I just first want to say thank you for your response to our $100,000.00 in 100 days! Your generosity and support has been an answer to prayers! Thank you! We want to continue giving you information about our organization, our mission, our past successes, present challenges and future dreams. We also want to continue giving you first hand testimonies as to what Courage Worldwide has meant to the population we serve as well as those of us who have the privilege to work here daily; seeing firsthand how your giving is impacting the lives of those who have been trafficked for sex. This week I would like for you to meet Denise Bellacera who has also been around “courage” for 10 years. Denise, like all of us, started as a volunteering offering her time and gifts to “build them homes and call them family”. Denise has the tenderest heart. When she volunteered to chair our events, she never once believed she would daily be working directly with the young women and their children who call Courage House home. These young women trust Denise with their secrets, they vent to her when they are frustrated, they ask her to babysit their children, and they honestly share their failures as well as their triumphs with her. They call Denise their friend. We are so fortunate to have her as a part of our team.
—Jenny Williamson, Founder/CEO, Courage Worldwide, Inc.
To say that the course of my life took an unexpected turn when I became a part of the Courage Worldwide team almost 10 years ago, would be an incredible understatement. Human trafficking. The sex trafficking of children. Even though the stories I heard first hand from victims were so unimaginable and un-relatable to my life, I became filled with a determination to help make a difference in the lives of these young victims of trafficking, by offering what time and seemingly minimal talents I had. Looking back, I had no idea the implications of this small offering and how God would multiply my efforts for His purposes.
Our Founder, Jenny Williamson has always kept it simple for those of us who work and/or volunteer at “Courage”. “We are going to build them homes and call them family.” As the years have gone by, these precious ones have become family to me. It has been an enormous privilege to walk alongside “our girls” as they mature and grow while learning to do life and find their God-given purpose in this world. We welcomed them as children to Courage House and now many of them have children of their own. Watching them maneuver challenges with confidence, bravery and the security of knowing they are loved and accepted is one of the most fulfilling parts of my day at Courage Worldwide and Courage House NorCal where our house is full of these amazing young women and their precious children.
In February of this year, I had the awesome chance to visit our Tanzania Courage House, with my sister and our eighty-two (82) year old mother. We were filled daily with amazement and humility as we were given the opportunity to spend time with “our girls” there, getting to know them, their babies and our incredible staff. There as in the U.S., the message is the same “build them homes and call them family”. We did just that. The two words that come to mind to describe these beautiful children is pure joy and gratefulness. You see it in their eyes and in their huge, never-ending smiles. You see it as you watch them dance and sing so freely because of what they have been given since coming to Courage House. Home. Safe. Loved. That is their daily experience continuously taught and exemplified by the incredible staff there who believe they have found their purpose in serving “our girls” and calling them family.
Another mantra of Courage Worldwide’s founder is all about having the courage to be and do all God created you to. During these last 10 years at Courage Worldwide, I have been personally encouraged to do just that. From working here and from loving on “our girls” I have learned some valuable life lessons:
- to remain open-minded and slow to judge;
- to give grace while not compromising truth;
- to grow tough skin while keeping a soft heart;
- that just listening is often all that is required;
- and that hugs are free for a reason.
The work we do at Courage Worldwide is so incredibly important – not just important – but life changing. Transformation literally happens before our eyes. All of this I would not get to experience if it were not for you our incredible supporters, donors, volunteers and ambassadors. You are helping us change the world, one individual at a time. I can personally testify to that. You matter; your giving matters and your prayers are something we count on daily. Thank you. Would you prayerfully considering, continuing to support our efforts so we can bring more young ladies home? I promise you it makes a difference.
House/Office Manager & Event Director