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A voice in the wilderness

By Ruth Koch | 24 May 2019

Tearfund Northern Ireland Director, Ruth Koch, tells how a call to pray in the night miraculously changed the life of a family...

It was 4am when Pauline from Rwanda heard a voice. She’d never experienced anything like it before. The voice was calling her to go to her local church to pray. Despite not being a Christian, Pauline felt compelled to follow.

It had been a difficult time for Pauline and her husband. Neither of them could find a job and they were threatened with eviction from their home. It was a struggle to pay for food and schooling for their children. ‘I had no hope for the future...’, says Pauline.

Answering the call
So, there she was in the early hours of the morning, still in darkness, heading for her local church… At the door, she found a woman, who said to Pauline, ‘I have been waiting for you.’

Challenged by this experience, Pauline went home and wrote down five prayer requests. She knew that if God was calling her, he would answer her prayers. She knelt and asked God to provide work for her husband. That they would have enough food to eat. That her children could go to school. For a secure home to live in. And for a job for herself.

Three days later, she had a call on her mobile. The caller asked to meet her at 2pm and for her to bring a bag for food. When Pauline arrived she was given rice, maize, beans and oil. Her family hadn’t eaten for three days.

Bible transformation
That’s when Pauline decided to join her local church. She discovered Tearfund’s partner was working with the congregation. They ran Bible studies and self-help groups – small scale community savings (microfinance) groups.

With the support, inspiration and training of her self-help group, Pauline had the idea of using her cooking skills to provide for her family. She took out a loan from the group to set up a catering business, which has gone from strength to strength. Her husband now works as a decorator, her children go to school and they have built a home of their own.

Before she was called by the voice, Pauline and her family were only known in their neighbourhood for their struggles. Now Pauline’s neighbours have seen the transformation in her life and many have chosen to come to the Lord.


Written by

Written by Ruth Koch

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