Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Jenny Williamson, President/Chairman

Jenny Williamson is the Founder and CEO of Courage Worldwide, an international, non-profit organization that is building homes for children rescued out of sex trafficking around the world. Through personal passion and professional leadership, she works tirelessly to inform and transform communities around the world about the issue of child sex trafficking involving individuals as well as business and government leaders in building more Courage Houses – homes where these children can be rescued and restored. [Read More.]

Joel Midthun

Joel-Midthun-Headshot150x200Joel has been a involved in pastoring, church planting, and mission/non-profit work for over 30 years. After planting and pastoring Living Water Church in Elk Grove, CA for 18 years he and his wife Stephanie moved to Tanzania where they oversee Courage House Tanzania and work with a variety of leaders and organizations (church and government) to fight Human trafficking and do seminars and trainings on trafficking and emotional health. He loves teaching the Bible, playing music and leading worship, hiking and encouraging others in their God-given purpose. Joel grew up as a missionary kid in Madagascar and has a passion for seeing local churches of all denominations work together. He has been married to Stephanie for 30 years and they have three sons. Joel and Stephanie are publishing their first book, Battles and Breakthroughs in Setting Captives Free, to be released in the Fall of 2018. He holds a diploma from Lutheran Bible Institute in California, a B.A. in Business Administration from Hope International University, and an M.Div from Fuller Theological Seminary.

Dawn Clayton

Dawn-Clayton-Headshot150x200Dawn is the General manager of Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln, California. She is a 33-year veteran of the gaming/hospitality industry, ranging across Commercial, Cacinos, Riverboat and Native American operations. She brings multi-jurisdictional expertise developed through multiple senior-level executive positions to her current role.

Dawn has a proven track record of financial success reflected by an increase to both EBITDA and operating margins for the companies that she has managed. She is a dynamic leader known for her dedication to excellence, professionalism, mentoring and above all, her integrity and ethical responsibility.

She graduated from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey with a Bachelor of Arts degree, with a concentration in Psychology. Dawn serves as the 2015 Chair of the Rocklin Chamber of Commerce, consisting of 750 local businesses.

Nathan Hoff

Nathan Hoff’s vocations are beloved son of the Father, husband to Joy since August 10, 1996, father of four, and pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in San Pedro (Los Angeles), CA since 2005. Nathan earned his BA (Biblical Studies) from Trinity Lutheran College near Seattle, WA, and his M.Div. from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN. Nathan is a columnist for the San Pedro Today, an adjunct instructor at Canadian Lutheran Bible Institute, and a regular speaker at camps, conferences, and schools.

Nathan and Joy and their daughter were captivated by the work of Courage when they visited the home in Tanzania in 2017. They knew they were to be a part of acquiring a permanent “promised land” for the Tanzania home, but were surprised when the congregation they serve jumped on board and raised the whole amount to purchase the land and improvements in less than one week.

Nathan has a passion to see the kingdom of God come into every realm of creation and eradicate everything that is inconsistent (like sex trafficking) with the gracious reign of God.

Over the years Joy has given back to her community in a variety of ways, including serving on the Board of Directors for Susan G Komen For the Cure, Sacramento Valley Alumnae Association, the River Cats foundation, and the Boys and Girls Club of Sacramento.

Edna Simbi

Edna Simbi is a graduate student who completed her Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University with a specialization International Security Policy and International Organizations. She also did her undergraduate at Columbia University, graduating with Honors in Political Science. Ms. Simbi is also a wife, a mother of two, and an advocate for women’s rights. She strongly believes no girl should suffer from sex trafficking and encourages women and girls to discover their potential and self-value, to know that they are equal participants and agents of social change, and they deserve the opportunity to thrive, grow and contribute to the community’s betterment. She currently works for the Department of Social Services in CA, while also working closely with Non Profit organizations that work to empower women and educate the girl child.

