On more than one occasion in the last year, I have found myself sitting against the wall in one of our aftercare centers just watching it all: the life and vibrance, the flow of the activity and work, the singing and dancing, and the preparations for whatever was next. I tried to take it all in, realizing that it is the actual activity of lives being restored. I would be reminded that just ten years ago, none of these centers existed. Further, there was not anything like it in Indonesia. From each of those moments, I came away feeling overwhelmingly humbled to have any part in it. I am humbled by our staff, by our supporters, and by those who we serve with everything we have to give.
Each year, it is our sincere privilege to compile this report for you; it is reflective of both our progress and our challenges. We will always have both; it is the nature of our field and we see both as a gift. 2019 was a year of expansion as we were finally able to open the doors to Grace House, a fully functional aftercare facility in East Java. We also made progress towards the opening of a new transitional home in North Sulawesi. While we are grateful for all of the promise that these new facilities hold, it is the progress in the lives of the individuals we serve that we celebrate – progress measured in technical terms like stabilizations, phase advancements, and educational progress. While these measurements are meaningful and valuable, they amount to one thing that holds all of the value at once: a girl walking toward her own dreams and a future of her own choosing.
Compassion First was once just a dream for a handful of people who believed in it. We are grateful for every single person who has joined us along the way. While we have found ourselves in a justice field, we are still convinced that, for us, it is a mercy field; and it is the love of God that compels us (2 Cor. 5:14). As we continue forward, we grip tightly to a love that never fails (1 Cor. 13:8) – a love for God, a love for each other, and a love for those we serve.