Trusting God in the midst of tragedy

Dec 10, 2021

​It was 1996, and war had broken out in the African Congo.

At eight months pregnant, Julie Mapatano and her husband Isaac made the difficult choice to flee on foot and seek asylum in Kenya. They knew there was nothing left for their young family back in their home country.

Trust God,

her parents would say, in the middle of their horrific and hopeless situation.

Trust God,

as family and friends were dying all around them.

Trust God,

as they made the treacherous journey to Kenya, with all their belongings on their backs.

Julie and Isaac dreamed of exchanging their war-torn home for the safety and freedom of the United States. This wait was difficult as few were chosen to receive a visa to America. By God’s grace, a few years later they received their visas and were granted asylum in Atlanta.

As Isaac was flipping through the channels on his car radio on his way to work, he heard Andrew’s teaching for the first time. When he got to work, he called Julie and told her to listen. When Isaac got home that day, they continued listening to Andrew’s teaching together and didn’t stop for two weeks!

This teaching was different than we had ever heard before,

Julie said.

Hungering for more of God’s good news, Isaac drove to Colorado to the Summer Family Bible Conference. There, he decided this was where God wanted his family to be. Isaac moved his family to Colorado Springs to attend Charis Bible College. Charis taught them their identity in Christ and grounded them in God’s unconditional love.

While attending Charis, the Mapatanos felt God calling them to return to D.R. Congo and share God’s unconditional love with their own people. They saw themselves ministering together in churches and villages across their home country. However, Julie’s family was devastated when Isaac, suddenly and unexpectedly, died.

We had all those dreams to go to Africa and do things for God, and now I’m all alone with six kids. I didn’t know what to do,

Julie said.

But Julie knew she had to finish what they started. She went back to Charis for the second year. Then in 2012, God gave Julie the vision for Redeeming Love Ministries.

Julie’s ministry provides orphaned children in the D.R. Congo with the basic necessities and the education they need to flourish. Redeeming Love provides homes for the orphans by matching and placing orphans and abandoned children with local widows and families in Ludwindja, D.R. Congo!


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