A Letter from the President

Mike Mercer, President and Founder of Compassion First

In 2017, we experienced significant donor growth for the first time in several years. With our strong emphasis on the field, this kind of growth can be a sincere challenge. For the most part, our donor base grew out of partnerships with modest-sized churches in small town America. While it is not a surprise that we would find ourselves in a season of growth – we certainly believe that God is calling us to more – we are humbled and grateful. We see our relationships with those who support us as much a gift from God as the relationships with those in our care.


Read President’s Letter




The cemetery community that we support in East Java, Indonesia holds some of the most beautiful and precious women and children in the world. Some of them are victims of abuse, sexual exploitation, and trafficking. Some are disabled, orphaned, ill, or widowed. But all of their situations are informed by severe poverty. With little hope and limited options, women here turn to what they see as their only choice, selling themselves for sex. We rent two buildings near the community that are a safe haven for women and children. A full program serving entire families operates daily in the cemetery community.

47 Families Served

95 Children Served

6 Children with Disabilities Served

with case-managed care and individualized programs

4 Full-Time Staff and 20 Volunteers



Math, Chemistry, Physics, Character Building, Public Speaking, Music, Writing, Computer, Martial Arts, Cooking, and English.


Daycare/Preschool, Crafts, Dance, Reading, Counting/Math, and Writing.


Parenting, Crafts, Cooking, Sewing, and Business.

Ruth’s Collection

An economic empowerment story



A group of four mothers started Ruth’s Collection in 2017. After training with a local volunteer, they are sewing and selling beautiful handmade Indonesian batik clothing items online and in retail shops.

Minar is one of the first women who started sewing and selling beautiful skirts and bags. We are inspired by her strength, dedication to her children, and determination to build a better future for her family. She is leading the way for other mothers in her community.


Ten teenagers are contributing handmade journals and bags using scrap materials. They are building confidence and learning entrepreneurship skills. The mothers and teens keep 100% of their profits.

The beautiful handmade items of Ruth’s Collection

  • Batik Skirts and Pants

  • Journals and Notepads

  • Makeup Bags

  • Notepads and Wallets

Survivor Care

We partner with each survivor as she progresses through our comprehensive aftercare program.

Compassion First’s primary aftercare shelter is Sarah’s House; a loving and joy-filled home. Sarah’s House is an all-in-one, 24-hour, secure home where meaningful, trauma-informed therapeutic care from qualified Indonesian and expatriate staff is made available. CF is also an education provider; survivors not only have the opportunity to re-engage their education but are able to pursue graduation and progress to higher education opportunities.

Our second shelter, Grace House, is located in East Java. In 2017, we leased a facility, hired initial staff, and began the trauma-informed training required before opening. The first residents of Grace House will be welcomed in 2018.

A Sustainable Approach

In 2017, we continued to care for survivors, partner with law enforcement, and share resources and training with organizations across Indonesia. We are seeing major trafficking pipelines disrupted as a result of our multidisciplinary approach, which includes…

Wraparound Aftercare

Legal Support

Case-Managed Intervention and Care

Police Partnerships and Training

2017 Financials


Total: $1,501,500


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