Archives For Father’s Day

By the time we reached Rigoberto’s home, the sun had set, and I was feeling wiped out. Traveling to homes, through markets, and up the surrounding hills of Comas, Peru, we’d had two full days of meeting incredible savings group members connected to Comas CMA Church, HOPE’s partner in Peru. But stepping into Rigoberto’s home, I immediately felt soothed.

Part of it was probably because Rigoberto (pictured above) reminded me of my own dad: Both of them have a gentleness about them, and both have served as teachers for decades. Another piece was the warm greeting we received from Rigoberto and the members of his family—two daughters, his mother, sister, brother, and one grandchild—who welcomed us and invited us to sit with them to talk.

At first glance, they seemed like a close, happy family—but as we talked, Rigoberto shared that this hadn’t always been their reality.

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Evaristi and his wife are raising three children together, sharing faith in Christ and mutual respect for each other. But it wasn’t always this way. “I used to have conflicts with my wife,” remembers Evaristi. “Then with the help of the [savings] group, I became humble and reconciled with my wife. Now we live in peace as a happy family.”

To provide for their family, Evaristi has always performed many small jobs around his home in rural Rwanda, digging for other people and lifting heavy loads. But often, with this unpredictable income, Evaristi would ask neighbors to help his family make ends meet. This led him to often feel helpless, and he gained a reputation in the community as an angry man with a bent toward violence. Continue Reading…

Celestin, his wife, Gaudance, and their eight children (three pictured above) live in the hills surrounding Gasharu, Rwanda. They beam with joy as they welcome guests to their home, proudly presenting produce from their farm and the squealing piglets and livestock they raise. A few years ago, such a welcome would have been impossible.

“We were poor on the outside, but also on the inside, because poverty starts in the heart,” says Celestin. For many years he struggled with alcoholism, using the little money his family had in bars and brothels. Feeling abandoned and angry because of her husband’s unfaithfulness, Gaudance also turned to alcohol. She remembers, “My heart was full of sorrow. I couldn’t help my children. … Sometimes I would go into the bars to fight with those prostitutes. But all those things brought only more conflict and poverty.” Continue Reading…