We are privileged to introduce you to a man who has been greatly impacted by the ministry of UBC. His story, which he shares below, is one of redemption, hope, and full reliance upon Jesus Christ.
I am called by the name of Hagumishuti Eilya. I was born in Rutshuru territory in Nyanzale village in the Democratic Republic of Congo on June 23, 1975. I am the third born of my family. My father was married to four other women, and my mother was the second wife. She was very jealous of the other wives and children. She used to train us to grow into conflicts with the other children of my father and consider them as enemies. At age 11, my two older sisters and I were trained by our grandmother in witchcraft. She wanted us to poison our brother and become the leaders of our family.
In an effort to try to control my father, my mother introduced him to drugs. She supplied him with drugs to keep him in our home so that she would have access to all of his income. She did not want the other wives to have anything.
At age 14, I was in secondary school with my brother, Nelson, the son of the first wife of my father. I used to run races with him at school. By the end the school year, he began to win all of our races. My mother was totally jealous of that. Nelson and I would tend the family goats in the afternoon. One day, my mother and grandmother gave me a banana that had been poisoned and told me to give it to Nelson. I gave him that banana, and I ate one without poison. After tending the goats, we each went back to our homes.
About an hour later, someone came running to our home to say that Nelson was about to die because of complications in his belly. My father, mother, and grandmother ran to check on him and instructed all of us children to stay at home. After a few minutes, I decided that I needed to join them. Nelson was my friend, and I knew that I should not have given him the banana. I had to try to remedy this problem. When I arrived, I was met with many people weeping. I told my father and the neighbors present what I had done. They gave Nelson traditional medicines that caused him to vomit the poison. Fortunately, he survived.
My mother and grandmother were immediately captured and beaten by the villagers. They both died two days later. I, too, was beaten, but my stepmother intervened. She was a Christian and knew how I had been impacted by my mother’s teachings. She wanted me to live with her and attend Sunday School and church. I went, but was insulted by all the other children because of what happened. No one would be my friend. I learned about Jesus and was mentored by Pastor Ushindi. At 16, I was baptized. There were still very few people that would accept me. I began to fall away from my faith.
At 19, I decided to join a rebellion group in our village. During the war against the government army, I was captured and put in prison. I was there for one year and four months before I escaped, fleeing to the town of Goma. I met a woman and got married, but I continued living in a very sinful way.
In September 2017, I met Pastor Kazaviyo while I was working. He started telling me about the news of Jesus Christ. I told him that I know all that. He asked me if I had received Christ in my life. I said yes and that I have been baptized since I was 16 years old. He asked me why I hadn’t continued to serve God in church. That really made me stop and think. When he saw that, he continued to question me. I told him all about my life story and the devastating things that I had experienced. He comforted me and gave me a new hope in Jesus Christ. He invited me to his church, where I began to learn more about Jesus and grow in my faith.
I am now an evangelist and share the hope of Jesus with others. The Lord has blessed me with a wife and five children. The Lord has cared for me, even when I had done so many terrible things. I am grateful for the ministry of UBC that helped me find God and His purpose for my life.