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!
Earlier this month Indonesian police intercepted the transport of three North Sulawesi girls (two of them underage). The apprehension took place just prior to the victims being moved to another island. The perpetrators were arrested and the victims were taken into protective custody. The police made contact with the CF care team as the rescue took place.CF social workers assisted the police in screening and interviewing the victims. The youngest, whose parents were unreachable at the time of the rescue, had been previously trafficked and there were reports of neglect and physical abuse. She was referred to CF care and the older two were able to return to their homes.As a result of the rescue, the two underage girls are receiving CF aftercare services. There have now been a total of 13 rescues since CF and the Portland Police Bureau's partnered police training in North Sulawesi. The intervention has also informed specific needs in future law enforcement training efforts toward a greater understanding of child protection laws and police jurisdiction, specifically in trafficking cases. This work cannot be done without you! Please consider making a contribution or monthly pledge in support of the new clients and to further CF's pursuit of finding a larger home for the girls in our care! For the sake of others, Compassion First
At the beginning of this month, Mike Mercer (CF President) had the opportunity to accompany our good friend, Executive Director and Founder of Aim High Academy of Martial Arts, Daniel Sikkens on a very special trip to Indonesia.At the Aim High Academy (a partnered non-profit organization), Daniel Sikkens is a fourth degree black-belt instructor with a mission to teach kids self-defense, self-discipline, and what it means to be a positive role model, through the practice of martial arts. He and his sending team were thrilled with the opportunity to bring these skills to the girls and staff of Ruth's House!Please watch the short Aim High Video Update or click the video link found below and may it encourage you as you continue to support the girls and our goal of providing a new home for a fast growing family!
Starting the New House Hunt
While we have a long way to go to reach our goal, we've started our house hunting. A new friendship with the local International School has us narrowing our search and we're very excited about the prospects. Our new facility will expand us from 8 to 20 beds as well as provide the much needed room for expanded education and activity programs.
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