Like many children in Burundi, Vincent* had an unbelievably tough start in life. Conflict and war meant his family’s only hope of survival was to leave everything behind and flee to the Democratic Republic of Congo to find shelter in a refugee camp, alongside thousands of other Burundians.
Unbelievably, the situation grew worse still. The horrendous conditions in the camp led to his father and two of Vincent’s siblings dying. His devastated mother made the difficult decision to set out again, this time making the gruelling and dangerous trip to Rwanda, where the family settled in another refugee camp.
This was not the end of the tragedy… Vincent’s mother died. He only had his little brother left, and, in desperation, he decided to make the journey back to Burundi. He held onto the hope that he had distant relatives still living there. Maybe they had survived; perhaps they could support Vincent and his little brother Thomas*?
So, with a heavy heart, Vincent left Thomas in the Rwandan camp and set off once again to find help. Thankfully, this is where the story changes. On his return to his homeland, Vincent was unsuccessful in locating family members, but he did meet Bosco, who leads one of GLO’s partner organisations, Igniting Communities for Jesus (ICJ). Bosco, himself an orphan, and his team, offered Vincent the support that had been so sadly lacking, and he was given the opportunity to return to Rwanda, find Thomas and bring him back to Burundi to be cared for by ICJ.
Vincent once again left Burundi, praying that his brother could be found and brought home. Miraculously, the brothers were reunited. Vincent had not given up on his little brother, and God rewarded his faithfulness. ICJ was there to meet the boys’ needs and give them the spiritual and material foundation to rebuild their young lives. Thomas enrolled in primary school, and continues to excel in his studies and together these boys are thriving in their new life!
*Names have been changed.