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A Letter from the President

Mike Mercer, President/CEO of Compassion First

It is an honor to compile this report for you every year. A year-over-year examination would demonstrate growth and maturity, at least on some level, for every year that we’ve been privileged to produce one.

This year is no exception.

While we’re realistic that the growth for our new operations is yet under the surface, all we need to do is look at the busting-at-the-seems of ongoing work to know that things will soon be very visible in the newer places.

 

Read President’s Letter

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Operational Update

Valerie Bellamy, Director of Operations

2018 was a building year and in some ways a year of re-building; we did a lot of life together. The brand new. The difficult. The disappointments. The triumphs. Hope and heartache travel together, it seems.

We marvel at where we’ve been and at the collection of steps that brought us here. And we bubble with anticipation for what’s ahead. It’s the holy tension we all get to walk.

Thank you for your tenacious commitment to lighting hard to reach pitch-black places. You look a lot like Jesus to us.

Jesus.

Today we celebrate the attentive guidance, the lavish provision, and the tireless care of the initiator and sustainer of this work.

He has not let us down. Not even once.

And he never will,

 

 

Valerie Bellamy
Director of Operations

Cemetery Outreach

In East Java, we experienced a shakeup in staffing and fresh perspective into the resilience of the cemetery community we serve and our work there.

The two Compassion First community centers served 50 women and children. In addition, roughly 66 families were served through our family camps and special events. We continued to provide tutoring and educational assistance for 37 sponsored children including eight with special needs.

Grace House

In 2018 we found a home and filled it with family. Grace House, our first rehabilitation shelter in East Java for children rescued from the commercial sex trade, came to life. Eleven staff were hired and trained. A host of housemoms, teachers, counselors, case coordinators, security guards, finance and program staff busied in preparation for our first resident. While at the same time, covering shifts at Sarah’s House and serving cemetery community centers when needed. 

 

Welcome to Grace House!

Sarah’s House


In 2018 Sarah’s House filled to capacity. Life at the shelter bustled with classes, outings, outreaches, celebrations, challenges and all the day-to-day routines of any home. We celebrated two girls starting college and one girl graduating from our residential program.

2018 Story Highlights

  • A deadly tsunami turned solid ground into liquid and forced its way into Palu, a city in Central Sulawesi, swallowing up whole villages and stealing thousands of lives. Although the earthquake did not directly affect our locations of operation, it was not far away, and the devastating effects have been realized. Some of our staff lost family members to the tragedy, other staff rushed in with exploitation prevention efforts, trauma support and hundreds of water filters to devastated communities.

    Without safe drinking water, the health disaster would become much more acute. In partnership with our friends at World Hope and Katadyn Water Filters, a plan was made to bring portable water filters into Palu. Our staff delivered 250 filters to families and provided instruction on their use in early 2019.

    Our staff led 15 anti-trafficking awareness and prevention training sessions in affected communities. Around 465 leaders, parents, and children learned about the high-risk of trafficking and how to keep their families safe from predators wishing to exploit those left vulnerable by the tragedy.

     

  • The entrepreneurship program relaunched the cooperative business, Yellow Flower Collection, featuring handmade skirts, journals, and wallets created by 5 women and 10 teens.

    The women of Yellow Flower Collection celebrated their largest order to date. 139Made, a US-based online store, ordered a selection of 60 handmade batik skirts. To the delight of the Yellow Flower women, the skirts were featured on 139Made’s social media and website with images from a professional photoshoot.

  • Sarry began her first year of Bible college as a theology major and could not get enough of Hebrew and Greek! She participated in a ministry tour with her college, visiting and preaching in surrounding villages, and loved her experience. Sarry continues to stay at Sarah’s House two weekends a month to mentor the younger girls and help them with homework, participate in outreach activities, and create new music. She continues to meet with her counselor to walk through the many challenges that college life brings. She is a positive role model for all of the girls at Sarah’s House. We are anticipating her graduation from Sarah’s House at the end of 2019. We are so proud of Sarry and love walking this journey with her.

2018 Financials

CONTRIBUTIONS

 

EXPENSES

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