Cooking Class!


Ruth’s House (our aftercare center in Indonesia) is not simply a place for our clients to stay and recover from their trauma; it’s also an opportunity to prepare our clients for life outside of Ruth’s House, where they have to find a job, housing, and survive on their own–sometimes without their family around. This is why we provide education and opportunities to pursue vocational schools of their choosing. The focus of this post, however, is highlighting a program we provide that emphasizes valuable, practical life skills that our clients need when they exit. Over the next few months, we’re getting busy in the kitchen!

The cooking program is fairly straightforward, but something we consider immensely valuable to our client’s progress toward’s exit. Once a week, our clients participate in preparing lunch for the day with help and instruction from the housemothers, and record the ingredients and cooking directions in their own recipe books that they can take with them upon exiting Ruth’s House. The goal is correctly training them in a skill that is a much cheaper (and healthier) alternative to eating out. IMG_1263

For our most recent class, they cooked a fairly standard Indonesian meal of rice, a vegetable dish, fried fish, and a fried corn and vegetable item that was particularly delicious (if that past sentence was any indication, Indonesians like their food fried!). Under the watchful eye of the housemother, they washed, chopped, peeled, and ground all the necessary ingredients for the sauces and dishes. The end result? A tasty and filling lunch for the entire house!  It’s safe to say that our clients are well on their way to being self-sustaining chefs once they leave!

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Announcement: Compassion First Music Ambassador Sherry Muchira

142662761-1We are very proud to introduce our first Compassion First Music Ambassador – Sherry Muchira. Download and enjoy her stunningly beautiful new album: All Things New. A generous portion of the sales are being donated to Compassion First.

Ruth’s House Gives Back

Packing up 4 vehicles and venturing into the mountains, the girls at Ruth’s House prepared themselves to spend a day serving children who live in local orphanages. Food, songs and games made for a day filled with laughter and joy in the midst of challenging circumstances; the outreach took place a week before Christmas and gave the residents an opportunity to give what they have received in their time at Ruth’s House: love and care. For a survivor, the process of learning that she has something of great value to contribute to her society is invaluable—one of the most precious steps of rehabilitation and long-term success. This monthly outreach is a tangible expression of deep, inner healing and hope for the future. Thank you for your prayers and giving that made Christmas a special season within Ruth’s House and extended further to touch a community. Image

Celebrating Christmas at Ruth’s House

Christmas cheer filled the month of December here at Ruth’s House. Each day, the girls in Compassion First’s care enjoyed festive activities and crafts, including making bracelets, painting posters, and decorating pretzel houses. Of course, it also wouldn’t be Christmas without baked goods. While some of our staff baked Christmas cookies, Ruth’s House residents embraced their cooking skills by making chocolate pancakes. Let’s just say everyone ate their share of sugar!

All these activities led to our annual Christmas party, filled with even more baked goods and hours of entertainment. We started our party by singing Christmas carols, followed by a humorous skit led by some of our staff. Residents at Ruth’s House then performed a couple dances that started the competition for the best-dressed Christmas outfit. The girls in our care judged participants as they danced their way down an imagined runway. Later, the evening came to a close with a gift exchange, and we took photographs in front of our Christmas tree.

Christmas day arrived with much excitement. The girls in our care attended a morning church service, followed by an early dinner at one of their favorite places. During this time, a few of our staff members stayed behind to hide gifts around Ruth’s House.

When residents came home Christmas evening, they were surprised to find gifts under the tree! They also discovered some gifts had been hidden around the house. With the staff’s help, the girls in our care searched for and found the hidden gifts. Then they opened their presents together, and their faces filled with joy. After a busy Christmas day, it was a peaceful end together with the residents we are honored to care for.

The Road to Reintegration

Since Compassion First recognizes loved ones as a main source of influence and support for trafficking victims, CF staff members aim to work alongside resident’s families in preparation for their reintegration upon completing treatments at Ruth’s House in North Sulawesi, Indonesia.

“The main goal is that the family will be ready,” says CF social worker Chika, “If they are not, there is a good chance the girl may be trafficked again.”

