For this report I would like to take some time to tell you about some of our unsung heroes. As Grace House has gotten up and running this year, it's easy to focus on the wonderful girls that are being rescued and living with us at Grace House, and rightfully so. It's for them that we do all this after all. But our full-time, live-in aftercare shelters - the backbone of our operation - don't run on their own. We have an absolutely amazing staff at Grace House that keep the wheels turning. And it takes a lot more people than you may think. That's because we aren't a typical business or drop-in shelter that operates 9-5.
Due to the current lack of survivor care infastructure in the areas we operate, Compassion First aftercare centers like Grace House are directly involved in every aspect of a girl's recovery from sexual slavery. After their rescue, most of the girls live at Grace House until they can be safely returned to family. Or if they have no safe place to return, they stay with us until they are old enough to live on their own. This requires a host of wonderful "housemoms" and a full security team that work around the clock to ensure the girls have everything they need during an extremely vulnerable time in their lives. We employ educators, couselors, lawyers, and other specialist to provide the specific services the girls require throughout their years with us. It requires a large, dedicated, loving staff to run Grace House.
But as you can imagine, these are not always easy or simple jobs. In fact they can be very demanding. But our staff serve faithfully because, like you, they love these girls and want to see healing and redemption in young lives that once only knew abuse and violation. But it goes beyond the walls of Grace House. Our staff are long-time residents of the region we serve. They are working hard to make their cities better, safer, more just places to live, whether it's within Grace House or through partnerships with local government, law enforcement and schools. So join us in thanking our incredible staff! And thank you for making their labor of love possible!
Oct 15, 2019
A Way Forward
By Ron Toft - Development Coordinator
One of the foundational principals in our partnership with the community at the Yellow Flower Cemetery is to trust in their incredible capabilities. We learned early on that they don't need handouts and photo ops. They don't need a white knight to ride in and save the day. Even though they live in poverty and are systematically subjugated, they are strong. They are survivors. And at the end of the day, what they need most is someone to support them, someone to believe in them. What they need most is what you and I need most, someone to love them and to fight for what's best for them.
That's why we focus on working side-by-side with these friends of ours to support and encourage long-term opportunites for them. And even though this is was an early lesson for us, we continue to be surprsied with what they can do. Like Ruth's Boutique - a retail service selling items handmade by the women - which was conceived of and created by the community and which, with the support of our network, is now selling items all over the world with online partners like 139Made.
Another example is the veracity with which the children have tackled their new educational opportunities, children whom many in their city would discredit. Children like Rico, who recently graduated from vocational school to become a mechanic and who is considered by his peers and teachers as a respected leader with a bright future!
This inspirational community has faced more challenges than most of us can imagine. And yet, with a little help from their friends, they're finding a new way forward. We can't wait to see what they do next!
Aug 21, 2019
By Ron Toft - Development Coordinator
Below is an update from Valerie, our East Java Director, about the sucess we have been seeing at Sarah's House in 2018:
Sarah’s House is full!
Working together with police for rescue and intake, we have a full house. Sarah’s House is bustling at capacity with 14 girls! Three coming into our care within the past few weeks.
The rescue fund provides airfare and comprehensive resources for local police to retrieve children trafficked away from home to distant islands. Every dollar counts and translates into freedom.
THANK YOU for your support and especially your prayers for girls taking courageous first steps into their healing journeys. It really does take all of us.