Brillant in Burundi
Imagine being told that your child’s clubfoot is a consequence for your sin. Brillant’s mother Noeline believed this perspective until she gained understanding and hope from her community at the clubfoot clinic and her church in Burundi.
As a polygamist, Noeline’s husband left his family of five years to live with other women. Noeline struggled to take care of the family on her own, until her brother-in-law approached her with some goods and money, and also anticipating to start a relationship with her. Becoming pregnant with her brother-in-law’s baby, Noeline expected to get married. When Brillant was born with a deformity, his father denied both paternity and the relationship. After Noeline’s husband heard the news, he returned home to force her and the children out of their house. While facing a life of stigmatization, Noeline’s parents, fortunately, took her in. Bringing shame to her parents and family, she was also burdened with shame in herself because she thought an adulterous relationship led to her son’s deformity.
Freedom and fulfillment
During these challenges, Noeline found herself at a morning mass with an announcement that REMA hospital provides clubfoot treatment. Upon arriving at the hospital, she felt alone and ridden with shame, surprised to find other mothers in similar situations. Greeted with fellowship and education from the parent advisor at the clinic, her mind transformed, changing her perspective of shame, to one of freedom and fulfillment. The clinic’s counseling program continued offering her spiritual support and a better understanding of clubfoot throughout her challenging, frequent visits.
As Brillant’s foot recovered, so did Noeline’s hope. She accepted Christ as her savior, persevering in prayer and understanding of Brillant’s treatment and her life-changing perspective. Although the family is still in need of emotional, spiritual and material support, they now have the hope of Jesus and of healing.