Ensuring that a family is ready to successfully aid their daughter in reintegration from CF’s aftercare program into their original communities is oftentimes a lengthy process that begins the moment a survivor is put into CF’s care.

In the case of a new resident, the initial days are filled with family assessments and discussions concerning psychological education. During this time, families are asked to understand their daughter’s trauma without judgment and keep an open mind as social workers seek out strengths and weakness within the home.

“There are two things we find,” says Chika, “trafficking victims’ families usually have bad communication and struggle with income.”

In situations where communication is an issue, social workers have found that family members are reluctant to be open with each other, due to a lack of trust. This often encourages the girls to look elsewhere for an outlet to express frustrations, putting them in potentially harmful situations.

Trafficking survivors are also made vulnerable through their family’s economic standing.  When parents are uneducated, unequipped and unemployed, this poses serious danger as many resort to selling their children or asking the girls to help provide for the family. Without prior skills training, experience or degrees, this leaves the girls with significantly limited options when it comes to finding money.

With many new, matured programs now set in place, CF has had the opportunity to work with residents’ families in learning how to enhance communication and help equip them with the tools necessary to obtain a steady income.

As of lately, CF workers have aided one current resident’s parents in obtaining an Indonesian identification card that can now identify the family as Indonesian residents, allowing them to receive regular financial support for the first time since the father fell ill and was forced to stop working over a year ago.

Compassion First social workers have also been proactive in working with the local social department, where survivors’ parents are able to seek out job opportunities or obtain the skills necessary for a job elsewhere.

“We want to help in providing tools for them to survive,” says Chika, “If we do this, it becomes a long-term solution.”

While survivors may find the love and support of a family within the walls of Ruth’s House or in the prayers of our everyday advocates, successful reintegration is near impossible without cooperation from their families at home.

“It is a privilege to work with families that respond to us,” says Chika, “and when they do, we can see the effects reflected in the girl’s success.”

As we cherish every moment spent with girls in our care, we hope, we pray and we long that they may soon return to a stable home of their own- a home filled with a family that is equipped and ready to support them on their ever certain journey to success.

Residents Find Success in Traditional Schooling System

This season, three Compassion First (CF) residents are joining the traditional school system for the first time since their rescue from sex-trafficking and starting their recovery at CF’s Ruth’s House in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Ghizya, one of our youngest residents, … Continue reading

The Ending of a School Year Marks the Start of Something New

The closing of the school year brings with it a season of new beginnings for the young residents here at Ruth’s House in Indonesia.

The completion of this year’s Packet Testing, a final exam requirement for students looking to graduate into their next level of schooling, marked a significant milestone for each girl in our care. This is especially true for three of our residents, who will soon take steps into potentially furthering their education through traditional schooling. Two young women have now graduated from high school and the other resident completed junior high.

We consider this to be a huge accomplishment. But it leaves the question: What’s next?

As we realize each resident is distinct in her talents and abilities, we work to encourage and support our residents in the direction of their choosing.

These residents were each given a personal program meeting in which they discussed potential career interests and were provided a list of local universities and vocational schools. Then they chose institutions, providing our itinerary for this upcoming week.

One of these residents have long expressed interest in Nursing. She has already become active in pursuing her passion through visits to a local cancer ward. Her experience there has only heightening her excitement. This week, she will make her first visit to a local university that could provide the next step to making her dream a reality.

Another resident, who expressed interest in the world of business, will also set out this week to tour various vocational schools in the area. If she chooses, she can receive the basic computer training that would equip her with the office skills necessary to obtain her first job.

Our third resident, in educational transition, will be visiting potential senior high schools to decide where to attend next school year.

This season of exploration is an exciting time for our residents, and we ask for your prayers this week as important decisions are made.

  • Pray for wisdom for the girls in our care.
  • Pray that these Ruth’s House residents may be given a sense of direction.
  • Pray that not only may their educational needs be met, but also that they would be surrounded by people who love and encourage them wherever they may go.
  • Most of all, pray that they be motivated and as excited about their futures as we are … for this is just the beginning.

 “ ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ ” – Jeremiah 29:11