Story Behind The Photo: Annika

Annika shares some insight on the story behind the photo. Check out some of what she learned on her YWAM DTS outreach!

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It’s so easy to get bogged down in all the details of life and forget to look for God’s faithfulness in the everyday.  But often God places special moments in our lives to remind us just how faithful and good he is.  In fact, sometimes these moments are so profound that people who know nothing of God can’t help but believe he is faithful.  

During our two-month outreach in Tanzania, we met with a very special family who was part of the Maasai tribe.  During outreach the year before some of my team members had had the privilege of naming the family’s youngest child-  Courage.  Exactly a year later my team was able to be there to celebrate baby Courage’s first birthday along with his family.  Though the family obviously lacked many material resources it was easy to see that what they had was far greater.  The joy of the Lord. 

The next week my team moved to a new location, not expecting to see the family again.  But clearly God had different plans.  We knew that the family was in need of water tanks and a new house big enough to house their whole family, so we decided to reach out to friends and family at home to ask for funds.  The family of about 7 lived together in a Maasai boma-  which are very small- and had to carry water every day.  After only a couple of days, the total needed for the new house and water tanks had been met!  Even after the goal had been reached people continued to donate.  There ended up being enough extra money to buy the family beds and goats and help with the children's school fees! We were all overwhelmed by God’s faithfulness to provide- but that wasn’t the end of the story.  Little did we know that God’s faithfulness in this situation went far deeper than simply meeting their material needs.  

Almost 2 months later we got the opportunity to visit the family one more time to see the progress on their new house before we returned to the United States.  Little did I know that this moment would be one of the most impactful and beautiful moments of outreach.  In just a few short weeks the house’s frame had been completed.  The excitement and joy of the family was contagious!  After talking with them and getting a tour of the unfinished house, Courage’s father told us their whole story.  A year before the family had been in a very hopeless situation.  Courage’s father, known as Baba Courage, was sick with tuberculosis.  He was completely unable to work and they knew that if he didn’t get medical aid he would die.  No one would help him, and his wife Mama Courage was left to provide for the family, while also caring for her brand new baby.  She told us that she was ready to give up completely and leave Baba Courage so she could take her children away where they could get help, but she decided to trust God instead.  Not long after, another team was able to take Baba Courage to a hospital where he was able to get the help he needed.  Both Mama and Baba Courage were overwhelmed by the depths of God’s faithfulness to them and decided to fully dedicate their lives to following Jesus.  

Baba Courage went on to tell us that not only could they, believers, see how faithful God had been to them, the other people in their village could see it as well.  They looked at what God had done in the family’s life and said, “Their God must really be faithful” and wanted to know more about Him.    

So often we underestimate the power of our faith and the constancy of God’s character.  James 1:17 says,  “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”  We can rely on him in our time of need.  He is a faithful and unchanging God.  We can trust that although life may be hard God is walking alongside us.  Courage’s family’s story is a powerful testament not only to God’s faithfulness and character but also to how God can use us if we submit ourselves to him.  In under a year, the whole family was completely transformed from hopeless to filled with joy and hope.  My faith was refreshed and my heart filled and this family’s story will encourage me for many years to come!  


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