We need a miracle.
This was our thought as we boarded our flight to the US in early March. The previous few days were a blur — fast decisions had to be made as the global pandemic brought so much uncertainty. We were in Tanzania, just having hosted 2 awesome volunteer teams. We were getting ready to open Courage Cafe…
Then borders started to close, people were being evacuated. We consulted with doctors on how to best protect our girls and staff, as well as ourselves. We realized if the world was going to shut down for a period of time, we should be in the US since we had speaking events lined up in the fall. It was such a hard decision to leave, but we knew our staff was very capable and we had an awesome board member step in to fill an interim Executive Director role. Our plane was packed. We had butterflies in our stomach wondering what was going to happen these next months. Questions swirled around in our minds… ‘Will Courage survive? Will we be able to keep all of our staff? Will we all get sick?’ We both quietly prayed quietly throughout the flight and our biggest prayer was, “We need a miracle, God.”
Well, here we are 9 months later, getting ready to go back to Tanzania on December 31st and we have seen miracles at Courage Worldwide.
There’s a powerful song written by an African gospel singer named Sinach called “Way Maker.”
Way Maker, Miracle Worker
Light in the Darkness
My God, that is who You are.
As we reflect on 2020, we truly have experienced many miracles!
NONE of our girls and staff got sick with COVID-19. Not even those of us in the US that work for Courage Worldwide. We are so grateful!
2 healthy babies were born to our girls, we were able to rescue several more girls this year, including 9 & 12-year-old sisters of one of our girls.
Our girls remained safe and in their loving Courage family. They did well during a 3 month quarantine, and even thrived! Our staff was incredible, dealing with the changes that had to be made for their health, and the girls' health and safety.
Funding was tight, and many of our donors suffered job losses and had to adjust their giving. Our heart and prayers go out to all of you who have been impacted. But, God provided in a variety of ways. Our 3 month speaking tour began in September and we had no idea if those events would be canceled. A couple were, but more were added! We spoke at nearly 20 churches around the US, and although just about 1/3 of the people came in person, we saw giving actually increase from our last year’s speaking tour. We didn’t have to lay off any of our staff in Tanzania.
We were able to launch our Courage Products online! Everyone loves the beautiful kimonos and jewelry our girls make, as well as our fantastic Courage Coffee. Now it’s available online and we’re already getting many orders.
We loved connecting with partners, donors and churches who support Courage, and we are amazed that we added many more! In a pandemic!
We had a donor commit to raising funds to double the capacity at Courage House next year! Wow! Currently we are at capacity, and now can soon plan to add 30 more beds for children to come home to Courage House. Unexpectedly, we got a call that the new US Ambassador to Tanzania wanted to come visit Courage House last month! We were hoping this would happen in 2021, but were in awe that he sought us out! He was very impressed and we are excited to see what the future holds in working together to end trafficking in Tanzania.
Even though schools were shut down for several months in Tanzania, our school on campus was able to remain open and our girls were able to take their national exams. 3 girls finished the secondary education (high school) and transitioned to our transition house, “Courage House Too”! Another one of our girls completed her further education, started a business, saved money and moved out on her own. We are so proud of her!
We are so grateful to each one of you who have partnered with us in this challenging year. We know it’s been a hard year and many of you or your loved ones are suffering. Did you know that our girls and staff at Courage House Tanzania pray for you, our donors and supporters, every week? Our 25 staff in Tanzania are so thankful for their jobs, and our 45 girls and children are so grateful for the freedom they’ve been given and that they are able to pursue their dreams.
Thank you, thank you. May God bless you and protect you and your loved ones during this Christmas season and new year.
If you would like to make a year end gift, or become a monthly partner, you can give here.
Joel and Stephanie Midthun
Executive Directors, Courage House Tanzania