Jilbert used to live on the streets in a small town in eastern Rwanda. He fled home because his parents were beating him – it was too much. He was just eight years old.
‘I didn't have anywhere to sleep. I spent seven years in that life. I had to steal food to survive,’ recalls Jilbert.
One night, he had a dream. ‘I saw a man clothed in white. He greeted me and said, "How are you?" I said, "I'm fine." He had something in his hand to give me. I didn’t know what it was. I woke up – the man had gone. I got up and carried on with my life, stealing food and trying to survive.’
A few days later, Jilbert had the same dream again. He decided to find a ‘man of God’ at the church nearby to help him explain what it meant.
‘I started telling him about the dreams, and he told me “God came to visit you to give you salvation, but you refused.”’
Jilbert decided he wanted to come to church, and was particularly interested in joining the choir. He got chatting with some young choir members and they invited him to the next Sunday service.
‘I was wearing dirty clothes but I came to the church and was welcomed.’