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Theresa survived the 1994 genocide in Rwanda | Now, she lives to love her neighbors with abandon.

Theresa is the glue that helps keep our Rwanda team a tight knit community. Although her life is one of great joy and service, she did not always have such a positive outlook on life.

During the events of the 1994 genocide, she lost her husband and all of her biological children. She was able to survive the killings by hiding in the bush in the countryside of Rwanda during those three months of horror.

Those seemingly endless days took an unimaginable toll on Theresa - mentally, physically and emotionally.

She struggled to process the trauma that she experienced and was quickly submerged in a deep, overwhelming depression. Her life seemed hopeless.

The heartbreak that she was experiencing was almost too much to bear.

BUT years after the genocide, things began to change.

She was introduced to the radical truth of the gospel.

The gospel's life-changing impact began to effect every aspect of Theresa.

Not only was her eternity now secure - to be with our Creator and Heavenly Father forever, but she was now witnessing sin, bitterness and resentment melt away before the her because of the power and love of Jesus Christ.

Shortly after giving her life to the Lord, Theresa met the ones responsible for the murder of her husband and children. By God's abundant grace, she was able to forgive these men.

Her life drastically changed after this. The redemptive power of the Lord has refined Theresa into the woman that we get to work with today.

In 2003, she gave birth to a daughter named Adeline.

Even years after the genocide, Theresa and her daughter were still facing the negative consequences that it left on the country of Rwanda. She was barely able to make rent and provide for herself, Adeline, and Denise and Derrick - the two younger children that she had brought into her home after they were abandoned by their own parents.

Theresa and her family

Theresa worked on a farm to provide all that she could to her new family but was in constant pain because of the rough working conditions.