Not sure if you all speak Swahili, so let me just go ahead and translate this into English: “WELCOME HOME!”
That’s right folks, those three sets of hands you see around the cake are the first three girls to be welcomed home to Courage House Tanzania. I just want to scream it from the rooftops, or maybe the mountaintops. It’s the best news and just in time for Thanksgiving! I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the privilege to welcome these girls into freedom!
After lots of interviews and years of prayer, we got official approval from C2BU last week, and began plans to welcome the first three girls home. This Monday, Faith and I started the journey at 6am, and by sunset we had gathered three girls out of captivity, evil, and abuse, and brought them into a home full of love and peace. It was almost too much as I watched their guardians sign them away. I was nervous the whole time, waiting for something to go wrong. Waiting for someone to change their mind. Waiting for a girl to lose her courage and choose the road of familiarity over freedom. Well, everything went perfectly, just as planned. Truly God had gone before us and prepared the way.
Each time we picked a girl up, I looked into her eyes as we walked away. I saw the same combination of excitement and anxiety and disbelief. Like a bird when you let it out of the cage, unsure of where to go or what to do. All I can see in them are wings ready to fly. Is that really cheesy? Sorry about it, I’ve lost all senses since they arrived, I’m just one big pile of mush and sentiment. Monday night, through a ocean of tears, I told these girls that people around the world have been praying and waiting for them for three years. I recounted a bit of the journey thus far, and admitted the temptation to give up many times along the way. I marveled that each time I was ready to give up, God would fill me with more and more love for the precious girls I didn’t even know. If you remain connected to the Lord, He won’t let you give up on the dreams He has placed in your heart.
Seriously, I know I’m rambling and completely lacking all eloquence, but this is the biggest breakthrough I’ve seen in three years. The only thing I know to say is thank you thank you thank you, for all the ways you have made this dream come true! Please know that your encouragement, prayers, and financial donations are a vital part of changing lives. Your continued support is greatly needed and appreciated! We are hoping to have 9 girls soon, and will wait a while before we increase to 27 girls.
Finally, be assured that God is faithful and He is moving here in Tanzania. I can’t imagine that it’s possible to feel happier than I do right now!