Michel grew up in an affluent, well-respected family, but as the seventh of eleven children, he always felt invisible and undervalued. No matter how well-behaved and academically successful he was, Michel always felt unwanted and rejected by his father, which led to deeper inner wounds and a spirit that constantly sought attention from others.
“Whatever anyone said about me, that’s what I’d do. I was always trying to find myself.” Michel said. In 1996, Michel joined the Army because of pressure from others. His health suffered from the rigorous army training. He caught tuberculosis, taking around 800 pills over the course of six months to recover.
Following his recovery, Michel enrolled in medical school in 2003. Driven by an inner need to impress others, he wanted to make a good impression on the doctor who treated him for his ailment. Despite overcoming a deadly sickness and gaining many accomplishments and accolades, Michel felt empty and needed higher intervention.
He’d never seriously considered a deeper need for faith, “I believed I was spotless, perfect in God’s eyes. I didn’t need salvation as long as I didn’t do major sins, follow the rules, and occasionally go to confession,” Michel reflects.
But a voice in his heart that he had long battled finally pierced his soul. “I had been having trouble sleeping for days, but I felt much more uneasy that night. My room became unbearably hot when I closed my eyes, and I experienced strange visions.” Alone in his small room, Michel knelt and accepted Jesus in his heart.
During the Burundian civil war, Michel took part in many battles but emerged uninjured. As a trained doctor, he treated many of his fellow Army officers “I once had to care for 48 injured soldiers. Only 15 survived. It saddened me to see their lifeless bodies and hear their loved ones grieve their loss.” says Michel.
In 2019, Michel underwent a personal healing process that allowed him to start CAPAMI. He initially sought out the military and police, with whom he shared previous experiences. He knew many people suffered secretly and internally but at the terrible repercussions. He decided to educate himself on PTSD treatment and trauma recovery.
CAPAMI is a Ministry which Cares for Patients. Their aim is to bring healing to the internal wounds of any given community or individual. They work primarily in the police and army, where many are in need of developing self-awareness through CAPAMI’s trained counsellors, providing tools for them to heal and grow. They have seen many lives beautifully transformed.
Other international organizations also support CAPAMI’s fantastic work to reach more populations, especially in the countryside. Government officials and community leaders across the country are embracing these programs in the face of decades of conflict, division, and trauma.
“The best decision I’ve ever made was to accept God’s calling for my life even though I felt unqualified. God qualifies the called.”