Courage House – Tanzania
“The Lord is faithful in all his words and kind in all his works.” Psalm 145:13
Things are coming along at Courage House Tanzania. We recently bought chickens! One rooster and nine hens have officially taken up residence in the “Kuku Kabana.” A team named it “Kuku Kabana” in honor of the song “Coco Cabana.” Kuku is Swahili for chicken, and kabana is similar to the Swahili word kabati, which is something like a cupboard. Of course all the people in the village assumed we got confused and misspelled kabati. So, I have probably sung “Coco Cabana” at least 500 times in my efforts to vindicate our intelligence and creativity in chicken coop naming.
Even though we had a good harvest of bell peppers and tomatoes, our corn crop really struggled this year. The village completely missed rain season, and water has been in short supply. Currently, we are experimenting with a new way of gardening that will hopefully require less water. All the ground at the Courage House is sand so it sucks up water before the day is over. We decided to try digging the usual trenches, then putting plastic down, then replacing the sand on top of the plastic, and planting again. We’re hoping that the plastic will keep the water from being soaked up so quickly, and mulch on the top will keep it from evaporating. Keep your fingers crossed that God blesses our new “experiment.”
In our efforts to make Courage House as sustainable as possible, I have learned more random skills than I ever imagined. If I were in Girl Scouts, by now I would proudly be sporting some sweet new patches on my sash: Solar power and rewiring power outlets– check. Gardening without water, but lots and lots of prayer–check. All things related to chickens for meat and chickens for eggs…almost a check, as soon as I figure out whether the plural for chicken is chicken or chickens. (Maybe I should lose my English patch). Next on the list is installing a long drop and using the “product” as compost for the garden. Anyone want to join me on that project? It puts a new meaning to the phrase “getting your hands dirty!”
The past few months have been quite productive. After the summer influx of visitors and volunteers died down, we finalized our staff and had a week long staff training to make sure everyone was on the same page and excited about helping these precious girls. Then in September we hosted Dr. Becca Johnson for a week long training in trauma and a therapy plan called TF-CBT, specifically adapted for our girls. I think our staff feels much more confident and equipped in their positions now that they understand more about trauma and how to help. It was like a dream come true to see a whole room of people take ownership in their responsibility to help these girls. God is faithful.
For the past few months, we have been doing interviews with girls from different areas near Moshi. Please pray that God would give us discernment as we start to make decisions on who will be the first girls to live at the Courage House. Also pray that we can find help for the girls who aren’t ready to come to the Courage House, but have also endured difficult lives of abuse. In The Sermon on the Mount, Jesus talked about the difference in building your house on sand and building your house on the rock. While the Courage House is actually located in a very sandy region, we have been sure to build on The Rock. Sure it took a lot more time than we expected, but we tried to always seek the Lord and follow his direction throughout this entire process. Everyone has been diligent in prayer and preparation, and it gives me great assurance to know that whatever “storms” might come, once girls are home living at the Courage House, we will stand strong on The Rock. I know this is a ministry that will endure until every girl in Tanzania knows the healing and freedom that God has called Courage To Be You to share.