The joy associated with the birth of a child was short lived. Violet Uwamariya’s fifth child seemed to usher in nothing but pain, for it was then that abdominal pains started; unknown to her at the time, this agony would persist and it would only take a miracle for her to enjoy simple pleasures such as eating a full meal. Intestines had moved from their normal position.
“I thought that the cause of pain was due to the caesarean operation I had undergone during birth,” recounts the 37 year old mother of five.
However, medical examination dispelled the notion that the Caesarean section had anything to do with it. Instead, doctors informed her that she had a problem with her intestines.
“He gave me medication but there were no signs of change. The same doctor told me that I should try to get a scan from a better machine.”
For better medical attention, Uwamariya was referred to Ruhengeri in the Northern Province to be checked under a more efficient scanning machine.
After the check up, due to the seriousness of her illness, an operation was scheduled. In addition to the excruciating pain was an acute case of constipation.
“Most of the time I was constipated. Whenever I tried to use the toilet, my knees would quiver and I would sweat but nothing would pass out.” Being a strong believer in God, she consulted a higher power.
“It is in pain that I started crying out to God. I had been crying out to God since 2006.”
Then, as she relentlessly prayed in the silence of the toilet, enduring every inch of pain Uwamariya was assured of healing by God’s own voice.
“The voice of God told me that I had been healed. But I didn’t tell anyone.”
The day she was to have the operation finally arrived. She has still kept the incident where she heard God’s voice a secret. As was expected, she took the long journey upcountry to the doctor to meet the appointment.
However, a pastor she only recalls as Mama Ziripa from Ruhengeri, had been part of a crusade that had earlier taken place in Kigali.
Uwamariya had later met the pastor who committed herself to continue intercessory prayers for God to heal her.
Strangely, on arrival at the hospital they were intercepted by the same pastor. Mama Ziripa urged them to go to her house for prayer, which they did.
“During prayers, anywhere they placed their hands, my body would itch. As they concluded prayers, I gained a straight posture, different from the previous bending position that was due to strong stomach pain.”
She also recalled that before the prayer: “Sleeping was difficult, whenever I tried to lie on my side; I felt intestines moving out of position. Then out of fear I would sit up. Due to sitting up the whole night my legs would swell.” From her facial expression, it is clear that this memory elicits a painful past.
“But all this changed after the prayers. I could stand, sleep. I had spent three months without eating real food. I had been told to drink three liters of water and spinach. No oils were allowed.” However, she yielded to the directive from the pastor to eat despite the doctor’s prescriptions of a special diet.
“After prayers as told by the pastor I took a soda. She also prepared for me Irish potatoes and beans,” Uwamariya said revealing the ease she felt after three months without a proper meal.
Visibly witnessing a person who had been deprived of food by disease eat, Uwamariya and her family didn’t proceed home and insisted that they maintain the same course to the hospital for proof of the miracle.
Medical examinations from the doctor confirmed that she no longer needed to go for surgery. Despite the clean bill of health, any time she felt a tinge of pain, she would doubt that she was really healed.
This led her to ask God for a sign to prove that she was really healed. A short while later, an evangelist from Congo while holding a crusade in Rwanda and called out for a woman who had recently been healed of abdominal pain.
“She had called twice for a person who had recently been healed of abdominal problems. It is at the third call that a child that knew my previous health condition came home and got me.”
Uwamariya arrived just before the end of the crusade, where the preacher prayed for her and offered her some water to drink. The evangelist further reprimanded her for not believing.
On taking the water, the pain intensified so much that Uwamariya could not return home immediately and opted to rest in the church.
“I slept in church and on waking up the pain was gone. It has been gone till today,” she said joyfully.
She is now an entrepreneur dealing in honey. The business requires door to door movement which she would not have managed to do in her previous condition.
From the experience, she says that her faith in God has intensified and she sees herself as a living testimony of the healing power of a greater being.