We received the following testimony of a pastor from Solace Ministries in Rwanda who received your donations as a part of our Rwanda Pastor Support Fund.
My name is Gakumba. I was born in Kibuye in 1955, in today’s Western Province of Rwanda. My father’s name was Nzaramba Gabriel and my mother Mukamusoni Generoza.
My mother was surprised by my appearance when I was born. She was probably very sad because my looking was different from what is known and seen for normal babies. I was told I cried a lot and could not close my eyes.
She was always scorned by neighbours and I was taken as a curse by all. However, they did not kill me. Many people were curious and wanted to see that kind of beast that mother gave birth to. Needless to say: My mother could not sleep.
I grew up excluded from other children. It was very hard. When I was 4 years, the persecution of Tutsi people started. Our house was burnt and properties looted. In fact, my father had many cows. He distributed the cows one by one to neighbours to purchase our survival. Instead of keeping the cows, the neighbors butchered them and ate meat. We eventually survived the killings, but all cows were gone and eaten, and so was our livelihood. At the age to go to school, I could not be taken there because I was blind. I hated everybody, I hated all things, I hated God. I was not clothed like other children. I was given a dress like girls. Women who came to visit my mother used to say God was wrong to create me. Children were afraid to approach me because of my strange look.
At 10 years, just to be useful, I was given to guard the crops in the fields of cereals against birds, just waving my arms here and there continually.
One day, when I was in a sorghum plantation, wicked people shouted that the birds have eaten up all the sorghum of Nzaramba. I immediately bent to pick up stones or anything else at hand to throw to the birds I could not see. A stick pierced my useless right eye. I could not remove it and needed help. And the eye kept on leaking for many weeks. Since that time, automatically my lids were closed to this day.
In 1973, I was staying at my grandmother’s house. It was burned as troubles against Tutsi people resumed. This was done at night. I was the one who woke up to realize that a lot of smoke was in the house. I woke everyone for his or her lives.
They were all saved. From that time, they believed that I can also be useful to something.
Eventually, I attended the Church though blind. I became a Christian and received Jesus in my heart, but my troubles did not end.
I came to Kigali to visit a relative. This one used me to go to the highway and the market place to beg. “have pity to the blind” is what I had to say.
Later I heard a voice saying: Do not allow Satan to manipulate you that way; instead tell people about me. I am Jesus. I will care for you.
I started to preach in the market place, preaching Jesus who saves and who gives peace. The whole market moved. People were astonished. Jesus enabled me to memorize the Bible.
I have preached in many places not only in my Church but also in other denominations.
Sometimes I had no food, but kept strong. I could fall in trenches but I was not discouraged. I spoke to myself saying that even those who have sight fall let alone me, a blind.
For me, God is the same in 1959, 1973 and in 1994. It is a miracle the way we survived.
In 1994, I was in Kigali and was under the service of the Lord. God promised to protect me with my wife. I was for almost one year married and my family was surprised that I could marry. This way all shame was removed and they all started to consider me with a sense of respect. My wife was pregnant and at the last stage because our baby was born on May 8, 1994.
During the genocide, I was taken to the mass graves several times and killers retracted to kill me every time. Once I went to also hide at a church. Killers came and killed everybody and yet I was spared.
After the Genocide
A blind man and yet I was the only survivor of my family of 6 children and parents who all were killed.
Now I want to preach the Gospel and I am invited into Churches, conventions, evangelistic crusades, in prayer cells, in different ministries and at every occasion. I like to go everywhere to proclaim the Good News.
God is faithful. I have no salary, but we have not died of hunger. Through his servants God has always provided as He knows our needs. As an example, I am surprised that someone is going to help me with health insurance. My wife and I suffer also from diabetes and need frequent medical visits. How wonderful the way the Lord cares!!
I thank Solace not only for the advocacy they show me today with the provision of health insurance but also for the children they support for education.
To give to our Rwanda Pastor Support Fund visit www.mercyhill.org/give and click "give online" and select the fund from the drop down menu.