“They can’t find anyone to adopt me.” The words not spoken – unwanted, unloved and unsafe – echoed in my heart as I listened to a 17 year old trafficking victim describe her situation to me. “I know no one wants me because of how I act – but I am trying to do better.”
Trauma. It was a word I was unfamiliar with ten years ago. When I heard the words “we live in a world where children are sold for sex”, I responded the only way I knew how – with my fierce momma’s heart and my childlike faith in God. That day I believe God whispered to me “build them a home and call them family”. It sounded so easy at the time.
I had no background in mental health nor did I have any understanding of trauma. I didn’t know what it is like to love someone who doesn’t love themselves; to love someone who had experienced such repeated abuse and neglect that it literally stops their mental and emotional development and causes them to act in ways where no one wants to adopt you. What I did know is that God had called me to these children and young women. As I cried out to Him in prayer, “Just do something!” He said to me … “why don’t you?” So I said yes, asking for two things – His guidance and His people, knowing I could never make a difference alone in the face of this evil that holds the vulnerable captive. After that prayer, vowed to build them homes and call them family, having no idea what I was signing up for.
Fast forward eleven (11) years, after that divine conversation. My prayers were answered in ways I dared not dream or imagine back then! Homes were built that have housed close to ninety (90) young victims of trafficking and eight (8) of their children in the US and Tanzania, Africa. Eighty plus young girls who have called Courage House home and the staff their family. Close to twenty (20) staff members who daily love and encourage the girls to be and do all God created them to. Donors who have generously provided the financial resources necessary to sustain their daily needs and future dreams. Volunteers who sacrifice their time and offer their gifts to pour much needed funding and additional staffing to our efforts. A Board of Directors, gifted in their own careers, who have provide wisdom and guidance to navigate the challenges of running a non-profit organization. Battles and breakthroughs that have caused us to remain on our knees in prayer for extended seasons seeking miracles to challenges that have seemed insurmountable. All of these efforts are to show these vulnerable young victims that there is a God in heaven who has adopted them into His family and into ours. All of these efforts are to demonstrate a Father’s love. All of this to show the least of these that they were created on purpose for a unique purpose. All of this to change the world; one individual at a time.
As we at Courage Worldwide have reflected on the past 10 years, there is a sense we are signing up for another 10 year commitment to continue the fight we started and to continue building homes and calling young victims of trafficking family. Between now and the end of the year there are 100 days. 15 weeks left in the year, and what non-profits call the end of the year giving, for us to share with you our successes, our challenges and our plans and ask you to join us in making a difference in the lives of the children and young adults we call family. Courage Worldwide is 100% funded by donors. We are dependent upon God but funded by individuals who have a heart for the work we do and the population we serve. We don’t have any grant or government funding at this time. Therefore, we are asking you to prayerfully consider partnering with us – or continuing to partner with us – to bring more girls home. During the next 100 days, you will hear personal testimonies from some of our girls who live at Courage House and what this home means to them. You will hear directly from staff and/or volunteers who have worked and served at “courage” for the past 10 years and what it has meant to be a part of an organization dedicated to seeing the rescue and restoration of those that many call hopeless. You will hear from our Board Members who help navigate the real challenges of non-profits dedicated to financial transparency and the mission God has given them. You will also hear from donors who God has called to support this ministry as well as volunteers who so generously give of their time and talents to support our efforts. During the next 100 days, we will articulate our past successes, our current challenges and our future dreams.
During the next 100 days, we are trying to raise $100,000.00 to cover the next 3 months operational costs for 3 homes and the move-in of our Tanzania home – which will open up 20 beds! During the next 100 days, we’ll detail those cost and provide ways you can make a tangible difference.
Thank you so much for your support in the past … we covet it for the future.
Founder, Courage Worldwide