Choosing Life in Rwanda

In October 2012, one of our Church Partners, Bethany Community Church in Washington State worked with World Relief and the local church in Rwanda to organize a community event. This event called “Choose Life” used songs, sketches, poems, dramas and soccer games to teach youth about HIV prevention.

rwanda session

One of the Rwandan youth attending shares his experience:

My name is Jean De Dieu, and I fellowship at a church in the Cyuve Sector, Musanze District. I thank God very much for my church leaders, who in partnership with World Relief, organized training for the youth on HIV/AIDS and encouraged us to go for a voluntary test to learn our status.

I was very scared when they told us about it since it was my first time to test, but especially because before I became saved, I was sexually active. For a long time now, I have been living in fear that I may be infected with HIV/AIDs. I had even planned that if I ever got tested only to find that I was infected, I would commit suicide. I was convinced there would be no hope for my future if I found out that I am positive with HIV/AIDS.

World Relief, together with my church, trained us on the book of “Choose Life” and I was very blessed to be trained to train others.  There was an event organized by churches and World Relief in the fight against AIDS, where there was a competition in songs, poems, and plays for the youth. After, we went for a voluntary HIV/AIDS Test.

rwanda music

At first I was scared to go because of my past, but later on, I got encouraged by the lessons we were given on “accepting who you are, and know your health status” and therefore I went for the test. When the results came, I was very happy to see that I was HIV/AIDS Negative.  I praised God for that and felt that my life was renewed. I went to my Pastor exclaiming, “I was very scared to go for a test because of my past. I have been living with a heavy secret that I would like to share with my church especially the youth; for I believe that my testimony on my past life can help many.”

rwanda2

My Pastor accepted to give me time on Sunday. I gave my testimony to encourage others to abstain and remain faithful. They prayed for me and I was released.  I became free and took a decision once again, to abstain until I get married.

Many Thanks be to God, my Church and to World Relief. I don’t know where I would be.