Exile Blog

Joseph: God Will Increase

“We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

— Romans 5:3-5

God Will Increase

Did you know the Hebrew name “Joseph” translates to “God will increase“?

In July 2019, Exile’s Congo Programs Director Joseph was shot five times in a rebel ambush – leaving him paralyzed from the waist down and fighting for his life. Despite the difficult road ahead, his faith and spiritual joy in the face of such adversity have inspired us daily. Over and over, Joseph has reminded us to have hope.

Messages from Joseph:

“Can you imagine? I could have not lived. But because of the grace of God, I am alive! He did good things for me. For me, what He did is enough… Can you imagine? I am alive and even speaking!⁣”
 
“I have hope. And the legs… He will do it. Believing is the key. I know now that big word we always teach the children — ‘believe.’ It is for this time.”
 
“And the healing is going on. God is doing everything for me. Even if my legs do not work, I will be there to work for God, lead the children, and encourage the youth in Jesus’s name. I have been blessed to work with these children for 15 years. I think God will add 15 more.”
 
“Please tell those friends who are praying that I am hopeful. May God only repay them for praying. God bless them forever.” 
 
– Joseph

“What man meant for evil, God meant for good.”

Joseph’s rehabilitation has taken many months – many months away from his family. During these months, confined to a hospital in a foreign country, Joseph seized the opportunity before him to share the love of Christ in the hospital. Quite naturally (for Joseph), he began sharing his hope in Christ with medical staff and patients.

He soon began leading a Sunday church service – attended by staff and patients. Through Joseph’s obedience to the Lord’s call on his life and despite many hurdles, pains, and challenges while so far from home – twenty-five men and women have come to faith in Christ, five of whom have even begun home churches in their communities! Joseph continues to disciple and encourage them by phone daily!

Joseph’s return home (well…kind of)

We’ve been praying for travel bans to life and for it to be safe for Joseph to return home to be with his family. On May 18th, “the doors opened,” and we were given 24 hours to arrange for his travel to Congo! On May 19th, Joseph was on a plane from South Africa to DR Congo’s capital – Kinshasa.

Joseph has completed a required 14-day quarantine in Kinshasa and now awaits approval to fly to his hometown of Goma. Please continue praying with us as we pray for his return home to be with family and friends.

Progress update: Miracles do happen!

One year ago Joseph was given a 4% chance at walking again. Yet God still works miracles, and Joseph has never given up hope. With prayers, God’s intervention, outstanding medical care, and hundreds of hours of physical therapy, Joseph is now able to walk with the aid of crutches!!! Daily, he grows stronger and is walking further each day. Recently Joseph even progressed to climbing small flights of stairs with only a handrail and a crutch! Truly miraculous! Watch the video above to witness this incredible progress. 

While Joseph has made tremendous progress, he still has a long journey ahead. Please continue praying for Joseph’s continued healing, strength, and endurance.

With Joseph’s return to Goma, he will require accessibility items such as wheelchairs, ramps, a handicap accessible vehicle, as well as ongoing medical care. As of June 2020, $102,000 has been raised and $28,000 is still needed. We ask that you prayerfully consider supporting Joseph. Joseph has lived a life of love and sacrifice in the name of Jesus — daily choosing these children’s well-being above his own. It is our prayer that the American church and our friends will respond to his need in the same way he has responded to the plight of so many others.

*More information about Joseph, the incident, and his progress — available here.

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PO Box 60538
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