Courage House Tanzania: Open Gates

Courage House Tanzania: Open Gates
February 29, 2012 admin

The Courage House is about an hour and a half from Moshi, on a good day. Someone recently asked me how many times I’ve driven that road and my brain hurt just trying to calculate. It’s like asking how many conversations you’ve had with a good friend. There’s evidence without concrete details. I know the road as well as I know any friend. Every bump, every gate, every bush with kids seeking refuge from the heat. I know where the sand is too deep, and which parts are going to be trouble when the rains come. While most people say it’s like a video game come to life, I find the drive to the Courage House has become my best thinking and praying time. It’s just routine. Until this past week…

I left the Courage House early in the morning, with two of the girls in tow. We were headed to town so they could travel further on to a funeral. Almost immediately upon exiting our village, my brakes went out. I asked Stella to say a prayer that God would go before us, and we continued on, very slowly. I knew the best places to downshift and which hills would help to slow us down. The dirt road was no big deal; we just stayed in second gear and coasted through.

When we got to the first gate, panic struck and I silently begged the Lord to clear the way. It was crazy. I generally stop at each of the five gates, talk to the guards, and they let us through. Usually nobody is ever in a hurry to let me through. So, we get closer to the gate, and I’m freaking out, ready to just bust through the line and pay for damages later. But no, the guy sees me, and lifts the barrier with a wave and a smile.

God, how’d you do that so beautifully?!

Ah, four more gates and same scenario. Gates open with no stop. I couldn’t believe it.

An hour later and we’re through the gates and on the paved road. The paved road of many speed bumps. The kind you have to slow down for, even in turbo. Thankfully, me and this old road, we’re friends. I managed to anticipate each bump and not pop a tire. If you’re keeping track, we’ve now clocked about an hour and a half of no brakes and lots of prayers. Amazing! We go through the final speed bump and head full speed ahead into town. The town is a maze of round-abouts, public transport, motorcycles, bicycles, wheelbarrows, random goats and small school children. I barely survive without incident in the best of circumstances, but now we were working with no brakes.

I still can’t quite say how it happened, but I managed to turn across traffic lanes, navigate around all pedestrians and arrive at our destination. I downshifted and stopped accelerating a good five minutes before, then yanked my emergency brake and crossed my fingers. We were there. But we weren’t inside the lines. So I tried to put it back in neutral and inch forward. Nothing would move. Everything was all locked up. I had to call the mechanic to come and move the vehicle, because nothing would work. We got out of the car and headed toward the bus stand for the girls to continue on the journey. One of the girls who now call Courage House Tanzania home grinned at me and said God had carried us to Moshi. The miracle is that we made it, but the beauty is in her grin. She’s always believed God existed, but never believed she was good enough for Him to love. After coming to Courage House, she decided to begin a relationship with Jesus, and it’s been so fun to watch her faith grow. She believes that He will do what He says. He says ask and you shall receive, so she asks. This past week, she received just what she asked for, a miracle.

-Lauren Edens