With just a few days before Christmas and a week until the New Year, I wanted to update you on our 100 / 100 Campaign! To date, giving during this time is at $67,000 – which means we are less than $33,000 from our goal of $100,000 within 100 days! I want to thank everyone who has supported our work with victims of trafficking and our efforts to continue building them homes and calling them family during the New Year.
The money you have given helps meet our monthly budget of $35,000, which covers the operation of the two residential homes in Northern California and in Tanzania, Africa as well as the case management of residents who have transitioned from Courage House. Your giving during this campaign has covered our expenses through the end of the year AND has allowed us to finish construction at our property in Tanzania! These expenses allow us to provide therapy, tuition, rent, food, housing, clothes, daycare, mentoring and so much more to those who have been sold and exploited for sex. Thank you!!
Without you, these young ones would have little healthy options for their future. Courage Worldwide is 100% dependent upon your generous donations which allow us to continue the dream God placed on our hearts ten years ago. Ten years ago … all we had was a broken heart for victims who had been trafficked for sex and a belief that God called us to build them homes and call them family. By faith, we set out to do just that, with no confidence in our ability to make it happen, but an incredible belief that God was able.
Because of that belief, in 2011, we opened two Courage Houses, a place where over 100 young ladies have called home; a place where over 100 young women have found safety, love and healing. It has been our honor to believe in them until they can believe in themselves.
Believe. I have spent a lot of time reflecting upon that word this Christmas season. It is an important word around Courage Worldwide.
10 years ago, I met a 15 year old girl who had just been recovered by law enforcement from a sting operation targeting sex traffickers. I was so scared to meet her because all I had to offer was a dream of a home for girls who had experienced what she had. I asked her if she would come to such a place – she said yes. I asked her what would need to happen at this home and she said
“All I really need is someone to believe in me.”
Believe in me. Believe in me. Who would I be if you believed in me?
Her words sank deep into my spirit and I felt the gentle whisper of God asking me
“who would she be if she believed in me.”
These words caused me to think about my own life and journey … about my own belief in God. Then it occurred to me. My belief in God led me to her. My belief in God moved me to action for her!
As I reflected on this word belief, and specifically my belief in God I realized I have taken risks and tried things I would have never attempted on my own – things I would have never dared to contemplate if I did not believe in God and the power of His spirit. Without that belief, I would have settled for mediocrity, comfort, security and sure things. Without that belief, I would have never believed I could make a difference in this world.
Instead, my belief in God has caused me to take leaps of faith that others have called crazy, impulsive and foolish. That’s okay, as I have never believed in myself or my ability. My belief is that God is able to more than I have ever dared to ask or imagine. My belief is in God and his desire for each and every human being on this planet to know He created them, before time began, on purpose for a purpose. Daily, I have tried to live my life with courage to be who God created me to be – absolutely refusing to settle for anything less and encourage everyone who crosses my path to do the same. By simply doing that, I have experienced what it means to be fully alive. By doing that, I have experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. I have experienced praise and criticism, love and hate, a broken heart and moments of pure bliss. By simply trying to be who God created me to be, and encouraging others to do the same, I am fulfilling my unique destiny on this planet.
That destiny and purpose led me to vulnerable young girls and women who have been exploited in ways I have trouble comprehending — young women who have experienced what we label as trauma but is more rightly described as evil. Young women who desperately want to erase the past and embrace the future but often don’t even have a clue how to start or even what that looks like. Young women who long for a safe home and a loving family.
God didn’t call me to fight sex trafficking … He called me to equip, encourage and empower individuals to discover their true identity and fulfill their unique destiny. He called me to build them homes and call them family. During the past 10 years, God deposited in my heart a mother’s love for these young ones as well as a mother’s righteous anger for all that has been done to them. I also feel a mother’s desperate desire for them to be and do all they were created to.
Belief – my belief in God – caused all of this.
In the Christmas story recorded in the book of Luke, it is said “blessed is she who believed that what the Lord said to her will be accomplished” (Luke 1:45).
I too have been blessed because I believed.
We at Courage Worldwide invite you to believe with us and to support our mission to bring more daughters home – to love them and believe in them until they believe in themselves!
Courage Worldwide, Inc.