My name is Niwemahirwe Maria Jovine an only child that was born out of wedlock to a traveller that lived in Uganda, at the age of seven, I lost my mother to the Rwandan genocide that wiped out people of my race including all my mums family leaving only one of them who was my aunt. And since I didn’t know anything or anyone from my father or his family, the only option I had was to go and start staying with my aunt that had seven children with less income coming in because the husband was the only one working. Life with her was never easy since even getting food was not something usual and things got so worse when her husband passed, I would not go to school because there was never money for my education and so I grew up in a home where I knew I was never considered one of them and I lived with that since I didn’t have much of a choice.
After the genocide, the president (H.E Paul Kagame) offered free education and scholastic materials to orphans and for a moment I got an opportunity to study again. But because of the situation at home and my aunt being against me going to school because her daughter had conceived compelled me to drop and just wait for when I would may be get a man and leave her place since that’s all she would tell me always.
At 19 years old I met a young man who I fell in love with, he took me to his home where I was loved by my mother in law. She did a lot of things for us since she knew we were both young illiterate people that had nothing, she constructed for us a small house and helped us get married in court and hence our marriage was official. A year later, I gave birth to my first child (Eddy) and unfortunately my husband’s mother passed on. This brought in a lot of land and clan quarrels about who will take what and after my second child grace was born, we were advised to move to Kampala and look for jobs. We did that and ended up in Mubende Uganda where we got a house to rent and then started digging so as to sustain our lives there.
After two and a half years in Uganda, my husband got involved with a widow and decided he didn’t want me or anything to do with me anymore. I left for Rwanda after all this because of the daily abuse from him to me and my children. He was denied custody of all the children because they were all below seven and what he did was to just kidnap them and took them back with him to the new lover. I worked closely with local leaders that wrote me a notice that was asking the law makers from Uganda to help me get my children and also got me money that was for my transport. They also gave me their contacts and asked me to call them in case of any problem.
I travelled back to Uganda, I travelled with a Christian man who was also a leader in Rwanda but also doing his masters from kabale university on a weekend program who gave me his number in case I needed his help. He was married and had two children by then. When I got to where my husband was, my children were in very bad state and very hungry and even by then my husband still didn’t want anything to do with me. I recall an incident where eddy asked him for food and he kicked him very bad. I decided to call the other man to help me get back to Rwanda where I didn’t even have anyone to run to. He then told me to board the bus and come to kabale where he said would rent for us a house to stay in, when we reached kabale because of the many days we had spent without eating he bought for us food and we could not even eat it. He took us to where he had rented for us a house, he had also bought us two tiny mattresses, two saucepans, two cups, two plates, food and eighty thousand shillings to look after the kids but because of the pain and anger I had, I just decided to go to the bar and drink. He was patient with me and he would tell me that I needed to accept Christ as my saviour and that I needed to trust him for all my needs as he also didn’t know why he was really helping but just felt compelled to help me. He kept providing for me and my children and I even got them schools to study from.
After him helping me for many years, he asked me if I had ever tested for HIV/AIDS and when I told him no he asked me to do so. My results came back negative and he then asked me to be his wife. I knew that he had a wife and kids back home but because of what he had done for me, I felt indebted to him and accepted. I later on accepted Christ though in the beginning this was to honestly please him but as time went on I don’t know how I grew in spirit and knowing him more. I started to rely on him more than I was even relying on this man. An incident I will never forget is when I was pregnant with my third child the time for delivery was due but I could not give birth and at some point I thought I was going to die but God sent to me psalms 118:17. This is the verse that up to today gives me strength and makes me feel encouraged knowing that even when I go through a lot of struggles, I will still leave to proclaim the goodness of the lord. I later on had my child safely and when I had had my last born Mary, my husband got to know that my biological father was from kabale and with continued search I was able to locate the home and found and old lady who is sister to my father who had passed on many years ago but had told them he had had a daughter while in Rwanda. She called the other surviving aunt that was delighted to see me as well, they gave me a small piece of land that I have still been unable to get money to construct on. After all these amazing miracle, my then lover decided that since he was now done with school and that I had also seen my family that it was time for him to go and settle with his family back home. And now that I had accepted Christ I knew what I had done in the first place was wrong and I let him go. He promised he would send help for the children whenever he could monthly and he has been trying.
Life for me is still a struggle but it’s different because I have and know Jesus, he has provided for me in ways I can’t explain, he has taught me to rely on him totally. I don’t even know how I am able to get money to feed my children yet I don’t have a job. Jesus made me a different person. I now have four children that i stay with in the single roomed house that we share and a few years ago I got an opportunity of learning to use the sewing machine both for sweaters and normal clothes. I now have the one for sweaters though I would love to own the other one as well since it has more returns. All in all I am grateful for what the lord has done for me my first boy is sponsored by two roads and by God’s grace he has been performing well. I hope for the best and I hope my children learn to trust and rely on God. I am no longer an orphan or a destitute because I got Christ.