Like any mother, Jackie ached when her son Shaffy suffered an injury and she longed for him to get better. Shaffy’s story is one of a long road to physical healing; through his journey, Shaffy’s mother received hope and a profound spiritual healing.
Jackie was one of six children, raised by a single mother. She stopped attending school in 10th grade and gave birth to Shaffy a year later while still living at home. Jackie recalls, “It was not easy for. me to care for a baby at my age. I was still in need of parental guidance myself, but my mother did everything to help me. After a while, I left home and started my own life, but that was difficult. Finding food and care for my child was hard for me.”
After living with a man for some time, Jackie had a daughter, Kariza. When the man eventually left the family, Jackie thought about leaving her children with her mother, but knew that was not the answer to her problems.
“During that time, my days were full of crying. In 2020, I married another man but still the problems increased when a tree fell on Shaffy and broke one of his legs. My husband loved my children, but he had no job, and finding treatment was difficult because we didn’t have enough money.” The hospital treated Shaffy with an ace bandage, and barely cleaned his other wounds, so his leg remained broken from April until October when Hope Haven staff discovered it. One of the hardest things for Jackie to hear were the words of discouragement from others who said her son would not be accepted into school because of his injuries. When she heard Hope Haven School was offering a lottery for their preschool classes, she decided to “try her luck.” By God’s grace, Shaffy’s number was chosen!
“At Hope Haven, I can say I met heaven’s angels, because I found good people who love others unconditionally. I saw the hand of Jesus Christ working through them. My child is alive, in good condition, and this was only done by Hope Haven. They did what I could not do.”
With the help of Priscillah Kembabazi, Director of Families, Hope Haven’s Founder Susan Hollern, and U.S. Staff member Sarah Damour, Shaffy began to undergo surgeries, and frequent follow-up treatments which continued for two years. Shaffy was at risk of losing his life because of a broken leg and staph infections due to poverty and the lack of adequate treatment.
“I did not think anyone would love my child because of his disability. They received my son and treated him like their own. They got me back from hell, and I don’t know what to say except to praise the Lord and to bless these people.”
Shaffy is in kindergarten now – learning, running and playing with his classmates – and Jackie has a full-time job at Hope Haven and is rebuilding her life. She can cover school fees, pay rent, and buy food for her family.
It’s because of your partnership that Hope Haven Rwanda can lift up families like Jackie’s, providing the hope and healing of Jesus Christ.