Do you remember Nyiramwiza and Emmanuel?
Ten years ago, an armed militia attacked their village. Emmanuel, 10 at the time, was shot in the neck and paralyzed.
His father and brother were both killed, and many difficult years passed. When we first met them, Emmanuel’s mother carried her 20-year-old son on her back. A hand powered chair was built for him, and then on Christmas Eve, 2020, they moved into a home of their own thanks to the generosity of a number of churches and friends.
May 22, 2021
All was well until Mt. Nyiragongo, overlooking the city of Goma erupted on May 22, destroying over 3,000 homes in its wake and leaving over 40,000 persons homeless. Their new home was in the direct path of the lava flow.
May 25, 2021
In church today, Nyiramwiza went forward with praises! She fled from the eruption of Mt. Nyiragongo Saturday evening with Emmanuel on his bicycle and carrying her goat, which she named Zawadi (gift) in tow. They made it to safety.
We heard that her house, like others in the neighborhood was buried by lava… but her praise this morning in church was that the home is perfectly intact! The lava came right next to the house, went a short way down the road, then around the other side. They were told they cannot live there for 3 months until the heat and gasses dissipate. But God has, for sure, cared for this widow and her son!
May 30, 2021
Due to earthquakes over 400,000 people were ordered to evacuate Goma just days after the volcanic eruption. Nyiramwiza and Emmanuel were amongst those who evacuated the city (most on foot) after hundreds of post-volcanic earthquakes increased the risk of a more severe eruption including a possible limnic turnover of the lake. Emmanuel was suffering with sores and fever before the evacuation and desperately needed medical care. His condition worsened after evacuating to a town called Sake on Thursday, May 27th. Nyiramwiza, his mother, sought transport back to Goma for them to no avail. According to OCHA, there were over 92,000 internally displaced people in that area.
Unable to contact them by phone, Pastor Damiri, chaplain at HEAL Africa and our Sunday school supervisor, drove to the town of Sake to search for them and bring Emmanuel to the hospital. To our amazement he found him. How he found one person out of 92,000 can only be the grace of God!
He brought them to HEAL Africa, and both ended up being hospitalized. Today they were released and moved to an apartment found for them for the interim 3 months while the lava cools and gasses dissipate around their home.
We rejoice in God’s amazing blessings in the midst of tragedy!
Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.