Emmanuel’s Hope Story
My name is Emmanuel Bakenga. I come originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo. I was born in a family of seven children with two wonderful parents, my father, and my mum. They were businesspeople. And we had a very good lifestyle.
In 1997, a war started in my country which took the life of all my family. In 1997, my father and my brothers died, got shot and died. And then in 1999, my mum and my sister got shot and died. And so, I was left all alone in pain, depression, anxiety, and everything you can name was my friend. I was struggling to go to sleep, to eat and to study. And I was searching for help.
I went and saw counsellors and every time I leave their room and go back home, I was the same person. There was no change with my pain and I was alone. Then when I was about to commit suicide, a friend of mine came home and forced me to go to church. He refused to go without me, so I decided to go so I can distract him. When I got into church, there was a guest preacher and a preacher was preaching from the book of Matthew Chapter 11 verse 28.
Jesus is saying, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens and I would give you rest in my heart”. I never knew that anyone was able to fix me, not even Jesus Christ. And so, as he was preaching, I felt like he was talking to me. And that is where my hope story began. He was inviting those who were broken, in pain, struggling, confused to try Jesus and Jesus was able to turn things around. I began to cry. I was in tears because I never knew anyone could help me. I put my hand up and I stepped forward. And when I got forward, I was prayed on. And afterward I feel like the heavy presence from heaven came into my heart. I was just in tears by the more I cried, the more free I felt.
They laid a hand on me. And since then, my life changed completely. Since then I became a happy person, a joyful person. And I never stopped sharing the message of hope to other people who are in the same situation as I was in that Jesus is able.