The following is an update from our intern, Courtney Osborn, a student at the University of Arkansas in Fayettville. One of Faith that Works three components is mentoring young women. We are proud of Courtney’s dedication and hard work as a student and an advocate for hurting girls, both here and abroad. I asked Courtney to give us an update on her progress raising funds for our Ethiopia Girls Campaign, which we have the goal of raising $100,000 to rescue up to 100 girls and their children off the streets of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from forced prostitution. We hope to receive frequent updates from Courtney and keep you updated!
|Faith that Works helped fund Courtney's mission trip to Australia last summer, which first gave her the passion for the work she is doing now!|
Read this from Courtney:
Life here in Razorback Country has kept me busy these past several months. What a joy it has been to represent Faith that Works in Fayetteville, Arkansas! From the moment I accepted Terri Stipanovich’s (founder of Faith that Works)offer to work as an intern on a college campus, I was excited to start putting my faith into action by raising funds which would be used to rescue girls across the globe from sex-trafficking. In the beginning, the idea seemed easy, what a great opportunity to put my efforts toward something I felt so passionate about. I soon realized I would come against roadblocks every step of the way. This would test my resolve, my faith, and my commitment to the cause.
I came to Arkansas as a Sophomore in August and knew very few people. It was a scary time for me, leaving St. Louis for the first time. I was not only beginning a new adventure as a student, but also with my work with Terri and Faith that Works. I started working on the Campaign by presenting the vision of Faith that Works and our goal of raising $100,000. I was blessed to receive a lot of interest and encouragement! One family in particular, volunteered to make tons of soda-tab bracelets (a really cool bracelet made from soda tabs and elastic string which we sell for $10) and also engaged a group of high-school girls to sell the bracelets in their schools. I also had the privilege of meeting women like Jen,who was so moved by what I shared about Ethiopia and the girls there needing our help, that she hosted regular bracelet-making nights in her home and is working on rallying some friends so I can present the campaign to them. Other wonderful individuals have connected me with Sorority groups, which I hope will begin selling the soda tab bracelets at their events and in the sorority homes! All of this has taken incredible diligence on my part! In the age of text messaging, facebook and the crazy life of a college student, there have been days I was confused on how to run a professional campaign here, with few people returning my calls, promises not always kept, I started feeling self doubt and discouragement. Yet I pressed on..thinking of the faces and names I now knew, like Nodosh, A girl Terri met on the streets of Addis, in the red light district during Faith that Works last trip. Nodosh asked, “do you have a place for me?” I was aware, Nodosh was counting on people like me-a young 19 year old college Sophomore, to hear her cry, and to act. To do this, I needed to press on, take captive these plaguing doubts and fears, and fight hard. My fight? My fight was coming against the insecurities, the nay-sayers, those dark things that plagued me, telling me I would certainly fail. So that is what I have done. I did not quit when I felt like quitting, I picked up the phone and called people, pushing back my own insecurities, I prayed, and continued making bracelets.
Like Terri quotes quite often, be faithful to the small things, for therein lies your strength, mother Teresa said that! My generation has a difficult time with patience, perseverance, we are the instant gratification generation, if it is hard or you have to wait? Forget it, not worth it! Terri tells me, quit texting, pick up the phone and call people, do hard things, put yourself out there, be faithful to the process and GOD will bring the results. I believe that, but have to admit that belief hasn’t come without a little wrestling at times.
Okay, Terri- I am still here! I am faithful to the small things, trusting God to bring the results. And I realize, what a great place to be! After all, “IT is HIM that is ABLE to do exceedingly, abundantly, more than we can expect or think.” The girls I dream of? Yes, I will persevere because that is what God has called me to do. With the help of many, we will see Nodosh, and others like her, Safe from harm. Any effort I give is worth that for sure!