Beauty From Ashes Videos


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

BFA Relocating, New Program Manager and More!

Relocating to the
County / Tampa Bay Area

We are extremely excited to officially announce the biggest change to Beauty from Ashes™ Ministries  (BFA) since our Founder, Julie Shematz, first began doing strip club outREACHes in 2003. In the course of her continuing relationship with The Salvation Army, the second largest faith-based organization in the world, Julie was invited to lend her expertise for the vision of an emergency shelter for victims of sexual abuse, exploitation, and trafficking in Tampa, FL. While providing consulting and assisting with writing for a grant, she was asked to be the Interim Shelter Director of their three programs (emergency shelter, men's transitional, and women's transitional, which includes women both with and without children) consisting of over 200 beds.

Naturally, once she had begun serving in this capacity, she started to realize not only the extent of overlap between the homeless population and the victims which constitute BFA's focus, helping nine trafficking survivors in the first eleven days of 2014, but she also was able to bring an enormous amount of resources to bear by virtue of her new role, far greater than had ever been previously possible. Those resources that she didn't immediately have at her fingertips, she was able to leverage through the incredible web of partnerships to which the Salvation Army belongs.

Needless to say, when Area Commanders, Majors Chip and Leisa Hall, began to discuss the possibility of her becoming the permanent Director of Social Services, she came to the realization that this would not be the end of BFA, but rather, the beginning of a new season heralding a time of greater impact and influence than ever before.  Major Leisa Hall, who originally invited Julie to provide consulting for the emergency shelter, is passionate about this marginalized populous as well. This month she received an award from the FBI and state of Oklahoma (from which she relocated 10 months ago) for her advocacy work with victims of trafficking.  The Salvation Army Tampa Area Command announced this week the development of the specialized shelter for victims of sex trafficking. The program will provide emergency shelter and comprehensive services for up to 8 adult survivors.

So, after we have spent over a decade developing and implementing over 30 programs and community services in Lee County, Florida, God is calling us to Hillsborough County, the most concentrated area for sex for sale business in the nation.  Also, the home of one of the most powerful and influential human trafficking task forces in the country.  We know that everything Julie has been through has prepared her and BFA for such a time as this!  It's hard to believe that 11 years ago we were doing strip club outREACHes in Tampa.  Today, there are more than 4 ministries doing strip club outREACH in the Tampa Bay area, with leaders that have been trained by BFA.

Our partnership with The Salvation Army serves to strengthen the mission of BFA to prevent, reach, and restore victims of sexual abuse, exploitation, and trafficking.  Furthermore, it will increase the capacity of our vision that victims be provided with the comprehensive and integrated services they need in order to recover from the injustices and trauma done to them.  

Over the years, the process of providing the much needed services to victims has been laborious and extremely complex. Since Julie has been with The Salvation Army Tampa Area Command (December 6th, 2013), she's been able to coordinate services for 15 survivors.  Those services have ranged from relocation, rehabilitation, shelter, transitional housing, medical, emergency, employment, and dental. The process of coordination, even under the pressure of overseeing 3 programs, 200+ clients, and 20+ employees, was simple and easy.  The best news is that all 15 survivors are thriving!

We hope that you will continue to support us as we transition into this new season.  We plan to relocate the central headquarters of BFA to the Tampa / Hillsborough area in the next 3 months.  Please keep us in prayer as we follow the cloud.  

"And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:" Exodus 13:21

Steve Shematz
Vice President
Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries

To support the mission of Beauty From Ashes™ in preventing, reaching and restoring victims of abuse, exploitation and trafficking, CLICK HERE.

Tampa Relocation Q & A

You may have many questions regarding the changes and future of Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries. We have put together a list of common questions and answers on our website. Click here to go and view them.

Therapy Colt Morning Star Spirit
is Officially an Overcomer!

At the age of 8 months, therapy colt, Morning Star Spirit was diagnosed with Wobblers Syndrome.  This being a condition that most would either give back or put down a newly purchased colt, Steve and Julie Shematz decided to keep Spirit and began the tedious process of controlling his diet and working with him daily to strengthen his hind legs.  After much prayer, hard work, and a patience, they received word Saturday, February 15th, from the veterinarians, that they believe he has grown out of the condition! He shows no symptoms of the disease!  This was what Steve and Julie has hoped and prayed would happen.  Just last week, Julie was able to sit on Spirit's back for the first time. He didn't move his feet at all and stood perfectly still!  Spirit, who now weighs 900 lbs and stands 16h, is also an overcomer!  Thank you to everyone that has prayed for his recovery!  To follow his progress, like his Facebook fanpage.

BFA New Program Manager

Jill Eden is a native of upstate New York,  a veteran of the United States Air Force, and a cum laude graduate of Hodges University.  As a child, her passion for animals brought her to Vet Tech school, but soon after she joined the Air Force and later worked in finance for 7 years.  She returned to school and completed her education, with a bachelor's degree in Business Management.  With that degree, she returned to her love for animals and ultimately pioneered her own successful business in pet service for 8 years.  
In 2010, after committing her life to Christ, she discovered a new passion: helping the helpless. Soon after, she learned about the plight of children and adults caught in sex trafficking, she knew that she had to get involved, and began seeking opportunities to volunteer with local ministries.  When she discovered that Beauty From Ashes™ (BFA) used horses in therapy and was an openly Christian organization, she knew that this was the place for her.  It combined her passion for Christ, animals, and the lost.  

She and her husband Bob have been faithfully serving BFA in a myriad of ways since spring of 2013, and as a result of her diligence, she has assumed the responsibilities of being our Program Manager. Please join us in welcoming her to her new role. You may reach her at or by phone at 239-939-9218.

Volunteer of the Month

We would like to give a shout-out to Eslande Dambrevil, our volunteer of the month! Between working full-time and taking classes as a senior at Florida Gulf Coast University, studying Psychology, Eslande has faithfully supported Beauty From Ashes™ since 2012.  She is conscientious, has a great personality and attitude, dependable, and always willing to help, no matter what we ask her to do!   Thank you so much Eslande!  You are a great help to us!

New FREEdom™ Team Members Trained

We welcomed 22 new volunteers in January & February during our two monthly Volunteer Orientations. These volunteers, mostly made up of Florida Gulf Coast University students, have already put in many hours of work and there is still more to do.

Find your place to serve and help fight modern slavery.

Our next Fort Myers Volunteer Orientation is March 8th.  
Registration required.  Limited Seating.

For more information CLICK HERE

March 1st 9am-noon


April 2-5
Wichita, KS

July 16-19
Tampa, FL

Register Online.  Limited Seating.
For more information CLICK HERE 

Interested in having us present our training where you are?  

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