April 7, 1994 started a one hundred day slaughter of nearly one million people in Rwanda. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide. Compassion international was there through this time and has remained, helping restore orphaned children and families.
Christine Uwase was just four years old when the Rwandan Genocide occurred, leaving her orphaned. Christine shared with us the four moments that changed her life. While her young life was marked by tragedy, Christine’s story is one of unfailing hope and an amazing transformation.
1. When I received Christ as my personal Saviour
I had grown up attending different denominational churches with my parents before they were killed. Through Compassion, I started going to Sunday school and learning about the Word of God. I began getting involved in church activities but had not made a commitment to Christ.
One day, when I was 14, a pastor came to my boarding school and preached about the cross, the blood of Jesus, and how salvation is a personal journey. I was touched by this message. I had hatred for those that killed my parents and my people but when I learnt about the love of Christ for me, I decided to forgive them all and give my life to Christ. Months later I was baptised.
I began to understand salvation and enjoyed it like never before.
2. When I lost my parents
I lost both my parents during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. I cannot begin to explain how much the devil struck my country and how many of my people asked the question: ìIs there a God that watches in the skies? If there is, where was He when we lost our loved ones?î
The last memory I have of my mother is watching her be shot dead before my eyes as she pleaded for both her life and mine to be spared. I was only four years old and didn’t know the implications of her dying prematurely. I wish she was still alive to see me grow into the lady I have become.
By God’s grace, my brother and two sisters survived. The Word of God tells me in Jeremiah that He knew me before I was born and He knows why He created us all. Since He is the Alpha and Omega, His plans for us were not yet done. My siblings and I survived thanks to our aunty, grandma and several cousins from our late relatives.
3. When I became a Compassion sponsored child
I joined Compassion when I was five years old, just after my parents were killed. Compassion picked me alongside other children and provided us with education, meals and other basic supplies, which I was able to share with my siblings. The Compassion project became my next home and a place where I was assured of joy.
Through Compassion, I came to know Christ and my faith was strengthened. I was previously very quiet and wouldn’t smile, but the longer I attended the program and met friends to play with, the more my confidence grew. Through Compassion, I started to gain hope for life where I was hopeless.
My sponsor taught me about giving and impacting others through what I have. The fact that they helped me without even knowing who I am impressed me a lot and pushes me to do the same to others, in order to make our world a better place. My sponsors used to tell me how much they love me and how I am so special. It was the first time I was told that and now I am passionate about sharing that love with others.
God has used Compassion to make me who I am today.
4. When I graduated from university
I came from being a girl without hope for the next day to being able to study and graduate with a bachelor’s degree in political science from the National University of Rwanda. While completing my degree I was part of the Leadership Development Program which deeply shaped my character through the trainings I received. These trainings included classes on servanthood, mentorship, how to advocate for children in need, evangelism and discipleship, and the biblical view of poverty and our social responsibility.
After completing this degree, I have worked with the Rwandan parliament in the senate and I am now working as a child protection officer with Save the Children International. Isn’t our Lord faithful?
My life is true confirmation that God has a plan for each one of us and has mysterious ways to fulfil the plan. All we need to do is let Him work in us. The way God used sponsors through Compassion to transform my life is one of those mysteries.
Compassion’s Bibles for Children Program has enabled Rwandans to learn about the love of God. His love has helped millions like Christine to love others and forgive. Won’t you join us in getting 10,000 Bibles in the hands of children all over the country of Rwanda this year. Mary & Martha Consultants offers everyone the opportunity to join us in providing hope & healing for Rwanda. Just seven dollars will buy one age appropriate bible in the child’s language. Won’t you join us?