Friday Night Feature: Treasures Ministries

Welcome to the first installment of Friday Night Feature. It is our intention to use this monthly series as a platform to raise awareness for concerns facing our world today and spotlight organizations working to make a difference.

Anyone who has ever spent any time with us knows we are passionate about challenging systems that oppress or exploit, and we desire to participate in efforts that make this world a more just, fair and equitable place for all people. We do so because we are committed to God’s numerous commands to care for “the poor, orphaned and widow” and because we believe God’s heart is burdened to see justice and mercy granted to the exploited and oppressed.

Our passion for justice and our love for the brokenhearted is rooted in Isaiah 61:1-4:

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,

to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.

They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.

They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.

Tonight we feature the work of Treasures Ministries, an organization working to rescue adolescents and women from a life in the sex trade, primarily those involved in prostitution and strip clubs.

Taken directly from the I Am A Treasure website, did you know…

• More women are employed by the sex industry than any other time in history

• Between 66-90% of women in the sex industry were sexually abused as children

• Compared to the general population, women in the sex industry experience higher rates of… Substance Abuse Issues, Rape and Violent Assault, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Domestic Violence, Depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

• The women in this industry face a myriad of issues that impact their physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. They are a largely unreached population and many feel desperately isolated and alone

• Treasures is the first and only organization of its kind in the Los Angeles area

Treasures Ministries was founded by a courageous young woman named Harmony Dust. Herself a victim of sexual abuse at a young age, Harmony’s life was full of instability, abuse and fear. After a series of traumatic events, as a teenager Harmony ended up involved in prostitution and strip clubs, where the exploitation and abuse continued. Broken, desperate, and alone, the grace and love of God found Harmony through the actions of a local church that made an intentional effort to reach out to her and other girls in the strip clubs. It was through the kindness and love of the church ladies who regularly visited Harmony at the strip club where she worked that she found the strength and courage to leave prostitution, and ultimately find healing through God’s love. Through Treasures Ministries, Harmony works to rescue others from strip clubs and prostitution, reaching out to them through the same acts of love and kindness shown her.

A telling of Harmony’s incredible story can be found in the book, Escaping the Devil’s Bedroom, by Dawn Herzog Jewell (available at Amazon.com).

To learn more about Harmony and the work of Treasures Ministries visit www.iamatreasure.com.

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One comment

  1. An update on how the life of one woman, “Angela,” is being changed through Treasures Ministry (taken from their May email appeal):

    Forced into Sex Work

    Women will walk in freedom because YOU care.

    Angela (not her real name) never thought she’d end up in the sex industry. But at age fourteen, she was homeless. She was kicked out of her last foster home, left with nothing but pajamas and slippers.

    Preying on her vulnerability, a man in a fancy car told her that “a girl like her” shouldn’t be out on the streets. He promised to care for her and help her find a job. In the wee hours of the night, he delivered her to an underground brothel where other under-age girls “serviced” men who showed up drunk after the local strip clubs closed at 2AM.

    What happened to Angela that night scarred her deeply.
    She was forced into sex work and continued working in the industry for ten long years.

    In her adult years, she appeared like any other girl in the strip club. Naively, onlookers assumed she was there by “choice.” People believed the story that was that she was a struggling college student. In fact, she was a victim of domestic sex trafficking.

    Then Angela escaped. But it was the only life she’d known — her only means for survival . . . or so she thought!

    Angela’s journey did not end the day she walked out of the strip club. It only began. Like many women we serve, Angela must now learn to walk in freedom. She must learn to resist the human urge to return to the familiar—even when the familiar means CAPTIVITY.

    Today, Angela works hard to rebuild her broken life. She faithfully participates in Treasure’s one-on-one weekly care team sessions. And she seeks stable employment, is growing in her faith, and bravely allows God to heal the deep psychological and emotional wounds she sustained.

    Along with so many others, Angela is on the path to recovery. And because you care, TREASURES EQUIPS HER FOR THE JOURNEY. Your faithful and generous partnership means freedom from the chains of bondage is offered, with God’s love.

    Thank you for supporting women just like Angela. Your best gift today goes to immediate use!

    Sincerely,

    Harmony Dust, Founder

    P.S. Your gift of $50, $100, or even $250 or more will go far in helping women just like Angela.

    Donations can me made at http://www.IAmATreasure.com/donations or

    Mailed to: Treasures PO # 2013 North Hills, CA 91343

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