A few months ago Ruth’s House, Compassion First’s operational aftercare facility in Indonesia, was directly impacted by historic flooding that elevated waters 10-12 feet, destroyed homes, and displaced nearly 80,000 people. Our staff and residents had little time to haul belongings, office supplies, and program materials to the only second story room of Ruth’s House, where they rode out the storm huddled together. They were evacuated by rescue boat at 2:30am and safely escorted to Sarah’s House—our newest leased, beautiful and spacious home for survivors.
While this new facility is much larger and better suited for our program needs, it was not ready for operations at the time of the flood. In an effort to help accelerate the transition and make Sarah’s House safe and secure, communities have deployed renovation teams and individuals have given special gifts. The aid response has been both encouraging and humbling.Our staff is committed as ever to keeping the girls enrolled in their programs and activities. And despite the constant drum of hammers, drills and opportunity for distraction, our girls are thriving in their new environment.
Your contributions are helping us purchase new bunk beds, repair roofs, provide new clothing for the residents, rebuild our kitchen and so much more! We hope you enjoy our report pictures.There is still much work to be done! We will continue to generate updates and keep you informed on the continued progress. For now, thank you for helping us rebuild.
After a year in the residential program at Ruth's House in North Sulawesi, Indonesia, Zhella* elected to enter into Compassion First's community-based program and move home. While the community-based program invites a higher risk set of circumstances for a survivor, it also is part of a progression for all survivors as successful graduation and reintegration are necessary steps toward the recovery of their future.
Risks understood, Compassion First staffers were there for Zhella. When a threshold of too many days without communication was crossed, her Case Worker quickly set up a home visit. In this setting of safety, Zhella was able to express that she felt the best place for her was back at Ruth's House.
Each child we serve is unique and requires an individualized plan that we own together with her. We count the journey with each one a sincere blessing. With the assistance of security and her Case Worker, Zhella returned to Ruth's House where she will likely stay until she goes to college or vocational training school. It is a story of provision for one. At the same time, it is a story of progress where a trafficking survivor is coming into a full understanding that she is the owner of her future.
We thank you for letting us serve these survivors who are on such an incredible journey. Our house is full. It's going to be a great Christmas!
For the sake of others,
Throughout the court proceedings, a CF case-work staff member noted a transformation occurred within the two young trafficking survivors. "We thought the girls would feel down and ashamed to testify in front of the judges and the perpetrator," the case-worker says. "But we were [encouraged by] the way they have big motivation to speak."
This is the first case in which CF survivors have testified since the installation of a comprehensive legal interaction process designed to both protect and empower trafficking survivors as they testify against their traffickers. As the girls testified, they were accompanied by CF staff and supporters, including their house moms, social workers, counselor, attorneys, and personal security. Also the trial was not open to the public, which stopped the trafficker's accomplices from threatening the girls and members of the court-as is known to happen. With this freedom, the girls were able to testify the truth.
Friday's convictions come as a result of these girls' courage to speak, but also follows a positive increase in collaboration between CF staff, police investigators, and prosecutors-all of whom have participated in CF's and the Portland Police Bureau's partnered law enforcement training initiatives in Indonesia.
Join us as we celebrate this step forward toward justice in the courts and for increased freedom and healing for the girls.
If you also have chosen to partner with CF in prayer, please pray this Tuesday brings the verdict for another of our girl's cases. Pray:
Thank you for your continued support!
Compassion First Headquarters is thrilled to announce that we have acquired the needed funding for a larger Aftercare Facility. With your help and the incredible generosity of Cornerstone Chiropractic, we have have reached our fundraising goal for this project and are currently in search of property. We will keep you up-to-date with the search and have hopeful expectations in locating our new home soon!
With the foundational costs of a larger shelter provided for, we would like to request a new goal for this project.
Our initial center renovations budget will be approximately $15,000 and will include:
1. Security Gate Reinforcement
2. Architectural Security Modifications
3. Additional Furniture & Supplies
4. Landscaping Modifications for Security Purposes
5. Room Modifications (Partitioning)
6. Plumbing, Kitchen and Electrical Upgrades
We hope you'll continue helping us spread the word about this project with your friends, colleagues and family. Please know that your contributions allow for restorative, life-changing work to take place, and that without you, we cannot move forward.
To us, we are all part of a larger family and that is truly what will make our new shelter a home.
For the girls,
Our girls are participating in a Christmas outreach this year. Why? Because to be loved is wonderful, but learning how to love others is extraordinary; it is both healing and transformative-- the very stuff that can change one's life trajectory forever.
For those of you who do not know me, my name is Bickey Lloyd and I work for Compassion First. I just returned from Indonesia. My recent visit was supposed to be short, mainly to gather information for our "Holy Night" Christmas campaign that we are coordinating for impoverished cemetery sex-workers (see more info below). Somehow my ten day stay turned into four weeks and I was set to the task of coordinating Christmas activities for the clients of Ruth's House.
I LOVE Christmas! Christmas is all about family, friends, eating, laughing and most importantly about the fulfillment of an incredible gift--the gift of love here on earth.
For some, like the clients in Ruth's House, Christmas is not as special. Some of the girls have very broken families, and broken little spirits.
When I looked at the girls and spent time with them, I could not help but see my younger self. They are teenagers, struggling with the loss of their childhood and dealing very courageously with their trauma inflicted wounds.
I was just like them when I was younger-- but something, someone, changed the trajectory of my life forever. What changed my life was not something necessarily spoken, it was not hammered into my skull, I was not told that I needed to be disciplined, that I had a rebellious spirit, and that I should change my attitude for the betterment of my soul. What changed my life was experiencing, seeing, and most importantly, participating in the gift of love.
Two days ago, the girls and staff of Ruth's House brought handmade crafts, gifts and activities for the children of Sayap Kasih--a small orphanage housing disabled children. Altogether, they sang and played their little hearts out to all our favorite Christmas songs. You can view a short slideshow of our first Ruth's House Christmas Outreach 2012 here! Already, the CF Staff is seeing incredible changes. The girls have all asked if they can go back to Sayap Kasih on a regular basis, and one of our clients actually asked if she could adopt a child she had especially connected with. She now knows what love is-- and that is what Christmas is all about--the gift of love here on earth. Your contributions keep this transformational work going. Please consider a Year-End contribution and may you and your families have a wonderful Holiday Season!
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Assistant to Bickey Lloyd