When Yamuragiye was abandoned by her parents, she was taken in by Mary, a distant relative.
Mary understands loss. Mary survived the genocide in Rwanda barely. She lost family and friends. She attended the funerals of the ones whose bodies were recovered.
She was relieved that she and her husband survived the terrible tragedy. But that relief was short-lived. Mary's husband was jailed 14 years ago, accused
of participating in the genocide. There is still no date set for his release, no way to appeal his sentence. So Mary waits.
A Difficult Promise to Keep
Mary understands loss. And she will do whatever she can to keep it from the people she loves. That's why, eight years ago, she took in Yamuragiye, a distant relative who had been abandoned by her parents.
As Mary held this scrawny, crying infant, she made a promise that she would do whatever she could to care for her. To keep loss at bay. Mary's promise was not easy to deliver, though.
Living essentially as a single mother, she struggled to raise her own children. There was never enough money for food or clothes, and an education for her children was a distant dream.
But Yamuragiye never lacked love, and Mary never treated the child any differently from her own children. Yamuragiye grew up calling Mary her mother and Mary never saw Yamuragiye as anyone other than her own daughter.
That love prompted Mary to seek out a better life for Yamuragiye. Mary's own children were nearly grown, but in this child Mary saw a chance to provide a better future. And when she visited the EPR Rugarama Church and found out that they were registering children for the Rugarama Child Development Center, she felt God had finally answered her prayers.
A Future Made Possible by God
Yamuragiye loves attending the center. And Mary loves that her daughter is able to attend school and receive at least one nutritious meal each day. The little girl shows off for Mary after school, singing the Bible songs she has learned.
And Mary's heart swells with pride when Yamuragiye tells her that she wants to be a doctor when she grows up. Yamuragiye, now 8 years old, says that one day she hopes to go to the National University of Rwanda, and then she will help sick kids in her community.
This dream has been encouraged by her teachers at the center and through the love and prayers of her sponsors.
"I say every day, 'Thank You God for my sponsors,'" says Yamuragiye. "They bought me shoes and a good dress and I love them. One day, I will like to meet them."
Every day, Mary waves to Yamuragiye as the child sets off on her one-mile hike to school. Mary prays for her safety, but also for her future. A future that is made possible by God's grace, the support of her sponsors and Mary's diligence.
And loss is kept away for another day. "I have no doubt that one day Yamuragiye will be a blessing to many lives," says Mary, "just like she has blessed mine. Compassion was a turning point of grace and mercy for us. I thank God for her sponsors & they
were chosen by God to help a child who is
a thousand miles away. Hallelujah is all I
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