Courage House Tanzania –
Courage House Tanzania is up and running and it’s been incredible to watch God’s dream unfold. Even in such a short time, the transformation in the girls has been a beautiful thing to behold. Their faces and hearts have softened, their laughs have surfaced, and the spark of hope is growing brighter and brighter. Since coming to Courage House Tanzania, they have all decided to begin a relationship with Jesus, and it’s been a privilege to watch God honor their faith and surprise them with His love.
One of our girls grew up Muslim, so this was her first year to celebrate Christmas. I loved being with her as she heard the story of a God that humbled himself to come to the Earth as a baby so that she might know she was loved and valued. All three girls are learning about prayer and faith, and God is answering their prayers in wonderful ways. I’m learning the most basic lessons all over again, and I’m so thankful.
This Christmas I was reminded of the simplicity of faith. The girls wanted something nice to wear to church on Christmas Sunday, but since they don’t have any money and the nearest market is a couple hours away, it all seemed quite impossible. They didn’t ask me; they didn’t whine about it. They just earnestly prayed that God would provide. Back in October someone donated a few beautiful dresses, so I wrapped them up and happily handed them over on Christmas morning. As they opened their gifts and discovered their answered prayers, they let out the most amazing African joy cry I’ve ever heard. It was easily one of my favorite Christmas moments in my whole life.
We’ve pretty much adjusted to living together out in the village, and as soon as things settle down from the holidays, we hope to continue adding girls until we’re up to nine. I continue to hear stories from pastors about girls in their areas, and it is sometimes hard to not be overwhelmed with the difficult reality of many girls that grow up in Tanzania. Please pray that God gives us discernment as we decide which girls are the best fit at the Courage House.
As you can imagine, increasing to nine girls, and dreaming of adding up to 27 girls, significantly increases the budget for the Courage House Tanzania. We are still working to create sustainable systems, including our chicken project, garden, and solar electricity. Any financial donations or benefit events would also be great appreciated!
As 2011 closes, I reflect with great thankfulness all that God has done in and through each of you to help these precious girls of Tanzania. I know 2012 will be full of wonderful stories of transformation and restoration. There is a proverb I continue to think about as I watch the girls at the Courage House come alive: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.” I know 2012 will be a year of turning deferred hope into dreams coming true, and I’m excited to watch trees of life spring up at the Courage House!