Make Her Strong Again--CF Anti-Traffic/Indonesia

by Compassion First
Thanksgiving at Sarah
Thanksgiving at Sarah's House

For the last three years we’ve held a Thanksgiving celebration at Sarah’s House. Even though we are in Indonesia and some of the food we prepare is different, the same spirit of Thanksgiving is present. People buzz in and out of the kitchen helping prepare everything from pies to potatoes, sampling the food as they go. Graduated girls and out-of-town family members begin arriving, and there is joy in the air! Finally, when everyone is present the celebration begins with singing:  

“You are my friend,

I am your friend,

we belong togetherrrrr……

like bread and butter!

I will always be there and support you

encouraging you for the best.

And if you are sad,

I’ll hug you tight!

You are my friend,

I am your friend,

we belong togetherrrrr…..

like pants and a shirt!

It’s so fun to see the turkey inspire “oohs & ahs” and the faces of girls tasting cranberry sauce and stuffing for the first time. But the real reason we do this is to celebrate the most precious gift of all, the gift of one another.

Valerie Bellamy, CF Director of Cemetery Outreach, gave a brief message of encouragement at the celebration this year. She shared that it’s too easy to focus on the problems and challenges we face  each day. But choosing to look  for the good things  allows us  to see them, more and more. She said, “so often we can see God’s goodness to us through the people he has brought around us”. She encouraged us to look for and speak out the good things in our lives.

So today, we  want to express our gratitude for each girl He rescues and brings into our care, for staff members that give of themselves daily serving with patience, and for each of you who love without getting tired. You truly are a gift to us!

A Welcome Celebration at Sarah
A Welcome Celebration at Sarah's House

In one week we welcomed four new girls into our shelter, and one into community based care.

This was a rescue collaboration with local police, IOM, and the government agency. We are thankful for the quick and effective rescues by our partners. These five girls are safe and have begun their life-changing journey to restoration.

Please pray for the stabilization period, both for the new and current girls, and also for the staff. We are at capacity with our current staff and facility. In addition to the girls living at the shelter, there are also a few others that we serve outside of the shelter with community based care. Pray for us as we pursue expansion and seek to hire additional staff.

Sarah's House, our aftercare shelter, is currently in need of child sponsors. If you are interested in sponsoring one of these girls, send an email to

Sarah’s House is a full house again! We welcomed two new girls into our care over the past several months. With the addition of new residents comes an adjustment period for the staff and girls. One of the seasoned residents has taken it upon herself to be the house ambassador, encouraging the new girls to embrace the program, and assuring them that they will recognize great positive change in their lives. What a joy to see the girls recognize their own progress and strengths.

A formerly untouched supply of yarn and knitting supplies have made an appearance and now knitting is the new favorite past time at the house. The girls knit together all of the time. Our summer intern has been teaching dance, arts, and crafts. Her time with the girls has been sweet, and they are all really enjoying the activities.

The residents are currently in the middle of SHINE, an empowerment program that we have completed the past two summers. It is a highlight of the year for the girls and staff alike. Some of the girls have participated in this program twice and now act as co-facilitators with the staff! They have grown and changed through the year and it is equally empowering with each new season.

We are incredibly proud of one of the residents who passed her entrance exam to attend a private school nearby. This will provide great learning and socialization opportunities for her in a safe and structured environment. We are grateful for our partnership and excited for this long-time resident to experience specialized science education outside of the shelter. This development is a stepping stone toward the achievement of her dream—attending a university for medical training! Please pray for her transition to this new school and for her adjustment to a new environment outside of Sarah's House.

The department teams are thriving. The clinical and house mom teams are communicating beautifully, which makes for a consistent, strong and balanced program. We are looking into the possibility of hiring a part-time counselor as we grow. Please pray for our current counselor with her ever increasing caseload.


For more than five years Compassion First has been engaged in a remarkable work in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. It is an organization that has quietly taken a leading role in the recovery and restoration of child victims of sex trafficking in Indonesia, a nation that faces complications unlike any other. It has been their desire to go where they are invited and to help those who would otherwise receive no help. There is no clearer example of this value than Sarah’s House in North Sulawesi and the outreach work now underway in the Yellow Flower Cemetery in Surabaya.

For those who have been so generous in their support of Compassion First’s efforts, it is a necessary question to ask if Compassion First’s efforts are actually working and making a difference. The answer is yes. In fact, the work is deeply successful, beyond just numbers. Prior to Compassion First’s law enforcement training in 2012, the police in North Sulawesi had recovered only 9 girls. Post training, there have been 31 rescues. The numbers are important, but the relationships and support of local law enforcement in Indonesia have been the driving force that has sustained the police effort.

In order to continue with this momentum, Compassion First must remain engaged and prepare for an expansion of the work. The nature of sex trafficking in this part of Indonesia has demonstrated that North Sulawesi and its surrounding communities have become a focal point of traffickers seeking to bring young girls into the sex trade. If Compassion First does not expand and work to counter this trend, then the effectiveness of the work will be sharply limited.

A proactive approach will increase Compassion First’s effectiveness and reduce the number of girls being removed from North Sulawesi to be held captive and exploited in other parts of Indonesia. The work here has identified Papua, and to a lesser degree Makassar, as destination points for girls being trafficked from the North Sulawesi area. A critical next step will be to target the primary destination point and begin the process of equipping law enforcement and support services in Papua to identify sex traffickers, the businesses/brothels being employed and the victims held in bondage. By training local law enforcement and prosecutors, traffickers will be held accountable and victims will finally be returned home to receive care by Compassion First’s care team.

Papua is an important extension of Compassion First’s work. It is not the end point but the beginning of the next step. During the third week of April, Compassion First will be sending a team to Jayapura, Papua to meet with law enforcement officials and church leaders. During this trip, the groundwork will be laid for a future training conference on the model of the work in North Sulawesi. The goal will be to equip officials in Papua and thereby link the efforts of officials in North Sulawesi province to that in Papua. The result will assuredly be more children freed, traffickers held accountable, and fewer brought into sexual servitude.  


As with any child you love, she looks older than you think she should. Her graduation cap is offset by a jeweled garland. Her makeup is applied tastefully and evenly and her long, dark hair assembled with the effortless intricacy that only an experienced stylist can accomplish. Her smile is no longer dopey and innocent but sure and genuine. The high-heeled gait now confident and controlled. It’s then that you realize she’s not a child anymore. She’s grown and accomplished. She’s weathered adversity and become stronger, become a woman. And you realize that she’s never been more beautiful and that you’ve never been more proud. And it’s then that the tears pull at the corner of your eyes.

This is how we feel to announce that Marsya* (pronounced like “Marsha”), one of our young residents at Sarah’s House, graduated from our program last year. This is a massive accomplishment and the culmination of so much hard work and heartache. She is doing exceptionally well, living with family and preparing for a promising career as a stylist with hopes of opening her own bridal shop.

We are extremely proud of Marsya and expect great things from her future look forward to celebrating her ongoing successes with you. And of course, we are very grateful to you for helping make all this possible.


*For the safety of the residents in our program, names are changed to protect the identy of the girls we serve.


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Organization Information

Compassion First

Location: Beaverton, OR - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Kallen Hawkinson
Beaverton, Oregon United States
$47,790 raised of $140,000 goal
516 donations
$92,210 to go
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