Gulf Coast University August 8th of this year.

Will you partner today with a pioneering, grass roots, overcomer-led, community service agency that has demonstrated the ability to Reach, Rescue, Restore, Train and Send, while remaining on the cutting edge of the development of professional helping services and programs for hurting people?

Give securely online or send your check, money order, or cash to Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries, 13300 S. Cleveland Ave., Ste. 56, Fort Myers, FL 33907 and THANK YOU for your support in helping victims to become overcomers world wide!