Isaac is a young pastor in Rwanda who has a passion for educating and caring for vulnerable children with disabilities. Pastor Isaac greeted us with his infectious bright smile as he graciously showed us the Presbyterian church that he pastors along with the adjoined school for disabled children that he started as a ministry of his church. He was unashamed to share that although he does not have much experience with disabled children, he knows he has been appointed by God to help them. Despite his admitted lack of qualification, Isaac walks by faith each day in obedience and submission to Christ, ministering to his community in a very real and powerful way. Isaac is extremely proud of the school for disabled children that he has started and he has a vision to grow the school, to expand the hours, and to be able to offer more help for disabled children with all sorts of special physical and mental needs. Isaac is obeying God’s call on his life, and although he admits to lacking experience, he beams with confidence as he allows God to use him mightily. Isaac is determined to fulfill God’s call on his life, and he is an absolute Godsend to his community.
We followed Isaac down the red dirt roads in the community where he serves, and he led us to a very small residence. We were welcomed inside a dark, small living room that was lined with a small coach, a few chairs, and a wheelchair that sat in the corner. This is home to a young mother and her two children, ages 11 and 7. This brave young woman welcomed eight strangers into her humble living room and began to share her life story. Brave and vulnerable, this young woman did not hesitate to share her story of pain, fear, poverty, rejection, desperation, and the hope that the local church gives her.
You see, this young lady became pregnant as a teenager and gave birth to a disabled son who did not make a sound for three months. She remained in the hospital with her newborn son for all three months, without work. Miraculously, an anonymous person paid for her very costly medical fees and she was released from the hospital with her disabled son. Not willing to bear the burden of raising a disabled child, her husband left her to raise her son alone. This caused her to take extreme measures in order to provide for herself and her son. She admits to having to lock her disabled son in a room so that she could go find work. While her son was caged, she would sell drugs in desperation to earn money. Four years later, she gave birth to her second son and continued to sell illegal drugs. Eventually, she was arrested and sent to prison along with both her sons. While in prison, she witnessed up to five desperate women who murdered their disabled children because their burden was too great for them to bear. Once released from prison, she would continue to lock her children up so that she could go find work. Prostitution became the way that she would make ends meet. A life of prostitution led to fear, anger, and shame, but it was the only way she knew how to provide for herself and her children. She was hopeless, yet she was determined to desperately fight to survive.
Enter pastor Isaac and her local church. Pastor Isaac learned of this situation and wanted to offer this family real lasting hope. Led by compassion, pastor Isaac invited this young woman and her children to the church that he pastors. Through the support of the orphan care sponsorship program, Isaac was able to come alongside this struggling family, and through the funds that the PEACE plan has donated to his church, Isaac was able to admit her disabled son into his school for disabled children and is also able to make sure that her basic needs are also paid. She can now be a mother to her children, she has hope, and her disabled son has recently been able to learn to sing and is learning to write! The church in action brings amazing hope, transformation, and healing. This family is now tangibly receiving physical, spiritual, and emotional support.
*If you would like to help financially support families in Rwanda, click here.
Posted by TRENT ARMSTRONG