“I enjoyed our village and the life we had before the rebels came.”
My name is Elisa. I’m 18 years old. I have a mom, dad, and eight siblings – four brothers and four sisters. I enjoyed our village and the life we had before the rebels came.
I was 14 years old the day the rebels came and overtook our village. It was hard for us because almost everything my father had done to provide for his family was taken by the rebels. This left me with a lack of school fees and forced me to drop out of school.
The sound of bullets
During this time my mother got sick and was sent to the hospital. Because of her disease, she spent many days there. My father sold everything in order to pay for my mother’s medications. I continued to live with the sound of bullets right outside. Every day I ran towards the bushes to escape from the rebels. The rebels wanted to marry me by force, and I was traumatized. I felt hopeless but would try to think about what my life might look like in the future.
By God’s grace, a member of my family arrived in our village and saw how terrible our living situation had become. He brought me to his home in Goma to ensure my safety. However, even though he helped me leave my village, he couldn’t take away my trauma or find a way for me to go back to school.
He talked with church leaders and with their help, I was introduced to Exile International. They welcomed me, and I am now enrolled in their trauma healing program. I am healing! I am no longer psychologically unsteady and hopeless! I am going to school like other children, I read the Bible every day, I get food, clothes, and I receive training in different programs. I really thank God for Exile International.
I am asking God to continue blessing this organization and to help me grow to help others across the world!
Thank you for helping make this possible!
5,100+ child survivors of war have received the care that they need.
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