Marie Ndereyimana’s Story
“There is no desperate situation that God cannot take you from,” testifies Marie Ndereyimana. “I learned that God is a God of widows and orphans.” Marie has been both in her lifetime, and now God is working through her to assist both orphans and widows in her community of Muyinga, Burundi.
Several years ago, Marie’s in-laws chased her from her home when her husband died, leaving her and her five daughters extremely vulnerable. Her own family already deceased, Marie fled, with three orphaned girls the couple had adopted, to their church. The church sheltered them and soon became home to Marie’s two older daughters, as well, when they were forced to leave boarding school because Marie could no longer afford their fees.
While Marie was living in the church, savings groups began, and a friend encouraged her to join. Though at the time she earned just 50 cents a day working others’ fields, Marie understood the value of saving and committed to contributing 25 cents a week.
With a $5 loan from her group, she started a business selling avocados and bananas. From there, Marie’s life has changed dramatically. She now owns a small shop and has purchased land and livestock. She employs up to 15 workers a day to farm her plot and has launched a savings group in her community specifically for widows, encouraging them with her testimony of transformation.
“We lack nothing in my family; we have clothes, we have food, I even assist other people.” In a powerful display of forgiveness, Marie even financially assists some members of her deceased husband’s family. Some of her in-laws have followed her example and joined HOPE Burundi savings groups, and some have even come to know Christ.
If you or someone you know would like to be a part of HOPE’s work as we come alongside resilient and loving people like Marie, please don’t hesitate to contact Matthew Baehr at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-719-0313.
This article was written by Jill Heisey of HOPE International.