Ms. Simbi knows all too well the stigma of cultural practices that marginalize women. She grew up in Kenya where wife inheritance and female genital mutilation is still practiced. Where education for girls is an afterthought and where days of school are missed because of a lack of accountability. Ms. Simbi decided to take a stand and not only speak against these atrocities but make a difference. She has also been recognized for her advocacy and was awarded a change maker award for her role in women empowerment in 2017.

Melissa Yocum

Melissa-Yocum-Headshot150x200Melissa graduated in 1986 from CSUS with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Melissa enjoyed a ten year career with Aetna Life & Casualty in commercial insurance claims. Following her insurance career, Melissa taught for six years at Bradshaw Christian School and served in women’s ministries for fifteen years, which also included the role of Women’s Director. Melissa is currently the Executive Director & Life Group Pastor of Creekside Christian Church of Elk Grove, California where she is privileged to watch God at work transforming lives!

Melissa passionately believes that the enemy has ripped us off… sold us a lie… especially in the area of sexuality. Her heart cries out for young girls, whose virtue has been stolen, and desires to do her small part to aid in their rescue and healing, thus her passion for the work of Courage Worldwide. Through the determined work of Courage Worldwide, she believes many of our girls will one day testify of God’s amazing redemption and restoration. Melissa seeks to passionately follow Christ and be used by Him to encourage and serve others – however God desires. Melissa wants each day to have divine purpose!

God blessed her with the love of her life, Jim, her husband of almost 30 years – whom she is still crazy about, and together they have two delightful adult children.

Tanzania Board

Joel Midthun, Chairman

Joel-Midthun-Headshot150x200Joel has been a involved in pastoring, church planting, and mission/non-profit work for over 30 years. After planting and pastoring Living Water Church in Elk Grove, CA for 18 years he and his wife Stephanie moved to Tanzania where they oversee Courage House Tanzania and work with a variety of leaders and organizations (church and government) to fight Human trafficking and do seminars and trainings on trafficking and emotional health. He loves teaching the Bible, playing music and leading worship, hiking and encouraging others in their God-given purpose. Joel grew up as a missionary kid in Madagascar and has a passion for seeing local churches of all denominations work together. He has been married to Stephanie for 30 years and they have three sons. Joel and Stephanie are publishing their first book, Battles and Breakthroughs in Setting Captives Free, to be released in the Fall of 2018. He holds a diploma from Lutheran Bible Institute in California, a B.A. in Business Administration from Hope International University, and an M.Div from Fuller Theological Seminary.

Reverend Mathayo S. Mtui

Pastor Mtui is currently the Youth and Student Director for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania – Northern Diocese and oversees more than 150,000 youth. He worked as an evangelist for over 10 years before becoming ordained as a pastor in 2006. Pastor Mtui has a passion for education and a heart for young people. He’s very passionate about educating the youth and young adults to fight human trafficking and has been teaching them about Courage Worldwide’s Not in My Country Campaign. Pastor Mtui studied evangelism and has a degree from Mwika Theological College and a B.A. in Education from Stephano Moshi College. He has been married 12 years and has 2 sons and one daughter. He loves music, poetry, humor, and raising chickens. He has also climbed Kilimanjaro twice!

Jill Omari

Joel-Midthun-Headshot150x200Jill Omari has been serving on the mission field in Tanzania for 16 years. Working administratively with at risk children projects in various areas, she has a passion for the lost and brokenhearted. She currently works in church planting with a passion for building community through hosting teams and volunteers. Jill’s years of experience and language studies strengthen her ability in cross cultural communications. Jill’s deepest passion and heart is to see a community in Christ journey life together as Christ would have desired – in love.

Reverend Elingaya Saria

Pastor Saria is the Assistant Bishop of the 6 million member Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania – Northern Diocese. He currently oversees 400,000 members in the ELCT and 400 pastors. He has pastored for over 38 years serving in many different capacities as well as training and ordaining pastors since 1983. He has a passion for mission work and Christian education. As well as finishing Bible college and Seminary in Tanzania, he received a teaching diploma from the Leadership Training Institute in Nairobi, Kenya with a major in Dysfunctional Families. He has a heart for children at risk and ran a children’s center for more than 20 years. Pastor Saria and his wife Joan have been married for over 40 years and have 5 children and 8 grandchildren. He enjoys music and cycling and climbed Kilimanjaro many times as a guide when he was a young man.

