The Process of Peace: Jeannette’s Journey
Jeannette Mukarubayiza fled from war in Rwanda with her daughter Lillian and her son Didien, and became a refugee first in Tanzania, then Kenya. This is her story.
We came to Kenya with nothing, only with few clothes. The church was giving us food. I was desperate and bitter as to why I had to go through this. It was so hard that it came to a point I didn’t care whether I had chairs to sit on, or a bed to sleep on. I only needed to have food and a roof for my family. Sometimes I would feel worthless as I could not even provide simple things for my kids.
After 3 years in Kenya, she joined Amani ya Juu.
I joined Amani and was able to start providing for my family. Step by step, as I continued with my work, things began to improve. I could afford clothes, beds, chairs, and even take my children to school.
I grew spiritually because of the prayer fellowship that we normally have at Amani. I began to heal. It was not easy and I also had to forgive those who caused war and murdered people back at home.
In her current role as a trainer Jeannette:
- has learned to use a laptop computer
- makes samples of new products
- teaches other ladies how to make products
- reviews their completed projects
Jeannette has confidence in her ability to do her work well, and she pours back into other women at Amani as she trains them.
I have learnt to be patient as we are different in one way or the other. I listen to [the women]. I challenge them on what they are able to do. I give them my testimony, reminding them that God cares and loves them. [We have] to love a person the way they are as this will allow you to serve them well. I believe change happens gradually.
She wants other refugees around the world to know that though…acceptance of [refugee status] comes with depression…after accepting yourself, have hope, faith, and trust in God that He will meet the desires of your heart and give peace. You will be able to forgive and reconcile with one another. Even to be able to live at peace with your host country.
“We are all human beings & sometimes we are overwhelmed. Strength from God keeps me going, gives me courage and patience.”
“I would like to thank our customers for blessing us and having brought impact to the lady whose name is on the product. And it’s not only one lady, but a team of ladies who have worked on the product that benefit with every purchase. Sometimes peace is a process one has to choose.”
Jeannette’s favorite verse of Scripture is Philippians 4:13, which says, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” She explains, “Life can change when you have no idea. Things got at the worst and God has continued to strengthen me, lift me up and kept me alive.”
Economic empowerment and the hope of the Gospel give refugees like Jeannette dignity and peace. You can be a part of the process by supporting Amani through shopping and donations in honor of World Refugee Day!