A Recycled Life
A widow finds healing and hope by learning new skills
Francine’s pain cannot be measured. It began 5 years ago when a band of ruthless rebels stormed into her village, set all the homes on fire and, in the ensuing chaos, sent streams of bullets into the bodies of men, women and children as they fled. Among the dead were her husband and all 5 of her children.
Filled with horror and shock, Francine joined other shattered survivors on a perilous walk hundreds of miles to Goma, DR Congo’s capital city, in hope of finding relative safety.
The next few years were filled with grief, but Francine managed somehow despite not having any marketable skills. Then she heard about a vocational training program being offered to refugee women like herself at a center run by Pastor Simeon Muhunga, a man known by many for his kindness and the help he had provided for those suffering.
Francine decided to go see what it was about. The craft skills she saw others learning were too difficult, she thought to herself, but decided she had nothing to lose by trying. Much to her surprise the skills came quickly, and she excelled at them all. Most of all she enjoyed making toys, handbags and other items by crocheting recycled plastic bags together. Francine became so skilled at the craft, in fact, that her items were sought after in the market!
One day it was time for her craft teacher to leave the program, so Pastor Simeon asked Francine to take over. She had been a student learning a marketable skill that could help her become self-sufficient, and now she is a teacher helping others do the same. Francine teaches free of charge 3 days each week, then works in her own business the rest of the time to provide for her own needs.
Francine lost everything she knew 5 years ago—and will always feel the pain from her loss—but now she has found new purpose and reason for living, thanks to God’s mercy and grace, by helping other pain-filled women.
Heaven’s Family has been working alongside Pastor Simeon for a few years now, and Francine is just one of the many lives that have received healing and hope in the midst of their suffering and rejection because of your gifts to the Christian Refugees Fund.
Thank you for making it all possible.
Director, Christian Refugees Fund