NAME: Rafiki Gerdi
MARITAL STATUS: Married
TESTIMONY: (In his own words)
My name is RAFIKI Gerdi. I am Rwandan and was born in 1992. I'm married to HAGENIMANA Evelyne and together with one kid, Son.
I am the last born in the family of 8 siblings; 7 boys and one girl. I grew up an orphan of one parent. My father died when I was 1 year old during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, and was raised up by my mother alone.
When I was growing up and starting to understand the world around me at age of 7, I had a dream in which I saw Jesus coming down to me, knelt down and he touched my head and said:" My son, I love you and you shall serve me."
At my tender age, I couldn't understand and value what I saw in that dream.
My siblings did not know God, and did every thing as they pleased.
As a family, we were very poor and experienced many life difficulties and hardships.
My mother was the person we looked up to every thing, and my life goal was to make her happy. My way to do that was never to copy my brothers behaviors which were very bad. I vowed to be different to never hurt my mother and ruin my life.
I tried to do religion, always making all kind of efforts to avoid to do bad behaviors but I was not yet saved. In 2017, I experienced a lack of peace in my heart. I took time to reflect on my religion. I had vowed to never do bad behaviors as my elder brothers did, had chosen to worship to Catholic church as a child while my mother went to Seventh day Adventist but all these things were not bringing me inner peace. With further questioning, I realized that something was missing but I could not tell what it was.
One day, I worshipped at Pentecostal church and felt differently. I was convinced I would be continuing to worship there. One day, I talked with a mature person at this church who explained to me about what salvation is. I understood that salvation was not about belonging to a religion or doing some good works. I understood that it is all about believing in Jesus and loving him. I realized that I did not have Jesus in my life and that I was lost. I accepted Jesus Christ in my life, and chose to serve him from then on.
I was baptized in July 2017, in Pentecostal church for Emmanuel in Rwanda.
Together with my friend, we started a foundation named Family Vision Foundation for the purpose of helping children from poor families and women who had early pregnancies. Within the Church, I served as a youth leader, and apart from that, I have been an evangelist. As all this was happening, I understood what my childhood dream with Jesus'words and hands on me was all about.
From the time I accepted Christ, I started to feel at ease; and I have peace with Jesus. I made a schedule for reading the Bible and the Bible became my favorite book. I also joined the bible study groups. I am now friendly, helpful and polite, have a good sense of humor and I have a relationship with Christ for most of my life.
When I met Evelyn for the first time I saw in her a very well raised up and educated christian. By the time we met with her, I had many answered questions concerning the running of church where I were at, and how to do God's work unhindered. As we talked more with her, not only did I love her but I did also fell in love with her church because I found in it things that were lacking in my church. I realized that her church is where I can fulfill my life calling without hinderance. I joined BBCR two years ago, and have been loving who we are and do more and more. My wife is so thankful to God that the two of us are now serving God, and that we have together resolved to fully be involved in God work within the Bibleway Baptist Church of Rwanda.