“God, if you are there, can you end my suffering?”
That was the anguished cry of 20-year-old Miriam Nduwimana of Burundi, East Africa. She had endured almost unimaginable suffering.
It began two years earlier when Burundi was embroiled in bloody tribal warfare. Miriam and her two younger sisters witnessed the slaughter of their other family members. They survived their nation’s holocaust by fleeing to neighboring DR Congo.
When the war ended two years later, the three returned to their homeland. They built a makeshift shack from mud and sticks near a swamp and sustained themselves by gleaning leftover crops. While working alone in a field one day, three men raped Miriam. She later discovered that the assault left her pregnant and HIV-positive. A sense of hopelessness overwhelmed her. When floods from heavy rains destroyed their tiny mud hut, Miriam only wanted to die. She and her sisters found higher ground along the side of a highway and salvaged an old tarp under which they could sleep.
It was not long after that when Bienvenu Bizimana, a Heaven’s Family-sponsored National Missionary, spotted Miriam under her tarp. He stopped and shared the gospel with her. God’s love broke through her despair, and she gave her life to Jesus that very day.
Miriam still had a tough road ahead, however. Against the advice of friends who told her to have an abortion, Miriam decided to keep her baby, but she had no place to live, and her sickness was beginning to take its toll on her body. Bienvenu contacted Heaven’s Family to ask for help, and we sent $440 in January so that Miriam could build a modest two-room home. We also gave her a grant to help her start a small brick-making and flour-selling businesses so she could support herself, her sisters, and her unborn baby.
Miriam lost her baby in March. Then she had a stroke, lost one-third of her lung capacity, and developed numerous sores and bruises—all due to her HIV infection. Bienvenu took her to a local hospital.
While there, Bienvenu and his family visited Miriam daily, bringing her hot meals and discipling her in the Lord. As Miriam grew in Christ her health also improved, and just recently she was well enough to go home. Thanks to contributions to the Critical Medical Needs Fund, Heaven’s Family was able to send $415, which paid for Miriam’s four-month hospital stay. With a business grant from Heaven’s Family, Miriam is now running a small grocery business from her house where she lives with her sisters. Jesus heard her desperate cry!