“Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done” (Proverbs 19:17).
Before Banga joined Hope Haven’s “Men of Hope” program, he was living in extreme poverty, fear and depression. He was forced to rent a bicycle for his work each day as a bicycle taxi driver and struggled to survive. “It was very hard for me because I would first make sure that I paid the bicycle’s owner, and then I would take home the leftovers,” Banga said, “On some days, I would go back home with nothing left.”
The “Men of Hope” outreach program is changing the lives of men throughout our community. This club reaches men in the community who attend discipleship meetings, receive entrepreneurship training, create savings groups and work together to eventually earn their own bicycles to use for taxi businesses in the village. Following completion of the program, they meet each week for accountability, continuing education and spiritual formation.
As one of our first graduates, Banga has already experienced significant life change. At 44 years-of-age, with a third-grade education, there aren’t many employment options for Banga. He and his wife struggle to care for their five biological children while living in a small mud home without running water or an indoor toilet.
When Banga was invited by Chaplain Shema to join the “Men of Hope” program, he began a journey of lasting hope. He said, “After I finished the Bible studies and entrepreneurship training, my hope for the future was restored!” With the bicycle that Banga earned, he makes money to feed his family and save for the future. He has a dream to open a grocery shop for his community and he says, “I believe that through my savings plan I will be able to make it by the help of God.”
Banga said, “Now, I believe that all things are possible with God.” Rwandan men are learning to lead their families and help break the cycle of poverty. The long-term transformation of Banga and his entire family continues every day because of God’s work at Hope Haven Rwanda—what an honor to be part of “lending to the Lord”in this way!
(Read Part 2 by clicking below to learn how Banga is doing today, and about the goals and dreams of the next “Men of Hope” group!)