Rev. Elisha J.Mahene

Joel-Midthun-Headshot150x200Elisha Mahene is the Senior Pastor of Elshaddai Christian Centre – (T.A.G. Maili sita), the church under Tanzania Assemblies of God, and Assistant Overseer of T.A.G churches in Western Moshi Section. He is Administrative Advisor for Binti House project, Chairman of Pastors in Moshi Cluster for churches in partnership with Compassion International TZ Organization, Chairman for Parents at New life Foundation and member of Board of directors for Courage Worldwide in Tanzania.

Before these roles, Mahene worked as Maintenance and building officer at New Life foundation, Head teacher at Fountain of Hope Seminary, School Manager at Amani Vumwe school in Mwanga-Kilimanjaro and a National Vice Secretary in Human Resource Affairs committee of Compassion International TZ.

Mahene holds a Masters degree in Leadership and Theology from Missio Global University. He also holds a Diploma in Education.

Elisha Mahene was born in Arusha city on 8th July 1974, He is married to Mary Loya, together they are blessed with four children: one girl and three boys. He has passion for Restoring Hope to the Hopeless by using Biblical principles.

Mahene is also an author of several books, a radio presenter, a gospel singer, translator, interpreter, and youth counselor.

Advisory Board

Dr. Benjamin Keyes

Director for Internship and Training-Eastern States/Assoc. Professor/Director for Center for Trauma and Resiliency Studies- Divine Mercy University

Dr Benjamin Keyes’ specialties include dissociative disorders, domestic violence, child abuse, addictions, and mood and anxiety disorders.  Dr. Keyes received his Doctorate in Rehabilitation Counseling in 1985 from International College and his most recent in Counseling Psychology from the University of Sarasota in 2003.  He also has Doctoral Degrees in Theology, Divinity and Ministry.  Over the years Dr. Keyes has worked extensively with hospitalization programs, private practice, and has established himself as one of the leading program innovators for partial hospitalization programs. Dr Keyes has been in Private Practice for over thirty five years and has been a researcher in the area of Trauma and Dissociation for the last twenty years. Dr Keyes and his colleagues have received the Richard A. Kluft Research Award for work and research in the People’s Republic of China from the Journal of Trauma and Dissociation and the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation. His work dispelled the Cultural Model of Dissociation and has resulted in Dissociative Disorders being treated throughout mental health facilities in China. Dr Keyes has also received The Hope Award from Restoration Ministries for his work in establishing a trauma model for working with Trafficked Survivors and severe trauma. Currently Dr. Keyes is an Assoc. Professor, Director of Training and Internship and Director for the Center for Trauma and Resiliency Studies at Divine Mercy University in Arlington, VA..As head of the Center for Trauma and Resiliency Studies, Dr Keyes supervises the developing and training of graduate students in First Response and Chronic Trauma. The Trauma Team plans to deploy to Developing Nations over the next few years to teach and work with trauma survivors; the Team also plans to train and do research with the HEART(Healing Emotional/Affective Responses to Trauma) Model (Keyes, 2009,2010,2011) in treating trauma from a Spiritual perspective. The HEART Model is currently being researched for efficacy in Shelter Programs throughout the United States associated with Hope for Justice aimed at survivors of Human Trafficking.Dr Keyes is also the Executive Director of The Green Cross Academy for Traumatology which trains professionals and paraprofessionals in all aspects of Trauma and Trauma care of others, which leads to Certification in both Field and Clinical Traumatology.He is happily married to Kim, has two adult children Shawn and Jasmin, and three beautiful granddaughters Violet, Amber and Arella.