(If you were here the past two weeks, skip a few paragraphs to those squiggly things and meet my friend. Otherwise, read on.)
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens. I grew up singing those words along with Julie Andrews but now I have my own list of favorite things.
To those who read my words and follow my blog, I’m going to do something different and new. The next few weeks, are going to be hectic for me and I am going to be working on some new writing projects so I’m going to step away from blogging for a few weeks. During my time away, I’m going to share a few of my favorite things with you – a writer, a podcaster, a ministry leader, a fitness coach and a few ministries I participate in and love.
I will be sharing my favorite people behind my favorite things because I think you’ll love them as much as I do. These are people I actually know. Some have been in my home and some haven’t – yet. But I do life with them. The convenience of technology allows us to cook together, unload the dishwasher, iron, coif our hair, drive and drink coffee – among other mundane things.
So, grab a mug of java or your favorite tea, get comfy and join me as I share with you the women I laugh with – and at times, cry with, sweat with and serve with.
This week, I am exited to introduce you to yet another amazing woman behind an amazing ministry. True to her nature – and I think what immediately attracted me to her, when I asked for her information she wanted me to post, it was all about Catalyst Ministries, not about herself. But I think you will enjoy getting to know the heart behind the ministry which resides in Julie Ryan so I have taken the liberty to share her story.
In the previous “Favorite Things” posts, I mentioned meeting LISA and LAURA at a Christian communicators conference. This past year, they didn’t attend so I had to make new friends. That was an easy task the minute I sat across the table from Julie Ryan. We both felt an instant connection and committed to continue our relationship.
The plot thickens. One morning I was reading my friend (and hopefully yours now too) Laura’s post and she was posting about Julie’s ministry. Laura had no idea I knew Julie. I connected the two of them and am excited see how God will use their relationship in the future.
Meet Julie Ryan – and discover the importance of Catalyst Ministries.
Julie Ryan has had a passion for ministry to women and children for over three decades. In the 1980s, she began “Young Mom’s Support Groups” to bring young mothers together in mutual support and encouragement, helping each other in the important task of raising their small children
While serving in women’s ministries, Julie became painfully aware of the burden on single moms. So with the Lord’s leading, she designed an event where single mothers and their children could be ministered to in a myriad of ways by volunteers from the church and the community. This ‘Single Mom’s Morning Out,’ in partnership with local media outlets, has grown significantly as several other churches throughout the region host Single Moms’ Morning Out in their own communities.
As the years went on, Julie found that her passion for ministry extended beyond the local area, and so she joined an international ministry, which supports indigenous foreign workers as they free women from oppression in some of the most difficult areas around the world.
Bringing her years of experiences and passions together, Julie recognized that a need existed to combine local and global ministries, and after much prayer and seeking God’s direction, in December of 2014 Catalyst Ministries was born.
Catalyst Ministries exists to rescue and reach women who are survivors of human trafficking, extreme abuse and exploitation through the power of Jesus Christ
Catalyst Ministries is a 501c3 nonprofit ministry and organization that believes that every woman should have the opportunity to see her true worth and beauty in Jesus Christ. We focus on 3 main areas:
- Raising Awareness
- Rescue of women with a background of abuse and sex trafficking.
- Restoration of survivors through holistic services at Catalyst Farms, our long term restorative home and residential program.
At Catalyst, we believe every woman has worth and beauty. We also see the pain and struggles that many women face in our own backyard. In 2013, a National Survey reported that only 33 residential programs for survivors of sex trafficking existed across the entire United States. Only 2 existed in IL.
Compare that with the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of victims of sex trafficking across the U.S. Catalyst believes in new beginnings. That’s why we chose to open Catalyst Farms in 2016. Check out the Farms HERE.
Our two-year program is available for women who are 18 and over and includes a multi-facetted approach to the challenges that are common for women who have experienced extreme abuse and exploitation. We seek to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves” through the work of Catalyst Ministries. We invite those with a heart for these women to reach out to us to partner in this essential work. Contact us at catalystministries.net
Check out and follow Catalyst Ministries on Facebook HERE