In November of 2009 Courtney Garland started praying about opportunities to be involved in some kind of ministry associated with Africa. After a couple years of praying and checking out options, nothing seemed to be a good fit. So she settled into waiting in prayer and decided to commit to tutoring at REP, a local Memphis tutoring program for African Refugees. Every Monday night of the 2011-2012 school year, you could find Courtney there.
In October of 2011 God put a burden for Africa on Courtney Bullard’s heart, specifically for the teenage girls. At that time, the Lord gave Courtney a clear vision to build a home, a refuge, for the girls in Ghana, Africa. The name would be The Pearl House inspired from Matthew 13:46, “when the owner of the field found the pearl, he went and sold everything he had to purchase it.” Feeling underqualifited, overwhelmed, and having never been to Africa herself, she decided to go and look at the land. Courtney Bullard returned home from her survey trip to Ghana on Friday March 16th feeling frustrated and discouraged. She knew an American would need to live there full time in order for The Pearl House to become a reality, and she knew of no one who felt called to go.
On Monday March 19th, 3 days later, Courtney Garland went to REP to do some tutoring. When she pulled up a youth group was there in the parking lot playing with the kids. Considering the idea of just turning around and going back home, she instead got out of the car to see what was going on. An employee of REP introduced Courtney to the leader of the youth group Steve Bullard, a youth pastor in Tulsa, OK. As both were youth ministers and both take their groups to Ghana, they had a lot to talk about. It did not take long for Steve and Courtney’s conversation to land in one common place.
Steve and Courtney Bullard had been praying for God to raise up someone to go live and work at the Pearl House. Courtney Garland has been praying for the opportunity to go and work with teenage girls in Ghana. She realized this dream May 16, 2013, when her plane landed in Accra, and she began new life as House Director for the Pearl House Ghana.
To learn more about God’s work in bringing Courtney Garland to this time and place check out www.journeytothepearlhouse.wordpress.com.