By Lindsay Allen | Project Manager: Americas
In 2009, a 10-year old boy named Jean Baptiste (JB) moved into Hope Home Care, a residential home for orphaned children in Cyegera Rwanda. Out of the 10 boys and 10 girls living in the home, JB was one of the oldest. As he grew accustomed to his new home, he was shy and timid. Not only did he find himself in a new place with unfamiliar people, he also had to cope with his diagnosis of HIV. He feared that HIV would not only impact his health, but also his relationships.
Over the past six years, JB has grown from a shy little boy to a bright young man. He is a leader within Hope Home, and his 19 “brothers and sisters” all look up to him. Thankfully, JB is a wonderful role model for them. He is number one in his class and will graduate from secondary school in the fall. In November, he will take and most likely pass the entrance exams for University in Rwanda. He has worked hard to master English, and now he is so good that he sometimes translates for World Orphans teams when they come to visit. JB is also one of the premier soccer players in the district and is often invited to travel with the local team when they play in other districts.
At times, JB has struggled with illness resulting from his HIV, but he doesn’t let that stop him from dreaming big! His dream is to one day become a doctor, and we believe he will achieve his goal. JB knows the value of education and hard work, but there is one thing he values even more -- his relationship with Jesus. He has given his life to Christ and was recently baptized.
Six years ago, this young man had no family, no community, and a grave medical diagnosis. Now he is loved by a very large family, is respected within his community, and has a bright future ahead of him. Most importantly, he knows the all-surpassing love of a heavenly Father, in whom he has placed his hope and faith.
We are so proud of JB, and we are thankful for the Christ-like example he sets for the younger children of Hope Home Care. Without the intervention of Hope Home Care, JB’s life would have probably turned out very differently. His life is a testimony to the power of loving and caring for a child in need.