Friday, July 28, 2006

Josepha; Dignity Restored

She’s a year younger than me. Josepha. Her eyes seem to smile continuously. Her teeth are straight and clean. Yet her body is that of a five year old child. Her legs bend double as if she is squatting. She spends her days begging the streets of Kigali. Today I go to visit her at her home just outside of the city.

I squeeze myself between tightly parked mini-busses through what appears a junk yard. I wonder how someone could possibly live in an area like this. To my surprise a small row of homes/rooms appear in front of me. As I enter Josepha’s room I realize that her entire living space is the size of my kitchen. In the sitting area is a special seat, everybody knows who’s it is. The legs of the chair are cut off and strengthened by pieces of wood. It is Josepha’s chair. She scoots back and sits in it. Her body position does not seem to change whether standing or sitting.

Ben met Josepha about 6 weeks ago, while she was begging, yet having a beautiful smile on her face. The Lord told Ben to get out of his comfortable car and sit on the street with her. Ben found out that she loves Jesus, He is the reason she has joy. A friendship was made. (read Ben’s amazing story of meeting Josepha at and click Ben’s new Blog.) Someone reading Ben’s blog donated money to get Josepha off the streets of Kigali.

So here I am today with Ben and Melody bringing her good news. Ben tells her that someone donated money for her to buy a sewing machine, a small generator to run it and to get her set up for a sewing business. The photo on the left was her expression upon hearing this great news. An overwhelming joy filled the hearts of everyone present. It gave me chills. Restoration of Dignity.
I had brought some cloths alon
g for the children and for her husband. Such small things, such great joy.

It humbles me to my knees to befriend women such as Josepha and Julienne (see my blog on Julienne; before and after). I find myself having an overwhelming compassion and love for these ladies. The joy they find in Christ is so evident in their lives. It reminds me of the verses in the bible; “Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?” (James 4:5) Wow


Ben & Melody Pahlow said...

My tears are splashing on the table below me as I read
your reinactment of our day yesterday. Thank you for writing this. I am still feeling that "humbling to my knees" feeling after serving Josepha yesterday. We are so lucky to be here in Rwanda looking into these beautiful people's eyes. You are loved.

Anonymous said...

Lieve allemaal, ik ben weer helemaal op de hoogte.
Goed weekend en liefs,

The Haines Family said...

Ditto on the tears comment. How awesome to see Jesus at work through all of you. Truly beautiful.

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