I asked to marry my wife, Celestine. Her father said, “If you are a true gentleman and you love our daughter, come here in person.”
I was asked to bring them a television and several little things as the bride price. I bought everything, and we went there
“Give this, give that.” Then it was over and we were asked to leave.
Certainly, not everyone was supportive of our marriage. Celestine got messages asking why she would marry a poor man. “Even if he gets rich someday,” they told her, “he’ll leave you and chase after some other woman, because there are many girls in Kinshasa.”
She was not persuaded. We understood each other.
One of my wife’s uncles arranged for me to pay the bride price to him in a place far from the family. So, I married my wife.
Because of the difficulties I experienced during my school career until I stopped, I was very protective of my children. I said to myself that I did not have anyone to finance my studies, but as long as I live, my children will be able to study, no matter what it takes. So I sent them to school.
That’s when the difficulty came. One of our sons became ill. My wife and I ignored it. When he died, we were urged to send our eldest to Mbuji Mayi to be monitored in case he also had the disease. Then our son Tshoper was born. After him, we had a daughter, and then another boy.
So we had 3 children here in Kinshasa, plus the one who had left, so four.
Daddy said to me, “Since you got married and had a family—and this when you thought you would never have children—bring them here to get to know their relatives.” So we all went to my parents’ home.
We arrived, we stayed until in 1992, and then Dad died. In 1993, we returned to Kinshasa.
I sent all of my children to school although I had no way to finance their studies. Nevertheless, they studied. All of them got their educations. I worked as much as I could, sometimes through the night, to be sure they would not miss out on their education. I even took a job that required me to leave one day and return the next. But I did it every day for twenty years. At one point, I had 6 children at school.
So, with the money from my work and my wife’s business, we ended up having this place so that we and the children have at least a place to sleep.
This woman has supported me greatly. In all the years we’ve been together, I’ve never hit her, and we don’t squabble. When I speak, she listens, and when she speaks I listen.
I have been blessed by GOD from an early age. I do not smoke, I do not drink. I am a servant of GOD, who called me from my youth and entrusted me with a mission. This is why I do not wander in strange paths. My highest priority to raise and educate my children. It is they who will take care of me in my old age. When I need a stick to walk I will not be able to sell anything at the shop. They are the ones who will help me, they will take care of me. When I set to eat, one of them serves me. After I finish my meal, another cleans up after me. When I received the word of GOD, I learned forgiveness. I was taught that I had to forgive everyone And I also read a book entitled “Orphan with a Wounded Heart”. It is this work that has come to help me by giving me the idea of forgiving everyone.
Therefore, I no longer hold grudges against anyone who has done me harm
We greet each other on the way, share food and drink, etc.
Hope pays. And perseverance also pays. Perseverance paid off for me and mine. Celestine became bonded to me, and I to her, and here are our children.
Now they also help us. If I ask for soap, it is instantly given to me. If I’m sick, they help me. I call, “Hey, don’t you know that I’m sick?”
They say, “Oh yeah … go to the hospital.”
This is what I would like to communicate:
My wife and I both suffered from the moments of our births. It was only the will of GOD that brought us together. A son of sorrow who marries a girl of pain and who, with their children, form a strong family—this is God’s will.